Pinebook Pro - macchanger not working

Hello all,

I've been using manjaro for some time now and I like it on the Pinebook Pro. Recently I installed manjaro-arm-installer on my x86-64 laptop and wrote it to my eMMC and installed it on my Pinebook Pro. Everything works for me and I'm super happy with the luks encryption support but macchanger won't work on my Pinebook Pro. For example this is the output when trying to randomize my MAC with:

sudo macchanger -r wlan0
Current MAC: XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX (unknown)
Permanent MAC: XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX (unknown)
[ERROR] Could not change MAC: interface up or insufficient permissions: Invalid exchange

I did not post my MAC here so I replaced it with XX:XX... I had no problems changing my MAC with macchanger using the eMMC/SD image from Pinebook Pro official Wiki. I've tried taking down my device which is wlan0 but still no success. This is not my first time troubleshooting macchanger but I never had this problem before so why is this happening when using the manjaro-arm-installer? Firmware issue? I've tried reinstalling the ap6256 wifi/bt module but it's not working either.

I'm not sure if this helps but I'm using the 5.7.8-1-MANJARO-ARM kernel and linux-aarch64 5.7.8-1 + linux-aarch64-headers. I've tried replacing them with the linux-pinebookpro but the same issues occurs when trying to spoof my MAC with macchanger. Macchanger is not working at all basically.

Here is the output using ethtool if it helps:

ethtool -i wlan0
driver: brcmfmac
version: 7.45.96
firmware-version: es7.c5.n4.a3
bus-info: mmc0:0001:1
supports-statistics: no
supports-test: no
supports-eeprom-access: no
supports-register-dump: no
supports-priv-flags: no

This is my second post here so I'm sorry if i posted this in the wrong category. I've been searching around for hours now and I think I'm not experienced enough to solve this, any help is much appreciated. Thanks all and I'm super happy with the hard work behind Pine64 and manjaro. Cheers!

Thanks you for your kind words.

I doubt that the macchanger will work as not all wifi firmware supports that.

I have checked it with our kernel dev and it is confirmed that the current firmware doesn't support changing mac address, this is the latest firmware for this wifi chip so maybe you need to try with other firmware file to see if it works.

Good luck and report back if you get it change.

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Thanks @spikerguy for confirming this for me. I've been looking for other firmware files but no luck so far. I can't remember the firmware version I was using before when it worked hehe. I will report back if I find a solution. Have a good one!

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I found the older version (ap6256-firmware-2020.01-1). Wifi 5Ghz seems ok so far and macchanger now works. Cheers!

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Had trouble with non valid OUI's for one card (the first 3 section prefix of mac address) wrote a script to generate/change only to valid OUI's and suddenly it accepted mac changes.

I guess some newer firmware is messing with mac changing. Good to see what looks like confirmation.


Yes this is an old version where it works, can you share the link of the file for me to test?

Thank you.

Hey, yes I found this on pine64 forum:

It's post #5 you are looking for. Sorry I was afk for some days.


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