New User - Locating and installing Device Drivers in Debian-based Q4OS

HAL_2000

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Hello Experienced Linux users,

Fairly new to Linux, and trying to revive some older hardware for donations. Up until now, I've been reviving older and RAM-restricted computers by installing Ubuntu-derived Lubuntu, Linux Lite and LXLE. In those distros, wireless drivers, sound, video and webcam drivers are automatically identified and loaded in the first install process.

What sets Debian-derived Q4OS apart is how fast and light it is (I am using a machine with less than one gig of RAM to write this post) and how excellently and easily it can be made to look like Windows (e.g. XPQ4, or FreeXP).

The trade-off, especially for one not terribly familiar with Terminal command strings and "compiling" Debian drivers, is the difficulty in locating and installing device drivers.

I have done some searching for my own part, but some clarification would be greatly appreciated.

Beginner tips for installation and basic configuration.


Four Ways to Install DEB Files - WikiHow


The specifics of the hardware and software connected with this question as are follows:

Software / OS = Q4OS->XPQ4 - 32 bit.

Hardware = Sony Vaio PCG-FRV26 = 2.8 GHz P4 CPU, 893Mi RAM.

[I have tried upgrading the memory to at least 1024Mi to 2GB, but no joy. Machine will not recognize RAM above 893Mi.]


Hardware needing drivers = PCMCIA Wireless G card, Linksys WPC54G-2..


I *do* understand that Debian device drivers are often found in repositories and downloaded in the form of .deb files.

It's the "compiling" of drivers that has me mystified.

ASSISTANCE REQUESTED:


Plain English explanation on how to "compile" a Debian driver.

In the alternative, how to use Synaptic or Package Installers to achieve the same objective.

Thanks!


ADDENDUM: I've got the initial install of XPQ4 running okay, with a USB WLAN dongle (kinda clunky for a laptop), and have been using the baked-in application installer that spawns automatically until I ultimately dismiss it permanently.

PROBLEM: I don't see the provision for adding a lightweight File Manager like Dolphin. Since the machine is already themed for Windows XP, I'm looking for a lightweight file manager that functions reasonably equivalent as -- well -- (the Windows XP) File Manager.
 


wizardfromoz

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Plain English explanation on how to "compile" a Debian driver.
HAL, plain as they come is - you do not need to.

If you apply that article above on how to install DEBs - once any of those methods is completed, the driver is installed and ready to use.

Am I missing something here? (wouldn't be the first time, nor likely the last :p)

Wiz
 

HAL_2000

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Well yes. I checked the WAYBACK link to the driver, but it's no longer a functional ftp link.

What other way to find a driver. I have been looking and the driver well appears to be dry.

I have been reading of a "wrapper" Linux app, which appears to take a Windows driver and adapt it to Linux.

As far as other instructions, still not clear.
 

Tolkem

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Well yes. I checked the WAYBACK link to the driver, but it's no longer a functional ftp link.

What other way to find a driver. I have been looking and the driver well appears to be dry.

I have been reading of a "wrapper" Linux app, which appears to take a Windows driver and adapt it to Linux.

As far as other instructions, still not clear.
I did a little research on that particular piece of hardware of yours and it seems there isn't really a "Linux driver" per se since the manufacturer never released the code, read here https://community.linksys.com/t5/Wireless-Adapters/Linux-Drivers/m-p/27014 for example, however, some people reported that installing the firmaware-b43-installer work for them, I just checked in Q4OS and the package is in the repos so you might try that and see if it works for you too. To install it, open a terminal and type
Code:
sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer
hit enter, type in your passsword when asked, hit enter again and wait till it finishes, maybe you'll need to reboot the system so do that and on start check if you can use the wireless connection. If it doesn't, you might consider using a USB wireless adapter.
 

Vrai

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Hello Experienced Linux users,

Fairly new to Linux, and trying to revive some older hardware for donations. Up until now, I've been reviving older and RAM-restricted computers by installing Ubuntu-derived Lubuntu, Linux Lite and LXLE. In those distros, wireless drivers, sound, video and webcam drivers are automatically identified and loaded in the first install process.

