An interesting thing while installing WiFi card

Questions about hardware, drivers and peripherals.
In the Original Post please also include the output of inxi -Fzx
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ScottQuier
Posts: 1781
Joined: 18 Jul 2013 15:55
Location: Newport News, VA

An interesting thing while installing WiFi card

Postby ScottQuier » 04 Mar 2018 22:06

Because of changes in my home, I needed to install and get working a WiFi card for my desktop computer. Did some research and discovered that this card, ASUS Wi-Fi PCI Express Adapter (PCE-AC56) was claimed to work in Linux, specifically Debian. Great, ordered it and installed it.....

Long story-short, I had to

Code: Select all

$ sudo apt-get install --reinstall broadcom-sta-dkms
in order to get the card working.

The $64,000 question is, "Why did I have to reinstall that package to get the card working when it was already installed by the distribution installer?"

Any insight into this will be greatly appreciated! TIA

Here's the H/W spec

Code: Select all

scott@blackbox:~$ lspci | grep Wire
05:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Limited BCM4352 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter (rev 03)
scott@blackbox:~$ inxi -Fzxx
System:    Host: blackbox Kernel: 4.9.0-6-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 6.3.0)
           Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.8.6 (Qt 5.7.1) dm: lightdm Distro: SolydXK
Machine:   Device: desktop Mobo: ASUSTeK model: SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 v: Rev 1.xx
           BIOS: American Megatrends v: 2501 date: 04/08/2014
CPU:       Octa core AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core (-MCP-) cache: 16384 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 sse4a ssse3 svm) bmips: 56191
           clock speeds: max: 3511 MHz 1: 3511 MHz 2: 3511 MHz 3: 3511 MHz 4: 3511 MHz 5: 3511 MHz 6: 3511 MHz
           7: 3511 MHz 8: 3511 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GF106 [GeForce GTS 450] bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:0dc4
           Display Server: X.Org 1.19.2 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1600x1200@60.00hz, 1600x1200@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on NVC3 GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 13.0.6 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 NVIDIA GF106 High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1 chip-ID: 10de:0be9
           Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2 chip-ID: 1002:4383
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.9.0-6-amd64
Network:   Card-1: Broadcom Limited BCM4352 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter
           driver: wl bus-ID: 05:00.0 chip-ID: 14e4:43b1
           IF: wlp5s0 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: b000 bus-ID: 0a:00.0 chip-ID: 10ec:8168
           IF: enp10s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 820.2GB (47.7% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST320DM000 size: 320.1GB serial: Z3TT0ZD9
           ID-2: USB /dev/sdf model: Corp. size: 500.1GB serial: 762J9TLKS
Partition: ID-1: / size: 30G used: 7.1G (26%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
           ID-2: /home size: 249G used: 121G (52%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda3
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 17.18GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda1
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 13.9C mobo: N/A gpu: 34.0
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 0
Info:      Processes: 242 Uptime: 8 min Memory: 1253.3/15949.3MB
           Init: systemd v: 232 runlevel: 5 default: 2 Gcc sys: 6.3.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.121 running in konsole) inxi: 2.3.5 
Scott
Quoting zerozero, "The usage of PPA's in debian-based
systems is risky at best and entails serious compatibility
problems; usually it's the best way to destroy an install"

User avatar
ScottQuier
Posts: 1781
Joined: 18 Jul 2013 15:55
Location: Newport News, VA

Re: An interesting thing while installing WiFi card

Postby ScottQuier » 05 Mar 2018 17:19

Strangely enough, I did another (fresh) install on a different partition (same machine) with the WiFi card installed.

I always run the installer from a CLI and I noticed that the SolydK installer installed the broadcom-sta-dkms package automagically. On a reboot after the install, the WiFi card just magically started working. I had to install the network widget but that was trivial.
Scott
Quoting zerozero, "The usage of PPA's in debian-based
systems is risky at best and entails serious compatibility
problems; usually it's the best way to destroy an install"

kurotsugi
Posts: 2221
Joined: 09 Jan 2014 00:17

Re: An interesting thing while installing WiFi card

Postby kurotsugi » 06 Mar 2018 01:32

that's because the package isn't the actual driver. it actually just the installer. it detect the hardware, download the driver from broadcomm server, then install/compile the driver. broadcomm is using propietary driver so the actual driver is never stored in the repo.

User avatar
ScottQuier
Posts: 1781
Joined: 18 Jul 2013 15:55
Location: Newport News, VA

Re: An interesting thing while installing WiFi card

Postby ScottQuier » 06 Mar 2018 12:49

Thanks, kurotsugi - that makes a lot of sense and offers another path for investigation.

Very much appreciated!
Scott
Quoting zerozero, "The usage of PPA's in debian-based
systems is risky at best and entails serious compatibility
problems; usually it's the best way to destroy an install"


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