WiFi on a HP Elitebook 8570w

There once was a day that I compiled my own kernels and configured all modules manually. It's been quite a while since I've done anything like that, but I remembered some of it.

Today I installed my WiFi drivers. The HP Elitebook 8570w I own has a Centrino Advanced-N 6205 on board that is actually supported by Fedora 17.

$ lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Ivy Bridge DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Ivy Bridge PCI Express Root Port (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Panther Point High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point PCI Express Root Port 4 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Panther Point LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Panther Point 6 port SATA AHCI Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation Panther Point SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Device 0ffc (rev a1)
01:00.1 Audio device: nVidia Corporation Device 0e1b (rev a1)
24:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): JMicron Technology Corp. IEEE 1394 Host Controller (rev 30)
24:00.1 System peripheral: JMicron Technology Corp. SD/MMC Host Controller (rev 30)
24:00.2 SD Host controller: JMicron Technology Corp. Standard SD Host Controller (rev 30)
25:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (rev 34)

The device at the very bottom is the WiFi device we're looking for. But iwconfig shows it's not available to the system somehow:

$ iwconfig
thuisf    no wireless extensions.
 
vmnet8    no wireless extensions.
 
thuis     no wireless extensions.
 
eth0      no wireless extensions.
 
lo        no wireless extensions.
 
virbr0-nic  no wireless extensions.
 
virbr0    no wireless extensions.
 
noc       no wireless extensions.
 
vmnet1    no wireless extensions.


The WiFi drivers in Linux nowadays seem to be named iwl*, which makes them easier to look for in the dmesg log:

$ dmesg|grep iwl
[   43.085807] iwlwifi 0000:25:00.0: pci_resource_len = 0x00002000
[   43.086120] iwlwifi 0000:25:00.0: pci_resource_base = ffffc90013ab4000
[   43.086435] iwlwifi 0000:25:00.0: HW Revision ID = 0x34
[   43.086832] iwlwifi 0000:25:00.0: irq 48 for MSI/MSI-X
[   43.108045] iwlwifi 0000:25:00.0: request for firmware file 'iwlwifi-6000g2a-5.ucode' failed.
[   43.108560] iwlwifi 0000:25:00.0: no suitable firmware found!

And there's our reason. This firmware uses microcode. Without the microcode file installed, the driver cannot initialize. So we install this microcode:

yum install iwl6000g2a-firmware.noarch

Let's see what we got. First we remove the iwlwifi driver and reinsert it. Then we got ourselves a working wlan0:

rmmod iwlwifi ; modprobe iwlwifi ; iwconfig
 
vmnet8    no wireless extensions.
 
eth0      no wireless extensions.
 
lo        no wireless extensions.
 
virbr0-nic  no wireless extensions.
 
virbr0    no wireless extensions.
 
noc       no wireless extensions.
 
wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=off   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
 
vmnet1    no wireless extensions.

This driver is reponsible for the bluetooth device as well. You may need to press the wireless switch to enable bluetooth.

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