Workaround intel wifi without install proprietary firmware

I am new in the forum because I am new to PureOS. I installed it as second OS on my Slimbook Essential 14, because of the policy to not put in proprietary software. Naturally I had trouble with the intel wifi installed on the slimbook. Sharing at 100% the policy of PureOS i did not follow the forum proposals to install the intel wifi firmware but searched for an alternative. Certainly, there is the ethernet alternative with the ethernet port of the slimbook. This alternative is nice and i use it at home where i prefer ethernet to wifi. But what when I am out or at work with only wifi possibilities?
My workaround: I connect my fairphone to the wifi and with usb-tethering to the computer. It works fine and I can continue without installing proprietary firmware.


Other possibilities might be:

  • A USB dongle that gives you a WiFi client device, providing that the device does not itself require firmware.
  • A bridge that associates with the WiFi and bridges it to an ethernet port (to which you then connect your laptop) - this is not a million miles away from what you are already doing except the bridge is simpler, could be cheaper than a phone and will probably give better performance (but could be painful to power).
  • Replace the Intel WiFi with one that works ‘properly’, if that is even an option with that laptop.

but I wouldn’t be able to suggest specific hardware in either case.


Thank you very much for your answer. Certainly the bridge is cheaper and in the past I used it for other reasons. But the cellphone is everytime with me.
The third proposal is interesting, because I think that the next time i buy a computer i will pay more attention to the components preferring computers working without proprietary firmware.


It should be easy to replace the internal wifi card for one that works without proprietary firmware. A wireless card like the Atheros QCNFA222 can be bought for less than $10 on ebay and can be run without proprietary firmware or drivers. Should be compatible with your laptop if i look at the replacement parts that the manufacturer provides for this laptop (which all require proprietary firmware btw, but have the same form factor).

I think its an odd choice to depend on an external device that uses proprietary firmware and drivers to be able to connect to wifi and connecting that to your free machine with USB to achieve ‘freedom’. But whatever works for you.

Yes. I think this is the way I can go for the future. And thank you for the tip of atheros. For now, working the most time at home I work with Ethernet.
The idea of using my phone came out because generally I prefer my phone as hotspot (even over USB) … Than other hotspots … I have 100gb at month … And only when I am in an trusted WiFi I use the teal workaround to bridge from WiFi to USB

Here is a link for the freedom-respecting hardware:

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