netinstall and no-ethernet laptop [Solved]

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

netinstall and no-ethernet laptop [Solved]

Postby tpprynn » 2020-10-03 17:20

This is no emergency, but I am quite keen to try and achieve this and learn from it also without too much stress.

I made a start today on trying to set up a second laptop with Debian beginning from the netinstall iso, the one with the non-free firmware. I thought/ knew from the outset that without an ethernet port it would be either tricky or impossible but pressed on with this. During install the wifi worked, connecting to my tethered phone, which is what i use in my own home.

I found pages on wpa_supplicant and followed these to the letter. I am completely blank as to how to start the interface though. 'wlo1' is 'DOWN'. The phrase I found which begins 'ifup' (sorry, I don't have it all to hand) which as i understood it would start the wifi did not.

Feels a bit annoying that wifi works during install and then it forgets what it knew once you're installed.

I used the same sim then in a 3g router connected through USB. This was seen, as far as i can tell', as if ethernet, but again the interface is down. I have used this router like this with a full OS and DE where it acts like ethernet, i.e. no password needed etc.

I am working against a health problem which makes me a bit sketchy at times but feel sure I managed an install like this once. I could describe myself as having PTSD from some things that have happened and am a bit delicate, too much so for anything near sarcasm.

As of an hour's time I have access to someone else's internet for a day, with my own data credit due to run out very soon. So I have a narrow window to try and finish this job else I'll revert to reinstalling Debian LXDE from a live CD for now. But was very impressed with how my other machine runs when having built the OS from netinstall.

They may have a USB port on their router, but I don't know if that means this will act as if i have ethernet, trouble-free, if i connect that way.

I have all the deb files I'd be downloading on another machine, and have copied these to an external hard drive and burned them to a DVD. Is it possible to get my ethernet-free laptop to read from these at all? I thought I might be able to copy these debs to /var/apt/cache/archives/ and take it from there, and would then soon have Wicd installed, simplifying what feels otherwise very vague.

Could I put something like 'home/me/Downloads/debs/' in my sources.list or does that just not work?

Thanks for any gentle help.

Let me know if i've missed anything out detail-wise.
Last edited by tpprynn on 2020-10-07 22:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby arochester » 2020-10-03 17:57

What is the make and model of the laptop?

I have, amongst other things, an HP Stream, which does not have an ethernet port or a CD/DVD-ROM. I found the easiest way was to get a "USB 2.0 to Ethernet RJ45 Internet LAN 10/100Mbps Network Adapter Converter Cable" from eBay for a few dollars. Just plug the ethernet into the adapter and the USB into the laptop.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby tpprynn » 2020-10-03 18:10

Great, I was looking at those a couple of days ago but read reports of them not working, that they can't work. You've confirmed otherwise so I think I'll pay for one right now and unless I hear other good news this evening I'll install something else temporarily and use this adaptor when it comes.

(It's an Asus E403 or something like that, basically Asus's version of your HP Stream.)
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby arochester » 2020-10-03 18:24

Some of the adapters specifically mention Linux.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby tpprynn » 2020-10-03 18:28

As far as I can see, despite three hundred mb of system utilities none of the commands that could get my wlo1 interface up are installed with the netinstall. None of the commands are recognised. None of the scripts I found would work. Puzzling.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-10-03 20:17

Just a random thought, arochester beat me to it but depending upon specs and whether it supports virtualization, would say this is something better to learn in things like a virtual machine. I fancy KVM ... Doing minimal netinstalls can be a bit tricky, obviously esp for newer Debian users. What-which pkgs you got, which you need etc Oops, this doesn't work, I need this and that type of situation. Doing this type of thing in a VM leaves someone plenty of room to figure things out at whatever pace they need or want.

They-you get the install up to snuff and ready for prime-time, you'll have a much better idea of what you're doing. Of course helps to keep notes. Another random thought, being gnu/Linux + tech, almost anything imaginable with a computer is possible, actually shouldn't be all that hard to convert a VM, into a bare-metal installed OS. Haven't yet done so, only read about the process. Though probably best to focus on one proj at a time I guess. :)
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby tpprynn » 2020-10-04 08:06

Thanks, yes, I can see that's an idea. I have really overdone the distro-hopping and reinstalling over the years myself though, and though the worst of that habit's in the past I think I'll have a couple of stabs at this when the adaptor arrives. I set up a Thinkpad this way a week ago and though I was a bit chaotic with it and didn't take notes, which would have been the wise thing, it works fantastically and has shaved the learning curve a bit.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby sickpig » 2020-10-04 09:26

You can try live usb and if wifi works check what firmware was in use and install the same on the actual install.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-10-04 13:37

tpprynn wrote:I found pages on wpa_supplicant and followed these to the letter.

