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USB ath9k Wi-Fi adapter doesn't initialise in PureOS installer
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I booted pureos-8.0-gnome-live_20180530-amd64.hybrid.iso on my Lenovo X230 with my (FSF RYF certified!) USB ath9k adapter plugged in. It wasn't recognised and looking at the kernel log, I see this:

[   10.374752] usb 3-2: ath9k_htc: Firmware ath9k_htc/htc_9271-1.4.0.fw requested
[   10.375218] usb 3-2: firmware: failed to load ath9k_htc/htc_9271-1.4.0.fw (-2)
[   10.375222] usb 3-2: Direct firmware load for ath9k_htc/htc_9271-1.4.0.fw failed with error -2
[   10.375225] usb 3-2: ath9k_htc: Firmware htc_9271.fw requested
[   10.375237] usb 3-2: firmware: failed to load htc_9271.fw (-2)
[   10.375239] usb 3-2: Direct firmware load for htc_9271.fw failed with error -2
[   10.375241] usb 3-2: no suitable firmware found!
[   10.375364] usb 3-2: ath9k_htc: USB layer deinitialized

The full kernel log is attached:

Event Timeline

rah created this task.Jun 25 2018, 09:22
rah added a comment.EditedJun 29 2018, 07:14

I have the same trouble in the installed system. I've installed firmware-ath9k-htc; this has an blob and also puts this in /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k_htc.conf:

options ath9k_htc use_dev_fw=1

however, the kernel is looking for htc_9271-1.4.0.fw and fails. I've tried linking the .dev.0.fw to .4.0.fw but it doesn't seem to work.

Do the kernel packages fiddle with the firmware loading at all? Such that possibly the use_dev_fw is ignored?

rah added a comment.Jun 29 2018, 07:33

Linking the .dev.0.fw to .4.0.fw apparently can work but there is an issue with NetworkManager using random MAC addresses that prevents associations:

chris.lamb assigned this task to mak.Jun 29 2018, 08:50
chris.lamb added subscribers: mak, chris.lamb.

Assigning @mak (in the first instance) as it's installer-related...

NB. this is an external, USB adaptor.

From Matrix discussions, this might affect Bluetooth as well (mentioning also to improve serch terms)

jscott added a subscriber: jscott.Jan 14 2021, 13:57

I'm the maintainer of the firmware-ath9k-htc package in Debian which applies to this hardware. Unfortunately it is not installed by default in Debian or PureOS, but it should work after being installed and possibly rebooting/reinserting the device. The firmware is installed under a non-standard file name as you've noticed, but the package comes with a configuration file that should enable it to be recognized under that name.

firmware-linux-free should recommend firmware-ath9k-htc, hence causing it to be installed by default, but this is a change which hasn't happened yet in Debian. In the interim, I think PureOS should explicitly install it by default especially given its free software-exclusive user base; Trisquel does this.

The issue @rah mentioned about MAC address randomization preventing connections has been patched in Debian Stretch and later and actually wound up being a bug in wpasupplicant (an off-by-one error actually, causing the string for the interface name to be mistakenly truncated and further operations to fail).

jeremiah.foster reassigned this task from mak to guido.Wed, Feb 10, 10:55
jeremiah.foster triaged this task as Normal priority.
jeremiah.foster added a project: Restricted Project.
jeremiah.foster removed a subscriber: chris.lamb.
jeremiah.foster added a subscriber: jeremiah.foster.

@guido - have you seen this issue?

guido added a comment.EditedThu, Feb 11, 02:36

@jeremiah.foster how did i get pulled in here?

EDIT: no, not seen this issue.

jeremiah.foster removed guido as the assignee of this task.Thu, Feb 11, 10:56
jeremiah.foster added a subscriber: guido.