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T530 blob free wifi recommendations

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Mqx
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:15 am
Location: Mons, Belgium

T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#1 Post by Mqx » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:02 am

Hi all I new here,
I have just got a T530 running debian, would like to have a blob free wifi card, as its the only none free thing in it, has anyone got any recommendations,
I see a few 62205ANHMW don't know what the state of that card is? maybe the something better?

TRS-80
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Re: T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#2 Post by TRS-80 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:47 pm

I am a T60 guy, so cannot speak specifically to T530, but on GNU/Linux that shouldn't matter in this context.

There are only a small number of Wi-Fi chips that will run without proprietary drivers. And they are (as I recall) mostly Atheros based.

One good place to look for blob free wifi hardware, is at ThinkPenguin (linked) where everything they sell (AFAIK) runs with F/LOSS drivers.

Now that I am gainfully employed, I like to financially support F/LOSS/H businesses (and projects) as much as possible, but when I was very poor before I must admit to using that list of hardware as a jumping off point for researching chipsets and then buying somewhere else. :??:

There are also some other resources around the Internet where you can find such information. But in my experience, those are more effort.
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

Mqx
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Location: Mons, Belgium

Re: T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#3 Post by Mqx » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:14 pm

Thanks TRS-80, yes ThinkPenguin looks great but kind of works out a bit pricey from the EU.If only I had a job...
I don't know if the t530 is locked to some cards in bios, I did once maybe 10 years ago go to a talk by some of the coreboot people at fosdem skulls coreboot anyway future plans ;) I digress from the point at hand...

The N-6300 seems to be a contender anyway reading this:
reddit t530_wireless_upgrade
and looks supported out the box in debian :D :
thinkwiki.org N_6300

atagunov
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Re: T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#4 Post by atagunov » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:56 pm

Mqx wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:14 pm
I don't know if the t530 is locked to some cards in bios
I think yes, there is a WiFi whitelist in BIOS.
And there's a body of info online on how to get around it.

One interesting tool is https://github.com/n4ru/1vyrain/ (and https://github.com/n4ru/IVprep to reppare for 1vyrain)
The appeal here is that you may be able to flash modded BIOS without attaching a hardware programmer to a chip on motherboard.
Coreboot is the other option I guess.

BTW be sure that you have your EC (embedded controller) on the firmware you want before you move off the stock BIOS.
For classic keyboard/battery whitelist removed it's thinkpad-ec.
X220, 2 *T520

TRS-80
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Re: T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#5 Post by TRS-80 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:25 pm

Oh yes, I had forgotten all about the whitelist, as I am a Libreboot user.
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

axur-delmeria
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Re: T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:52 am

It's saddening that there are no WiFi AC cards in Thinkpenguin's catalog. :(
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

TRS-80
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Re: T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#7 Post by TRS-80 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:24 pm

Some times we have to make small sacrifices for Freedom.

Personally, I am pretty staunch on exclusively purchasing hardware that can run with free / open drivers. If more people followed suit, maybe we could begin to move the market a little more and actually Have (more) Nice Things(TM).

From a practical standpoint, does it really matter, for most use-cases of laptop? If you really need to transfer a lot of large files or something, you can always just plug in to Ethernet, which will always be faster, anyway (and lower latency).
All good things are Wild and Free.

What is free software and why is it so important for society?

(2021) Actively on the lookout for for 15" T60 FlexView / Hydis LED displays and parts, for my own usage. Kindly PM me your demands if you are willing to part with anything. :D

m11k
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Location: Newton, MA

Re: T530 blob free wifi recommendations

#8 Post by m11k » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:42 pm

I put Atheros 802.11n cards in all of my *30 series laptops (an X230, a T430, and a W530). These are all blob-free and work with the fully-free ath9k driver. Specifically for systems that have 3 antennas, I have the AR5BHB112, and for systems that have 2 antennas, the AR5BHB116. More info here: https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/ath9k.

You do need to remove the BIOS wifi whitelist, otherwise these cards will be rejected. Fortunately this is pretty easy on the *30 series thinkpads. My X230 and T430 have coreboot on them, and the W530 has the 1vyrain bios applied.

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