How about free firmware?


I know that free driver for Mediatek chips is in active development, but what about free firmware? Are there any steps in this direction?

Openwrt is a "free" firmware for the MT platform, among others.

Could you clarify what you mean by firmware? Some would say that OpenWRT is a free firmware that runs on the application processor inside an MT based device. I'm guessing you mean the code that runs on the wifi chip itself... and I know of no one working on such code.

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You might ping Felix @nbd on the MediaTek stuff.

This is the proprietary software required to run your wireless card. At least I understand it that way. Some chips, such as the Atheros ath9k/ath9k_htc, run 100% open source drivers/firmware. Many others, particularly mt76, require proprietary firmware to work.

Yeah, I guessed the question was about the firmware running on the wireless chip itself, but it seemed worth clarifying...

Do you understood you have to ask about free drivers not here and not in a linux community at all, all those questions should be moved to mediatek/atheros developers. lol

Do you realize you're running into a rude answer? I'm asking the question here, not elsewhere, and for a reason.

Sorry :heart:
Only hardware developers decide open drivers or not, great example is intel, you can read about their war against free driver policy in Canonical closed forums. Means OpenWrt probably would never ever got working drivers for example for intel ax2XX 5ghz NIC's.

Well, ath9k is pretty much the only exception with no actual WiFi firmware blob. Pretty much all current alternatives require a firmware blob.

Mediatek mt76 has probably the smallest closed-source firmware blob of the current main alternatives, and is seen as the good guy on the block.

This presentation (by nbd) from a few years ago explains the alternatives pretty well. See comments about Mediatek around 11-13 minutes.

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So i'm asking you as a authority? ( i guess you are ), OpenWrt would main the freedom line, or extending compatibility at any cost?