lshw -C network gives info about my wireless card, driver, and firmware:

       description: Wireless interface
       product: PRO/Wireless 5100 AGN [Shiloh] Network Connection
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
       logical name: wlan0
       version: 00
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwlwifi driverversion=3.16.0-34-generic firmware= build 33692 ip= latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abg
       resources: irq:49 memory:f4200000-f4201fff

modinfo gives information about the driver module iwlwifi and firmwares:

$ modinfo iwlwifi
filename:       /lib/modules/3.16.0-34-generic/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/iwlwifi/iwlwifi.ko
license:        GPL
author:         Copyright(c) 2003- 2014 Intel Corporation <ilw@linux.intel.com>
version:        in-tree:
description:    Intel(R) Wireless WiFi driver for Linux
firmware:       iwlwifi-100-5.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-1000-5.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-135-6.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-105-6.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-2030-6.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-2000-6.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-5150-2.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-5000-5.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-6000g2b-6.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-6000g2a-5.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-6050-5.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-6000-4.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-7265-9.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-3160-9.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-7260-9.ucode
firmware:       iwlwifi-8000-8.ucode
srcversion:     93D664267873827B22C4309
  1. About the driver module:

    Is the version of iwlwifi

    • 3.16.0-34-generic as output by lshw -C network, or
    • in-tree: as output by modinfo iwlwifi, or
    • 93D664267873827B22C4309 as output by modinfo iwlwifi?

    Where can I find the latest available version of iwlwifi and how to install it on 64-bit Ubuntu 14.04?

  2. About the firmware(s):

    Is the version of the firmware which iwlwifi needs

    • build 33692 as output by lshw -C network, or
    • iwlwifi-<digit>.ucode as output by modinfo iwlwifi?

    Are the line started with firmware in the output of modinfo iwlwifi

    • different versions of the same firmware? Or
    • different firmwares?

    Where can I find the latest available version of the firmwares, and how to install them on 64-bit Ubuntu 14.04?



Although you say you are running 14.04, your 3.16.0-xx kernel corresponds to Ubuntu 14.10.

The driver iwlwifi is somewhat unique in that the pci.id, for instance 8086:4239, tells the driver the exact device and calls the appropriate firmware for the device in question.

I suspect the version: In tree means that the version is what was included in the related kernel, in your case, 3.16.

Here is where the firmware is available: https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/iwlwifi Your card loads which corresponds to the firmware for an Intel 5100, 5300 or 5350. If you found an earlier or later firmware file and placed it in /lib/firmware, the driver is still going to call and use the same firmware it is written to use.

As you see, the firmware for your device is available in three versions; the 5.4.A.11 extracts to iwlwifi-5000-1.ucode; to 5000-2 and to 5000-5. While it is perfectly possible to download and extract these and place them where the driver expects to find them, namely /lib/firmware, the driver iwlwifi included in kernel version 3.16 is going to call and use only the appropriate firmware file: iwlwifi-5000-5.ucode.

As for the differences, I am unable to locate any change log. I assume each succeeding firmware version incorporates improvements and/or bug fixes.

As for the drivers, the usual way to get a later driver is to compile backports: https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/backports/stable/ Or, if you are brave: https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/backports/2015/03/13/

If, for example, you wanted to compile the iwlwifi driver corresponding to the later 3.18.1 kernel, download this to your desktop, right-click it and select 'Extract Here': https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/backports/stable/v3.18.1/backports-3.18.1-1.tar.xz Then, in a terminal:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic build-essential
cd ~/Desktop/backports-3.18.1
make defconfig-iwlwifi
sudo make install

Reboot and check the version with modinfo. It should read:

version: backported from Linux (v3.18.1-0-g39ca484) using backports v3.18.1-1-0-g5e9ec4c

Each time a later linux-image is installed, recompile and reboot.

I suspect, given your symptoms, that the difficulty is unrelated to iwlwifi and its firmware. You might check the log, specifically /var/log/syslog, at the time the drops occur.

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  • Thanks. (1) cat /etc/*release* says DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS". $ uname -a says Linux ocean 3.16.0-34-generic #45~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Tue Mar 24 11:14:29 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux. Can it have a 3.16.0-xx Linux kernel? (2) is the version of iwlwifi same as the version of the linux kernel? (3) What does "5" mean in "iwlwifi-5000-5.ucode" in the output of modinfo iwlwifi? Is it not the firmware version, right? – Tim Apr 14 '15 at 2:12
  • (4) In your fimrware link, can any of the three iwlwifi-5000-ucode-5.4.A.11.tar.gz, iwlwifi-5000-ucode-, and iwlwifi-5000-ucode- work with my wireless adapter? What are their differences then? (5) I would like to know how to get a later driver. (6) Yes, my wireless interface became disabled after a while (a few hours or a day) after each restart. Often my wired interface and an external non-intel wireless adapter also became disabled at the same time. – Tim Apr 14 '15 at 2:15
  • I will edit my answer to answer these questions. If your ethernet and an external wireless device also exhibit the same symptoms, I strongly doubt this is an iwlwifi and firmware issue. – chili555 Apr 14 '15 at 12:57

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