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Librem 5: Action required to keep WiFi functional after upgrade

March 26, 2021 1 min. read

The Librem 5 linux-purism-librem5 kernel package 5.11.6-r1 includes a change that causes the WiFi driver to ignore firmware on the WiFi chip and load firmware from the rootfs. This firmware was not available in pmaports until device-purism-librem5 v1.18, installed by a new subpackage device-purism-librem5-nonfree-firmware.

If you are upgrading an existing pmOS edge install on the Librem 5, you will not have WiFi after installing this new kernel and rebooting, unless you also install the device-purism-librem5-nonfree-firmware package manually after upgrading the kernel.

Recommended steps to take:

$ sudo apk upgrade -a
<linux-purism-librem5 upgraded to 5.11.6-r1 here>

$ sudo apk add device-purism-librem5-nonfree-firmware

If you reboot before installing device-purism-librem5-nonfree-firmware and no longer have functional WiFi, you can still install this package using usb networking by manually downloading the required apks from a mirror on https://mirrors.postmarketos.org, and using scp to push it to the device:

$ curl -O http://mirror.postmarketos.org/postmarketos/master/aarch64/device-purism-librem5-nonfree-firmware-1.18-r0.apk
$ curl -O http://mirror.postmarketos.org/postmarketos/master/aarch64/firmware-siliconlabs-rs9116-2.0.0-r0.apk
$ scp device-purism-librem5-nonfree-firmware-1.18-r0.apk firmware-siliconlabs-rs9116-2.0.0-r0.apk
$ ssh
librem5 $ sudo apk add /tmp/device-purism-librem5-nonfree-firmware-1.18-r0.apk /tmp/firmware-siliconlabs-rs9116-2.0.0-r0.apk

The relevant change in pmaports is here: merge request !2059