What sets Debian-derived Q4OS apart is how fast and light it is (I am using a machine with less than one gig of RAM to write this post) and how excellently and easily it can be made to look like Windows (e.g. XPQ4, or FreeXP).

The trade-off, especially for one not terribly familiar with Terminal command strings and "compiling" Debian drivers, is the difficulty in locating and installing device drivers.

I have done some searching for my own part, but some clarification would be greatly appreciated.

Beginner tips for installation and basic configuration.


Four Ways to Install DEB Files - WikiHow


The specifics of the hardware and software connected with this question as are follows:

Software / OS = Q4OS->XPQ4 - 32 bit.

Hardware = Sony Vaio PCG-FRV26 = 2.8 GHz P4 CPU, 893Mi RAM.

[I have tried upgrading the memory to at least 1024Mi to 2GB, but no joy. Machine will not recognize RAM above 893Mi.]


Hardware needing drivers = PCMCIA Wireless G card, Linksys WPC54G-2..


I *do* understand that Debian device drivers are often found in repositories and downloaded in the form of .deb files.

It's the "compiling" of drivers that has me mystified.

ASSISTANCE REQUESTED:


Plain English explanation on how to "compile" a Debian driver.

In the alternative, how to use Synaptic or Package Installers to achieve the same objective.

Thanks!


ADDENDUM: I've got the initial install of XPQ4 running okay, with a USB WLAN dongle (kinda clunky for a laptop), and have been using the baked-in application installer that spawns automatically until I ultimately dismiss it permanently.

PROBLEM: I don't see the provision for adding a lightweight File Manager like Dolphin. Since the machine is already themed for Windows XP, I'm looking for a lightweight file manager that functions reasonably equivalent as -- well -- (the Windows XP) File Manager.
".deb" files should not need to be 'compiled'. Try using "Gdebi" for installing those.

If you do have source code which needs to be compiled - this may help (can't recall where I found it but I saved it - "just in case")

navigate to the location of the tarball


double-click it, and extract it contents


find a file that is called "INSTALL" or "README"


should find directions on how to install
and what the dependencies are


check to see if you have the dependencies installed


in the extracted directory and select File > Open in Terminal, and there run:


Code: Select all


./configure
make
sudo make install



If you install it thus, you can't uninstall the program from the Software Manager.


first install the program checkinstall (sudo apt-get install checkinstall)


will allow you to uninstall tarballs from the Software Manager


Replace the last "sudo make install" of the instructions with the following to add an uninstallation option in the Software Manager:


Code: Select all


sudo checkinstall


For compiling to work build-essential must be installed. Install it from Software Manager or with apt install build-essential.


Most compilation instructions will say to run the command sudo make install to install the software after compiling. You should instead use the command sudo checkinstall. That does the same thing but will make the software and its files known to your package managers (e.g. Software Manager and apt ) so that you can easily remove the software or replace it with a newer version. For this you will first have to install checkinstall. Install it from Software Manager or with the command: apt install checkinstall.
Also, this Linux Mint forum post may be helpful:
If you compile - remember build-essential and checkinstall
 

HAL_2000

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Thank you @Tolkem, this is *exactly* what I needed. That is to say, a basic explanation of what operations were taking place and the names of the software in question. This is a huge issue in Windows to Linux migration. When rendering assistance, Linux users assume that the Windows user has knowledge of how to implement the instructions.

Thus, by adding the Terminal cheat code, that assistance was excellent. Not just what, but HOW.

Outstanding. Thank you.

And #Vrai, thank you as well for the same reason.
 

HAL_2000

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@Tolkem, all,

After Action Report:

I called up Terminal and pasted in the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer


Terminal produced the following:


Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
libfm-data libfm-extra4 libfm-gtk-data libfm-gtk4 libfm-modules
libfm4 libmenu-cache-bin libmenu-cache3 lxmenu-data
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following additional packages will be installed:
b43-fwcutter
The following NEW packages will be installed:
b43-fwcutter firmware-b43-installer
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 40.2 kB of archives.
After this operation, 116 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Err:1 http://ftp.debian.org/debian buster/contrib i386 b43-fwcutter i386 1:019-4
Temporary failure resolving 'ftp.debian.org'
Err:2 http://ftp.debian.org/debian buster/contrib i386 firmware-b43-installer all 1:019-4
Temporary failure resolving 'ftp.debian.org'
E: Failed to fetch http://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/b43-fwcutter_019-4_i386.deb Temporary failure resolving 'ftp.debian.org'
E: Failed to fetch http://ftp.debian.org/debian/pool/contrib/b/b43-fwcutter/firmware-b43-installer_019-4_all.deb Temporary failure resolving 'ftp.debian.org'
E: Unable to fetch some archives, maybe run apt-get update or try with --fix-missing?


