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Apologies if this is a dumb question but why is Clearos 7 still running on kernel version 3.10? My current kernel is 3.10.0-1127.19.1, my system is set to update automatically and I can't find anything to suggest Clearos uses anything newer. I realise that Centos isn't the quickest distro to apply updates, but 3.10 came out in 2013 - even if it's under LTS there must be a lot of new features missing, including in the INFOSEC field.

My specific problem is that I'm trying to install a Qualcomm Atheros QCA9984 802.11ac wireless module (Compex WLE1216VX) in our firewall / wireless AP. This uses the ath10k drivers. According to the Linux Wireless wiki this uses firmware ver. 10.4, which requires kernel version 4.2 or above. Package linux-firmware-20191203-76.gite8a0f4c.el7.noarch provides this, including a folder specifically for QCA9984, but it fails to load - this is the error message I get:
Nov 12 13:24:58 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: irq 49 for MSI/MSI-X
Nov 12 13:24:58 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: pci irq msi oper_irq_mode 2 irq_mode 0 reset_mode 0
Nov 12 13:24:58 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: qca9984/qca9994 hw1.0 target 0x01000000 chip_id 0x00000000 sub 168c:cafe
Nov 12 13:24:58 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: kconfig debug 0 debugfs 1 tracing 0 dfs 0 testmode 0
Nov 12 13:24:58 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: firmware ver 10.4-3.9.0.2-00046 api 5 features no-p2p,mfp,peer-flow-ctrl,btcoex-param,allows-mesh-bcast crc32 a09d5bfe
Nov 12 13:25:00 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: failed to fetch board data for bus=pci,bmi-chip-id=0,bmi-board-id=11 from ath10k/QCA9984/hw1.0/board-2.bin
Nov 12 13:25:00 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: failed to fetch board-2.bin or board.bin from ath10k/QCA9984/hw1.0
Nov 12 13:25:00 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: failed to fetch board file: -2
Nov 12 13:25:00 gateway.wasielewski kernel: ath10k_pci 0000:06:00.0: could not probe fw (-2)
I can't find much online relating to these errors, but as the firmware ver. no. is the current one and the package is recent (file datestamp 1 April 2020) I'm guessing it can't load because of the kernel version mismatch.

The wireless wiki refers to a backports project, but the site hosting the code for that appears to be dead, and in any case that would be very much a second best solution. Of course if I'm missing something blindingly obvious please let me know.

Thanks,
Andrew
Thursday, November 12 2020, 02:13 PM
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, November 19 2020, 12:21 PM - #Permalink
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    It looks like you have tried just about everything. :(

    FWIW, ElRepo are now at kernel version 5.9.9 and you can use this in ClearOS.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, November 19 2020, 11:50 AM - #Permalink
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    I've tried this on other x86_64 hardware up to the latest kernel (5.9.8) on Fedora 33, and with the latest revision of firmware downloaded directly from Git, and always get the same error. I've posted a report to the Linux Wireless dev mailing list (https://marc.info/?l=linux-wireless&m=160574568703161&w=2). As this particular product is fairly new it may be some of the hardware parameters (bmi-chip-id,bmi-board-id etc.) simply aren't recognised in the current firmware.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, November 19 2020, 10:22 AM - #Permalink
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    linux-firmware was not updating as Centos had just released 7.9 and it belongs to that release. You can try installing it directly from centos-unverified, or you can update to ClearOS 7.9 beta.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, November 14 2020, 08:18 AM - #Permalink
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    You could try the later firmware:
    yum update linux-firmware --enablerepo=centos-unverified
    I can't work out why it is not coming across but I have my suspicions. The person I need to ask is back from holiday next week.

    Alternatively go for a kernel-ml from ElRepo. They have a 5.9.8 available and they update within days of kernel.org pushing a new one. it is really bleedin' edge. It should be fully compatible with ClearOS.

    I am not really doing the app-wireless-ap but feed back to the developer. He is a Community developer doing it in his own time. I do test it occasionally and have fed back some tweaks . I also produce the final rpm's and inject them into the repos.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, November 13 2020, 11:42 PM - #Permalink
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    Hi Nick,

    Thanks as always for the swift and comprehensive reply. I guessed there would be a good reason for the old kernel ver. no. Maybe the answer will be helpful if anybody else wonders the same.

