NOTE: this page is for archival only, see the note at the end of the page.


The libertas driver made its debut in the OLPC XO laptop, where it drives a Marvell 88W83886 USB device. In addition to the USB front-end, the driver now includes support for CompactFlash, SDIO, and GSPI interfaces.

supported chips

  • Marvell 88W8385 CF/SDIO
  • Marvell 88W8388 USB
  • Marvell 88W8686 SDIO/GSPI

available devices

  • AmbiCom WL54CF (CF)

  • SparkLAN WCFM-100 (CF)
  • Pretec CompactWLAN 802.11g CFEWGS
  • prototype boards
  • OLPC laptop


  • station (with limited roaming support)
  • ad-hoc
  • Mesh on USB devices (802.11s like)

related tools

  • lbsdebug
    • Mainly interesting for developers, it allows to switch various debug messages on and of.
  • lbsfwcutter
    • Can extract a firmware out of a binary file.

You can get the source of the tools via

  • git clone git:// tools

device firmware

All devices need firmware, which can be found in the libertas/ directory in the Linux firmware tree.

  • USB
  • CF
    • Get the libertas-tools from above and change into the fwcutter/ directory. Type make. The makefile will download a binary driver, extract the firmware out of it, checks it. Copy the two firmware files libertas_helper.fw and libertas.fw from the fwcutter/ directory into the /lib/firmware/ directory.

  • SDIO
    • Claud Yu got the driver working, using a firmware 8.73.7.p3 (downloaded from The 9.70.3.p18 firmware doesn't support the CMD_802_11_DATA_RATE command that the libertas driver currently needs.
  • GSPI
    • The GSPI firmware is available in the Linux firmware tree. Copy libertas/gspi8686_v9_helper.bin to /lib/firmware/libertas/gspi8686_hlp.bin and libertas/gspi8686_v9.bin to /lib/firmware/libertas/gspi8686.bin.

using the GSPI device

GSPI devices are intended to be used in embedded systems. You must build your kernel with CONFIG_GENERIC_GPIO enabled to use the libertas_spi driver. Add the libertas_spi device to the SPI device tree in your arch/xxx/mach-xxx/boards/xxx.c – that file should include <linux/spi/libertas_spi.h> and define libertas_spi_platform_data. The SPI .bits_per_word should be set to 16 and .mode left at the default.

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additional web sources

This is a static dump of the old wiki, taken after locking it in January 2015. The new wiki is at
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