December 7, 2022 — CINLUG Hybrid Meeting On “Libre Wireless Technology”

Central INdiana Linux User Group (CINLUG) will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, December 7th at 18:30 (6:30 PM) EST. We’re ending the year with a real interesting presenter & topic: Debian Contributor John Scott will speak on the state of libre wireless technology in Debian GNU/Linux and lessons that he has learned in building libre firmware from source.

While wireless technology has been around for many years, its use in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) systems has hit bumps around not only developing FOSS Linux kernel modules (i.e. drivers) for it, but also dealing with the (often) proprietary firmware needed for the chipsets. Thankfully, some wireless adapters are well-known for being FOSS-friendly, like the Qualcomm Atheros AR7010, AR9170, and AR9271 chipsets. These boast not only free drivers for Linux and other free operating systems, but free firmware as well. (Currently, almost all GNU/Linux distributions ship pre-built binary firmware blobs.)

John has been maintaining the open-ath9k-htc-firmware — the firmware for the flagship libre USB wireless adapters — and cross toolchains for about 2 years. He was driven to help the former maintainer of this firmware by his passion for Debian’s principles outlined in the Debian Free Software Guidelines. This policy basically states that all free software needs to be built from source. John believes that firmware shouldn’t be any exception.

Come join us at Moser Consulting‘s facility (6220 Castleway West Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46250) for this talk & discussion! (Many thanks to them for allowing us to use their facilities! There will be a phone number at the entrance to call to be let into the building.) In-person attendees will receive a free libre USB wireless adapter!

The meeting will be simultaneously broadcast over Jitsi Meet for those who cannot attend in person. (Though in-person attendance is encouraged.)

CINLUG meetings are the 1st Wednesday of every month. Please be sure to block that night off in your calendar to keep it available!