Kernel version mismatch

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Kernel version mismatch

Postby klarre » 2018-09-13 21:13


Today I tried to install Debian on my laptop. Because the laptop doesn't have a RJ45 port I used the unofficial installer with embedded wireless drivers. Unfortunately the one I needed wasn't included.

I downloaded the wireless driver as a deb package from and put it on a USB stick so I could search for it during the installation. And now to the problem.

The Debian installer can't use the driver because the kernel version differ, according to an error message that shows when the installer looks for drivers on external medias. I guess this mean that the driver has been compiled with a different kernel than the one used for the debian distribution.

Q: How do I know what kernel version a distribution uses, so I can build the driver with correct version?

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Re: Kernel version mismatch

Postby bw123 » 2018-09-13 23:29

klarre wrote:... downloaded the wireless driver as a deb package from and put it on a USB stick so I could search for it during the installation...

I never heard of that method? the wiki link doesn't mention that you can use the pkg that way during installation? You want to compile the wl driver during installation?
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Re: Kernel version mismatch

Postby stevepusser » 2018-09-14 01:17

Broadcom-sta-dkms debs actually have some binaries from Broadcom along with some source code that needs to be compiled against your specific kernel. You can see what kernel your version of Debian is running by running
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uname -a

It is possible to build the actual driver against the stock Stretch 4.9 kernel on a separate connected machine using broadcom-sta-source and module-assistant, and the resulting deb package is called "broadcom-sta-modules". It can then be installed along with a downloaded broadcom-sta-common deb.

I built a 64-bit version for another isolated user a little while ago, and I think there's a good chance it'll work if you're running the amd64 64-bit kernel: ... pf52mgs1ZR

If you need an updated version, or a 32-bit one, let me know here.
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Re: Kernel version mismatch

Postby debiman » 2018-09-14 04:23

make an offline install and fix the problem later.

or maybe you need to tell us exactly what wifi hardware there is; boot any live linux and post output of:
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lspci -knn | grep -EiA2 net
dmesg|grep -Ei 'wlan|firmw|dhc'
sudo cat /var/log/syslog | grep -Ei 'net|wpa|dhc'
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Re: Kernel version mismatch

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-09-15 14:50

Broadcom-sta-dkms package requires linu headers which match your kernel, plus packages needed for compiling software. It can be easily installed if you have ethernet connection. Absent that, you will have a lot of problems.
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