Fedora Core 5—and Airport Extreme on Linux?

Fedora Core 5 was released today. I started downloading it this morning, and it should be done this afternoon. I’ll probably start updating the Fedora boxes at work later this week, though for my home system I may wait until RPMForge catches up.

Meanwhile, I’m reading the release notes, and found one item particularly interesting:

There are new experimental drivers that provide support for the widely-used Broadcom 43xx wireless chipsets (http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/).


This is the chipset used in Apple’s Airport Extreme wireless networking interface, which is what you’ll find in just about every wireless-capable Mac made over the last few years. Until recently, there were no Linux drivers because Broadcom would neither write their own nor release specifications for others to write them. The project at Berlios has apparently reverse-engineered the chip to produce an open-source driver, with its first usable version in December

One of the reasons I so rarely use Linux on the PowerBook is that it can’t use the wireless network. The last time I used it was a couple of months ago. I booted it into YDL just to make sure all the software was current, and discovered there hadn’t been any updates since July—even though I could think of plenty of security fixes that had been released since then. Now that Fedora Core has had two releases with full PowerPC support, I may just replace the Yellow Dog Linux partition with Fedora Core. A better security update policy, a wider range of applications, and possibly wireless network support. Sounds like it might be worth it.

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