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[Bug 1490212] Re: "Modaliases" field missing from debian control file


So I've looked into this some more and the theory is sound.  There are,
however, a few stumbling blocks.

The first is software-properties-gtk is a bit rubbish because it doesn't
provide much feedback about the package installation process.  So if the
firmware download fails then the firmware-b43-installer package is left
in an unconfigured state, but the user is unaware of this.  When you re-
run the software-properties-gtk utility, the package is incorrectly
marked as being used.  There is even no error message when the download
of the firmware-b43-installer package fails.  So the user if left
thinking "why isn't this working?".  A message saying "please check your
internet connection" is badly needed.

The modaliases line used by the wl driver captures the whole sweep of
broadcom cards.  So people with unsupported cards are told to install
it.  Gosh, no wonder people have so many problems with broadcom!  When
they install wl this automatically blacklists and removes the b43, ssb,
bcma, etc modules.  This adds to the next problem: what modaliases
should firmware-b43-installer use?

Running the command:

modinfo b43 | perl -nae 'print "alias $1 b43\n" if /^alias:\s+(.*)$/'


alias bcma:m04BFid0812rev1Dcl* b43
alias bcma:m04BFid0812rev18cl* b43
alias bcma:m04BFid0812rev17cl* b43
alias bcma:m04BFid0812rev11cl* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev10* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev0F* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev0D* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev0C* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev0B* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev0A* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev09* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev07* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev06* b43
alias ssb:v4243id0812rev05* b43

These aliases work for ubuntu-driver/software-properties-gtk until you
blacklist b43/ssb/bcma or you rmmod them (like wl does).  Then they are
not found and the package is not matched.  What we really need are
aliases starting with pci, but how do we get these and correctly
seperate them into the firmware-b43-installer and firmware-b43legacy-
installer packages, accounting for revision numbers etc?  I have to ask,
but whose idea was it to create these seperate packages?!  They've
caused so much mayhem!

Also, in the modaliases file (e.g.
debian/firmware-b43-installer.modaliases) you can't use the name of an
existing module (e.g. alias blahblahblah b43).  If you do this the
software-properties-gtk will not budge from the 'continue running a
custom installed module' option.  For testing I ended up using a file
like so:

alias pci:v000014E4d*sv*sd*bc02sc80i* firmware-b43-installer

The final problem is with the b43 installer scripts.  They don't
rmmod/modprobe the b43/b43legacy modules therefore requiring a system
reboot.  Again, the user is not informed to do this.  This feature
should be added to the scripts.

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  "Modaliases" field missing from debian control file

Status in b43-fwcutter package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  The b43 module is not listed as an option by the "additional drivers"
  section of the software-properties-gtk utility.  This takes its
  information from the ubuntu-drivers-common package and a bug has been
  reported against that package
  common/+bug/1186779 ).

  However, if I'm reading things correctly, the firmware-b43-installer
  package could solve this by providing a modaliases field in the debian
  control file.  For example, the bcmwl-kernel-source package has the

  Modaliases: wl(pci:v000014E4d*sv*sd*bc02sc80i*)

  This would be scanned by the ubuntu-drivers-common package and
  consequently appear in software-properties-gtk.

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