Not exactly a catastrophic failure on the launch pad, but, like a full baby spitting out her Gerbers, Terminal did not accept the above-mentioned command.

What can we do now as an alternative?

TIA
 

Tolkem

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Not exactly a catastrophic failure on the launch pad, but, like a full baby spitting out her Gerbers, Terminal did not accept the above-mentioned command.
Try gain. The Temporary failure resolving 'ftp.debian.org' error means the server was probably down at that moment or there was a problem with your internet connection.
 

HAL_2000

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@Vrai,

Thanks, first off, for all that effort you put into explaining how I should handle driver installations via tarballs. I noted in particular about what you said about not being able to uninstall an application if I did not have checkinstall present.

Perhaps I missed something, but after loading the install checkinstall command in terminal...

sudo apt-get install checkinstall

... this is what terminal said in response...

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package checkinstall


Granted, I was first attempting Tolkem's method of locating and installing the LinkSys PCMCIA driver from debian.org first. That did not work for me.

I did not go through all the steps you listed in your instructions but surmised that checkinstall might be its own, standalone application, and based upon what you said, thought it would be a very handy application to install.

If it requires all the other commands (which you provided in your instructions) for it to be present then I can understand why Linux could not find it to load. I just tried installing checkinstall by itself.

Yours thoughts?

Many thanks in advance.
 

HAL_2000

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That makes sense. The external USB WLAN adapter connection is, in technical terms, quite hinky and keeps disconnecting itself. Evidently, it's a feature not a glitch.

I will try again.

Thanks.

==================
Edit: I did retry and apparently it DID connect with Debian repo and DID download a whole bunch of code. I will now log off, reboot, pull out the external USB WLAN dongle and see if the PCMCIA WLAN is recognized and takes over.

Wish me luck!

==================
Edit: Part Deux

No joy.

I tried rebooting, pulling out the external USB WLAN dongle.

The PCMCIA has not yet been recognized and taken over the task of wireless internet connection. And yet Terminal appeared to have reached Debian.org and loaded the software that the device needed.

My objective is to get the PCMCIA wireless-G card working, get a laptop webcam working (Logitech V-UAV35), perhaps load a couple more applications, add a README file for the donees to understand a little about the machine and Linux when they get it, and turn it over to the pastor for shipment.

So thanks for helping me get these devices sorted out, at least just the wireless PCMCIA (LinkSys WPC54G-2).
 
Last edited:

Tolkem

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Edit: I did retry and apparently it DID connect with Debian repo and DID download a whole bunch of code. I will now log off, reboot, pull out the external USB WLAN dongle and see if the PCMCIA WLAN is recognized and takes over.
Well, technically speaking apt won't download "a bunch of code" but .deb packages to install. Open a terminal and type
Code:
dpkg --list | grep firmware-b43-installer
hit enter and copy/paste the output here. This is just to confirm that the package has been properly installed.
 
Last edited:

HAL_2000

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It's been a busy, little-time-for-Linux day. Also, I had tried loading Xfce as a desktop which was very different from the XPQ4 desktop. I've had to nuke that install and reinstall Q4OS. I did install things like Synaptic and VLC.

I am curious to find out what those terminal commands will disclose when I get back to the Linux testbed.


Lastly, you're telling me that the expression 'a bunch of code' isn't a technical term of art?

