MacBook Pro doesn't boot after installing broadcom-wl

Hi everyone.

I am new to Fedora and wanted to give it a try on an old MacBook Pro I use for these kinds of things.

Before Fedora, I had EndeavourOS (from Arch Linux) installed and that worked well, although there also I had to make a great effort to get my Wi-Fi card working (and Nvidia drivers always made it crash, so I didn’t bother with those anymore).

Anyways, I wanted to try out Fedora and here I am. My Wi-Fi wasn’t working and I found that I had to install the RPM Fusion Free/Nonfree packages in order to download and install kmod-wl and/or broadcom-wl, which I did.

After I installed broadcom-wl the first time I couldn’t boot. Tried the same with kmod-wl and then couldn’t boot either (I saw while installing that broadcom-wl was installed also). I get the following message:

You are in emergency mode. After logging in, type “journalctl -xb” to view system logs, “systemctl reboot” to reboot, “systemctl default” or “exit” to boot into default mode.
Cannot open access to console, the root account is locked.
See sulogin(8) man page for more details.
Press enter to continue.

Has anyone any answers to this? Or is my MacBook generally unsuited for Linux?

You might try to remove kmod-wl then install akmod-wl so the system builds the module itself.

As you can tell, by default, the root account has no password assigned and is locked. That can be fixed by booting normally then use sudo passwd root to assign a password to the root account so users can then log in to the emergency mode.

If unable to boot to normal mode but you do get the grub menu the user can use e to edit the grub info and on the line that begins with linux remove the rhgb quiet and add init=/bin/bash and then continue booting with ctrl-X. After booting the system should be in text mode, single user, as root and recovery can be attempted from there. (including adding a passwd to the root account if desired.)

AFAICT the Workstation edition is the only spin of fedora that does not give the user an opportunity to assign a password to the root account during install.

kmod=wl from rpmfusion is a meta packages which pulls in akmod-wl. By itself kmod-wl contains no files. Also note that broadcom-wl pulls in akmod-wl.

Is it possible that the boot problem has nothing to do with the Breadcom module and is caused be a malformed option line in the generated /boot/loader/entries/*conf? That has plagued a lot of users lately and is cause by a series of grub2 updates containing various bugs. The latest grub2 is as far as I know works properly.

Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your response. I actually tried the same after I first activated the root password, but the load screen remains the same, apart from that sentence that the root account is blocked.

So maybe for clarification:
I downloaded the Fedora ISO and used the program from Fedora to make a bootable USB. I install Fedora and Fedora starts up just fine. However, I have no internet connection. In fact, it says there is no Wi-Fi adapter. Some searching online made me aware that the Broadcom driver is not installed.

In any of the ways that I try to install that broadcom-wl (with or without the kmod), it installs a whole lot of other things as well and after the install and I reboot, I keep getting stuck with the abovementioned screen.

So is it possible that the broadcom driver itself corrupts something?

So if broadcom-wl pulls in akmod-wl, does that mean that by installing broadcom-wl I don’t need to install kmod/akmod before? And if so (see my answer to Jeff), does that mean something else is the matter?

Is it possible my laptop is too old to have the broadcom driver working?

Hi everyone,

Also, I would like to thank everyone here who is actively trying to help me. I am really fed up with both MacOS and Windows and loved Linux in the past. I am very willing to learn everything I can, but I am really desperate because this happens every time I try to do something with Linux on this laptop.

And I am also aware that for Linux to work properly, I should have a machine without Intel/Nvidia/Broadcom, but that is not an option for me at the moment. So thank you again!

That is correct. The bunch of other struff that also got installed are the C compiler with its dependencies, the kernel-devel package, and other -devel packages required to build the broadcom module.

Run rpm -qa kmod-wl\* to see if the broadcom module got installed. I guess that the Mac system does not do secure boot, so that would not be an issue. It would be otherwise.
How did you install all that without internet connection?

I used my phone with a bluetooth cable to download RPM Fusion Free and Nonfree and then via the terminal I entered:

sudo dnf install broadcom-wl (first try)
sudo dnf install kmod-wl (second try, that automatically also downloaded the broadcom-wl and a bunch of other stuff).

Please also note that I am doing this on a clean install and because every time I get that weird login thing, I can only reinstall Fedora every time it is corrupted after the broadcom install.

That also means by the way that I can’t run anything like that rpm -qa kmod-wl* to check, because I can’t actually get into that system after I installed the driver.

Usually there would be some text before the “You are in emergency mode” nessage hinting at what went wrong,

Cat you boot the rescue entri in the grub2 menu?