    The PCI ID from lspci -nn is 168c:0046. If I am interpreting the "alias" section of modinfo ath10k_pci output correctly, this is supported (3rd line). In addition to the files listed in the "firmware" section there is a ath10k/QCA9984/hw1.0 directory (i.e. the exact chipset ID) which does contain the "missing" board-2.bin file. I've tried the module in other hardware/OS combinations and get essentially the same error each time, so it clearly isn't the kernel version as I first suspected. The most recent OS I tried was on Fedora kernel 5.8.18-100 with linux-firmware-20201022-113, which was built about three weeks ago. I'll follow this up now with the wireless firmware people.

    One of the reasons for wanting to use this module is that it looks like it has interesting potential under 802.11ac for TX beamforming / MU-MIMO (it supports 4 antennae) and DFS. I'll do a write up on those when I get it all working.

    I don't use the Wireless AP page in the web console as it has very limited functionality, although I know you and others are working to improve that. I also found that if you "Update" it overwrites hostapd.conf with the very limited config data visible, without making a backup. I configure hostapd directly, and it would be very challenging to have a web GUI that could reliably support all the functionality available (e.g. the guest WiFi VLAN I wrote up for the site last year). However I've got some suggestions for improvements, which I'll post separately when done.

    Thanks,
    Andrew
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  • Accepted Answer

    Friday, November 13 2020, 06:08 PM - #Permalink
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    I've pushed an update to app-wireless-ap into contribs-testing. You can install it with:
    yum install app-wireless-ap --enablerepo=clearos-contribs-testing
    It should install version 1.1.2. If it does not, please wait an hour and try again as the repos sync.

    There are some issues. Channel selection is only 1-9 and fails the program fails (for me) if you set it to automatic. Changing WPA does nothing. It is also not good at reading back in all current selections.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, November 12 2020, 06:27 PM - #Permalink
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    Looking further, the ClearOS kernel probably covers your device:
    [root@server ~]# modinfo ath10k_pci
    filename: /lib/modules/3.10.0-1127.19.1.el7.x86_64/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/ath/ath10k/ath10k_pci.ko.xz
    firmware: ath10k/QCA9377/hw1.0/board.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA9377/hw1.0/firmware-5.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw3.0/board-2.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw3.0/board.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw3.0/firmware-6.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw3.0/firmware-5.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw3.0/firmware-4.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw2.1/board-2.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw2.1/board.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw2.1/firmware-5.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA6174/hw2.1/firmware-4.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA9887/hw1.0/board-2.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA9887/hw1.0/board.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA9887/hw1.0/firmware-5.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA988X/hw2.0/board-2.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA988X/hw2.0/board.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA988X/hw2.0/firmware-5.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA988X/hw2.0/firmware-4.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA988X/hw2.0/firmware-3.bin
    firmware: ath10k/QCA988X/hw2.0/firmware-2.bin
    license: Dual BSD/GPL
    description: Driver support for Qualcomm Atheros 802.11ac WLAN PCIe/AHB devices
    author: Qualcomm Atheros
    retpoline: Y
    rhelversion: 7.8
    srcversion: F2D44D2E2282B72418667F7
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd00000050sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd00000042sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd00000046sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd00000056sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd00000040sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd0000003Esv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd00000041sv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    alias: pci:v0000168Cd0000003Csv*sd*bc*sc*i*
    depends: ath10k_core
    intree: Y
    vermagic: 3.10.0-1127.19.1.el7.x86_64 SMP mod_unload modversions
    signer: CentOS Linux kernel signing key
    sig_key: B1:6A:91:CA:C9:D6:51:46:4A:CB:7A:D9:B8:DE:D5:57:CF:1A:CA:27
    sig_hashalgo: sha256
    parm: irq_mode:0: auto, 1: legacy, 2: msi (default: 0) (uint)
    parm: reset_mode:0: auto, 1: warm only (default: 0) (uint)
    It is a problem if the firmware does not work. It won't show up in the IP Settings screen unless you install the testing version of app-network:
    yum update app-network --enablerepo=clearos-updates-testing
    Hang fire for an update to app-wireless-ap. I've just received one from the author and I'll have a look at it tomorrow.
    Hunting round, there is an update for linux-firmware in centos-unverified you could try. I am not sure why it has not worked its way into our repos. I'll investigate.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Thursday, November 12 2020, 05:51 PM - #Permalink
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    RedHat don't work like that. They major on stability so pick on a kernel then back=port patched into it. A while ago the 3.10 kernel was considered to be equivalent to around 4.14. I've no idea what it is.

    If you want something cutting edge, install an ElRepo kernel. They are compatible with ClearOS.

    ClearOS has the ath10k_pci driver. What are your PCI ID's from "lspci -nn".
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