It would be better if you posted what you actually did rather than vaguely describe a mysterious guide without providing a link to it.

And anyway you don't need to mess around with wpa_supplicant directly (unless you want to).

tpprynn wrote:I am completely blank as to how to start the interface though. 'wlo1' is 'DOWN'. The phrase I found which begins 'ifup' (sorry, I don't have it all to hand) which as i understood it would start the wifi did not.

The 'ifup wlo1' command would only work if you had configured the interface in /etc/network/interfaces

See https://wiki.debian.org/WiFi/HowToUse#W ... d_WPA2-PSK for a guide (the numbered list has the instructions for ifupdown).

tpprynn wrote:I used the same sim then in a 3g router connected through USB. This was seen, as far as i can tell', as if ethernet, but again the interface is down.

Ethernet connections are simple, just bring the interface up (replace $interface with the actual name of the interface, as listed in the plain 'ip link' output):
Code: Select all
# ip link set $interface up

Then assign some IP addresses:
Code: Select all
# dhclient $interface

Or use /etc/network/interfaces & 'ifup $interface' instead: https://wiki.debian.org/NetworkConfigur ... _Interface

tpprynn wrote:am a bit delicate, too much so for anything near sarcasm

I'll try my best. No promises :mrgreen:

tpprynn wrote:They may have a USB port on their router, but I don't know if that means this will act as if i have ethernet

No, those USB ports are usually for storage devices which can be accessed over the local network via the router.

tpprynn wrote:despite three hundred mb of system utilities none of the commands that could get my wlo1 interface up are installed with the netinstall. None of the commands are recognised

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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby tpprynn » 2020-10-04 19:22

Great, many thanks for that - if the easy route with the adaptor doesn't work I'll have another attempt.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby arzgi » 2020-10-05 15:33

There are many pages which compares ip and ifconfig commands, like https://computingforgeeks.com/ifconfig-vs-ip-usage-guide-on-linux/

For me it was a struggle to start using ip as had used ifconfig many years.

Now I used to use ip, but on every my computer I keep a list, where I check some rarely needed ip commands.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby tpprynn » 2020-10-05 18:05

Having just read the topic referring to new improved 'su -'... When I first started to use Debian after being a Mint and Ubuntu person I switched to su happily enough (and can't remember in those days during install being given the option of both or either). Since Debian 9 and 10 i've gone back to sudo and it had not seemed a problem for anything i've done till know. For one recent experimental install I filled out passwords for both and once the OS was up and running sudo didn't work. I was not able to use it to do the usual sudo tasks. The computer wasn't accepting it. So as occasionally there have been odd bugs with this sort of aroma with Debian and i don't fancy being kind of 'gaslighted' by a possible bug ;- / I went back to using Sudo. Is this why commands weren't working as referred to above? Because I wasn't using 'su', or 'su -'? Do long term Debian users still not use sudo? Should I be able to set up both during install without a problem once running?
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby arzgi » 2020-10-06 16:09

I started using Debian from Woody, sudo has always been there. You have to install and configure it.

Nowadays, after installing, you only have to add your user to sudo group, logout, and login, and it works.

There is option in the installation process, installs sudo automatically if you don't make root account.

Here have been threads which is more secure, I'd rather leave that to each user.

I answered, but a better policy is to open a new thread for every new subject.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-10-06 16:32

One common cause of command not found, would be a person hasn't installed the software pkg which provides that function. One of the things involved in doing a minimal netinstall, much which is already setup and ready to go for users on an out-of-box Nix install, somebody has to do for themselves in dealing with netinstalls.

The sudo vs "su -" like pretty much everything gnu/Linux is a matter of choice, someone should obviously use what they prefer and are most comfortable with, I always tend to set up a root user acct and also have always installed sudo too, that's my preference and do think it's a good practice, have broken sudo before, thus sudo cmds cease working. With a root acct could just login as root and fix it, as the root user still has all the privileges they need in a given OS.
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Re: netinstall and no-ethernet laptop

Postby brian_p » 2020-10-07 12:45

> Feels a bit annoying that wifi works during install and then it
> forgets what it knew once you're installed.

That's really the issue, isn't it? There is a possible explanation,
but it depends on what extra packages you installed. Did you
install a DE as part of the task selection?

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