Libertas driver

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The libertas driver is a collection of modules providing support for Marvell Technology Group's Libertas chipsets. On this page we will only detail the setup of the driver for the SDIO interface modules compatible with 88w8686 chipset, used for example on the APF27's wireless extension board, the APF51Dev or on APF27_PPS devt board.

The Linux drivers are available since 2.6.24 kernel, thanks to the community effort to rewrite Marvell's proprietary drivers.


  • Libertas drivers are already installed on your rootfs (if you built it with an APF27/PPS/APF51 as target). If not, it's explained here.
  • The drivers require 2 proprietary firmwares to be loaded in the chip before use. If not already present in /lib/firmware/, here is the procedure to follow:

Firmware installation

  • This is done by default on APF51. For manual installation, please see here
$ make menuconfig
Target packages  --->
    Hardware handling  --->
        Firmware  --->
            [*]   linux-firmware  --->
                WiFi firmwares  --->
                    [*] Libertas SD 8686 v9
$ make
  • reflash your rootfs


  • Load driver:
# modprobe libertas_sdio
lib80211: common routines for IEEE802.11 drivers
libertas_sdio: Libertas SDIO driver
libertas_sdio: Copyright Pierre Ossman
libertas_sdio mmc1:0001:1: firmware: requesting sd8686_helper.bin
libertas_sdio mmc1:0001:1: firmware: requesting sd8686.bin
libertas: 00:19:88:11:2d:b8, fw 0.70.8p0, cap 0x00000000
eth1 (libertas_sdio): not using net_device_ops yet
libertas: eth1: Marvell WLAN 802.11 adapter

If it's not working, you can activate debug like this to report your problem:

# modprobe libertas libertas_debug=0xffffffff
# modprobe libertas_sdio
  • Bring up the corresponding network interface:
# ifconfig eth1 up
ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): eth1: link is not ready

Going further