The State of Linux Wireless. Is it better yet?

From the ‘Wireless Linux’ files.

For a number of years, many Linux users (myself included) struggled with Wireless on Linux. Simply put, Linux distros didn’t always correctly recognize or work with the Wireless hardware on the user’s laptop. That has changed in recent years.

Speaking on a panel at the Linux Collaboration Summit this week, Linux Wireless maintainer John Linville said that wireless on Linux has matured.

We used to have nothing but reverse engineered drivers where it was a miracle that they worked at all,” Linville said.

What is happening now is Broadcom and Qualcom/Atheros now work with the Linux kernel community providing a better set of drivers and technologies for wireless on Linux.

There are still some challenges including the ability to properly detect interference with DFS military or radar signals.

“Things are better, but there is still more work to be done,” Linville said. “We’ve got the nice juicy center largely covered and we have to spread out to the corners now to flesh things out.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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