firmware hotplug kernel 2.6.15 ?

Andrew Benton b3nt at
Sat Jan 7 15:06:24 PST 2006

Dr. Edgar Alwers wrote:
> I am trying to put in operation an Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG WLAN centrino 
> laptop. I did compile a 2.6.15 kernel, which is supposed to support WLAN.
> So far, I also downloaded the firmware ipw2200-fw-2.4 from Intel, and here my 
> problem starts: I did unpack the firmware ipw2200-fw-2.4  in /etc/firmware, 
> as the documentation of  kernel 2.6.15 says, but  during the boot process I 
> get a "ipw-2.4-boot.fw load failed. Reason -2" message. Googling this message 
> tells me, that the firmware is probably not placed  in the right directory.
> Well, I put the firmware 
> in  /lib/firmware,  /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware,  /etc/firmware etc. etc., 
> withouth results.

/lib/firmware is the correct folder

> Obviously  I have a hotplug-problem. Can someone tell me,  where does the 
> kernel 2.6.15 look for firmware ? What is a "firmware.agent" 

firmware.agent is a script in /etc/hotplug that is called in response to 
a hotplug event when the kernel calls for firmware

> I am reading
> from some distributions, is there something similar available for scratch ?  
> I am struggling with my wireless laptop on linux, but, very sad to say, it is 
> working fine on windows.
> Help very appreciated !
> Edgar

Did you compile the driver for your wireless card into the kernel? If 
it's compiled into the kernel it could ask for the firmware before the 
root file system is mounted. That may be why it is unable to find the 
firmware. Try compiling it as a module. If /lib/modules is readable, 
/lib/firmware should be readable.

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