1.3.1(mac) on Macbook Pro 2011 17"

On an MBP 2011 (17") as well as an MBP 2010 15", an MBP 2015 13", two iMac’s 2018 21.5" the system boots just fine, but not to Desktop, unless the “compatibility” mode is chosen. No accelerated graphics, even though all of these computers have a discrete nVidia or AMD/ATi GPU.
Futhermore; on none of these the WiFi works. (All BroadCom based)

I’m happy to help track down the problems here, seeing as I’ll be having a lot of downtime due to the global Corona pandemic, but you will have to guide me through it.

Hi there,

unfortunately, both problems are very common, and I would have been quite surprised if didn’t encounter them. FreeBSD’s support for wifi, especially regarding more recent chips, is quite limited. When experimenting with a MacBook Air, the correct NVIDIA graphics driver was loaded, however, the result was an instant reboot.

So my 10 year old MacBook Pro is still too new? … Wow … who would’ve thought. Haven’t got an older one, so tough luck there.

Question then; is it possible to add support (a driver, or kernel module)?

There are just a few Broadcom wifi devices supported by FreeBSD (bwi(4), bwn(4)). Just to make sure our autodetection didn’t fail, could please tell me the vendor and device ID of your wifi (pciconf -lv | grep -B3 network)?

To satisfy my curiosity, I have installed Ubuntu on my USB Drive; it works perfectly with the graphics and the WiFi, so at least I know I’m not crazy :stuck_out_tongue: but it does mean I will need to reinstall nomadBSD to check the output for you. Will do that this weekend.

I did run that command (or variation) before and it showed me the BCM4322 Wireless but did not write down the Vendor nor the Device ID. So I will get back to you on that :slight_smile:

It may be that you need to compile a custom Kernel to make use of the Wireless device:

@mk1: I think we could provide this custom kernel for the Mac version?

Yes, that’s possible.

@rmpel: Are there any messages regarding bwn in the output of dmesg (dmesg | grep bwn)? Is the bwn kernel module loaded (kldstat | grep bwn)?

@rmpel: I’ve uploaded a kernel build with BWN_GPL_PHY. You can install it as follows:

# fetch -o /tmp/kernel-1.3.1-n-phy.tgz https://nomadbsd.org/download/kernel-1.3.1-n-phy.tgz
# mv /boot/kernel /home/kernel.old
# cd /boot && tar xf /tmp/kernel-1.3.1-n-phy.tgz
1 Like

Interestingly, I just tried 1.3.1 with a 10 year old 27" Gen 1 i7, with a no longer supported ATI Radeon 4850 graphics card. I have it on an old 8gb SanDisk USB 1.2 Facet thumb drive. On initial start-up it choked when I selected the VESA graphics option. On restart, I selected the non accelerated option. It booted fine and it runs amazingly fast. I loaded the package Neofetch, so I could get system info and it is showing the Radeon in the output for “gpu” and not some generic “graphics”. It might be wishful thinking, but, considering how well it is running and fluid, I think it could really be using the card.

1 Like