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wifi card Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8723BE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter
model: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8723BE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter(model id: 1725)
possible other names of the device:
RTL8723BE
vendor:
Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
VendorID:ProductID code of the device:
10ec:b723
year of commercialization:
not-specified
interface:
mini-PCI-E
tested on:
Parabola GNU/Linux
Trisquel 7.0 Belenos
tested with the following kernel libre:
does it work with free software?
no
free driver used:
rtl8723be
Description:

A bit of nuance for this device,

> e.g. '.alt_fw_name = "rtlwifi/rtl8723befw.bin"' then wifi on this device will correctly work

Some cards can ship non-free firmware embedded, using the actual firmware name required by the driver will give the same result as actually providing the firmware.

Due to policies on firmware loading, FSFLA's linux-libre will reject the load of any non-free firmware even provided by the device, on the other hand, Trisquel's kernel policy is to not recommend nor advertise it's use while hands the user the responsibility and technical labor to add load certain firmware if the user chooses to[1].

If this card does not work while running a copy of the linux-libre kernel as distributed by the FSFLA[2], this card should be marked as requiring non-free firmware.

While deciding if a firmware shipped via the ROM device, can be seen as free or non-free due the impossibility to be changed is part of a broader discussion and not necessary for this particular device.

The h-node mailing list [3] or linux-libre mailing list[4], would make a good place for such discussion.

[1] https://gitlab.trisquel.org/trisquel/package-helpers/-/blob/nabia/helpers/DATA/linux/silent-accept-firmware.patch#L1

[2] http://www.fsfla.org/ikiwiki/selibre/linux-libre/

[3] https://lists.nongnu.org/mailman/listinfo/h-source-users

[4] http://www.fsfla.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/linux-libre

---

Worked on Parabola/Linux-libre, module was loaded without the firmware blob and it just worked. In the module source the path to firmware binary can be dummy. It only takes a bit longer to connect/search. Needs adaptation in source.

Previous description about Trisquel: Non-free firmware is required.

More info:
  • https://wiki.debian.org/rtl819x
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RTL8723AE

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