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I have built the linux distro Boot2Qt from source with the yocto tools for the board Colibri iMX6ULL which has the integrated wifi chip Marvell W8997-M1216.

I installed the whole linux firmware-stack and i think also the correct kernel modules for the wifi chip.

There is no mlan interface showing up.

What exactly creates the mlan interface?
Is there something else i need to install?

Edit:
I also am thankful for general answers on what prerequisites a linux os needs to have functional wifi, and what software exactly creates a wireless interface.

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Per the marvell driver manual page,

a) Copy sd8787.bin to /lib/firmware/mrvl/ directory, create the directory if it doesn't exist.

b) Install WLAN driver,

insmod mwifiex.ko

c) Uninstall WLAN driver,

ifconfig mlanX down

rmmod mwifiex

Also, you should validate which modules are being loaded on boot,

# Check the kernel buffer
dmesg

# List kernel modules
lsmod

# List PCI devices
lspci
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I managed to find the correct kernel modules and its working now. Here the complete process:

Add the following lines to your local.conf:

BB_DANGLINGAPPENDS_WARNONLY ?= "true"

MACHINE ?= "colibri-imx6ull"

DISTRO_FEATURES_append = " wifi packagegroup-base-wifi dhcp-client"  // add wifi tools like iw and a dhcp client
MACHINE_FEATURES_append = " wifi"                                    // add wifi at machine level
IMAGE_INSTALL_append = " linux-firmware dhcp-client"                 // install all firmware (needed for wifi) and the dhcp client

Next start menuconfig to add kernel modules by entering the build directory: BUILD_DIR/meta-boot2qt/build-colibri-imx6ull/ And run the command

bitbake virtual/kernel -c menuconfig

If you get errors of undefined sysmbols you are probably missing the ncurses library. Install it with sudo apt-get install libncurses-dev

From the menu that opened in a console tab go to Networking support > Wireless. Check the following modules: menuconfig

Next go back to the main menu and enter Device Drivers > Network device support > Wireless LAN Select the marvell drivers: menuconfig

Save the changes and run:

bitbake b2qt-embedded-qt5-image

Now the necessary firmware, drivers and tools should be installed.

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