[/grin]
 

Tolkem

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Lastly, you're telling me that the expression 'a bunch of code' isn't a technical term of art?
Maybe it is, I'm not an art critic ;) jokes apart, what I meant is that when you run in a terminal
Code:
sudo apt-get install package
where "package" is some app/software you want to install, apt, which is the tool designed and created to manage the download, installation, removal and many other packages related processes in Debian/Ubuntu based distros, will download and install the package.deb file and any other packages.deb as required, not "a bunch of code", otherwise there wouldn't be any need for any package manager since this is what they do; ease the packages install/removal process in Linux distros/systems so people/users don't have to deal with "a bunch of code" but simply run some commands and let the package manager tool handle that tedious and time consuming task for them, capisci? ;) Since you're planning on using Q4OS which is a Debian based distro, maybe you should familiarize a bit with some basic concepts and processes. Read https://wiki.debian.org/AptCLI and here https://wiki.debian.org/DebianPackageManagement
 

HAL_2000

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Open a terminal and type
Code:
dpkg --list | grep firmware-b43-installer
hit enter and copy/paste the output here.
Finally got to try that. And this is odd. Opened terminal. Cut and pasted your code. Terminal did not even ask for the password, but just did a blank carriage return, save for the directory/cursor.

EDIT: Okay, tried the code suggested above and after the Debian package was reinstalled, cut and pasted the most recent Terminal Command suggested and this was the result:

==========================
dpkg --list | grep firmware-b43-installer
ii firmware-b43-installer 1:019-4
==========================

Your thoughts?

BTW - thanks for the assistance and the links.

Otherwise, the desktop is coming along nicely.
 

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Tolkem

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Finally got to try that. And this is odd. Opened terminal. Cut and pasted your code. Terminal did not even ask for the password, but just did a blank carriage return, save for the directory/cursor.

EDIT: Okay, tried the code suggested above and after the Debian package was reinstalled, cut and pasted the most recent Terminal Command suggested and this was the result:
==========================
dpkg --list | grep firmware-b43-installer
ii firmware-b43-installer 1:019-4
==========================

Your thoughts?

BTW - thanks for the assistance and the links.

Otherwise, the desktop is coming along nicely.
It didn't ask for a password because it wasn't needed. You need a password if using sudo otherwise you're good to go. Looks like the firmware didn't install the first time, which I suspected as much by reading your post on that and that's why I asked you to run that command and check whether it'd been installed or not. The second time it installed properly. Nice job! :) Now, you could apply what the guy in the Q4OS forum https://www.q4os.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3123 nicely explained you how to do, which frankly looks like your best bet to get your wireless card working. No problem, glad to help whenever possible :)
 

HAL_2000

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Okay, @Tolkem , I just want to keep you in the loop on my progress, since you've evidently seen my parallel effort in the Q4OS forum, where user bin is providing guidance.

I suspect that I am *almost* there. Additionally, I successfully used SYNAPTIC for the first time, in this instance, for installing the DOLPHIN file manager, which is now on the desktop.

Also, the 3 files bin suggested that I would need containing the drivers for the Linksys PCMCIA wireless card are in fact, on the harddrive. As you've noted above, the Debian package for that card is installed.

"bin" has mentioned that "You may need to fiddle with /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf" but of course, I have asked him to be a little more clear as to what that means.

Almost there!
 

Tolkem

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"bin" has mentioned that "You may need to fiddle with /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf" but of course, I have asked him to be a little more clear as to what that means.
Bin said
If the card is going to 'just work' then you should see it in the TDE Network utility.
If there are no lights on the end of the card then the next step is to open Konsole and do sudo modprobe -r b43 then sudo modprobe b43.
If it still doesn't light up then you need to (re)install the b43 bits I have mentioned, reboot and see what happens - again it may still need the modprobe commands to get going.
what I get from that is that if you keep on getting no wifi after installing those packages, you should check that file; blacklist.conf. I just checked in Q4OS and that file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf does not exist, at least not here but I'm using KDE so not sure it is in the TDE version. If you're on TDE you can check by opening a terminal and typing
Code:
nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
after confirming whether it exists or not you may or may not need to edit it, depending on whether your wifi card is working or not. So you might want to do that before going any further.
 

HAL_2000

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So THAT's what fiddling means.

Okay.

On a different machine at the moment. Will try your suggestions when I get back to the shop and report back.

This is interesting.
 


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