Debian Live can't see WiFi

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Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby robosub » 2018-05-27 20:34

Hi,
I'm running Debian Live Cinnamon from a USB drive to practice Linux. My computer's main OS is Windows 10, and I don't want to replace it, I just want to have a Linux desktop to play around with. I obviously have no Linux experience.
When running Linux my computer does not see available WiFi networks. I've tried installing .tar files, such as drivers or other software, using Synaptic Package Manager, but can never locate them.
The Live version supposedly doesn't change the hard drive at all while running. Does that mean it doesn't have permission to install software or drivers? Can I fix this without doing a full install of Linux?
The screen, sound and USB mouse all work fine and needed no modification, so it's odd that the WiFi isn't working at all.
Last edited by robosub on 2018-05-27 20:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-05-27 20:39

robosub wrote:it's odd that the WiFi isn't working at all.

Not at all: Debian policy expressly forbids them from supplying you with the firmware required by your wireless card.

This is because the manufacturer refuses to release the source code for their firmware so perhaps try a better wireless card?

See also https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware & https://www.debian.org/social_contract
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby bw123 » 2018-05-27 21:50

...
The Live version supposedly doesn't change the hard drive at all while running. Does that mean it doesn't have permission to install software or drivers? Can I fix this without doing a full install of Linux?
...


You can probably get it working on a live system. AFAIK, there aren't any restrictions at all on the live system, just use sudo and you don't even need a password to do anything. You can mount and destroy your hard drive through the live system, so be careful.

The stuff you install will only be for that session, and will be lost when you reboot, unless you setup your usb with persistence partition.

You're doing the right thing to start with a live usb, it's a good way to practice and get used to things. Don't be in a rush to get online, look around and get familiar with where things are for a little bit.

When you ID the wifi device, you can download the firmware on another setup, and install it manually in the live system.
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby arochester » 2018-05-27 22:12

Especially with the development of the Raspberry Pi there are now many very cheap Linux compatible wifi dongles that work out-of-the-box.

Look at e.g. http://www.dx.com/p/edup-ep-n8553-mini- ... M0VoUemkW0
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby robosub » 2018-05-27 22:31

bw123 wrote:When you ID the wifi device, you can download the firmware on another setup, and install it manually in the live system.


I know what the wifi device is (Intel Dual Band Wireless-ac 8260), I just don't know how to find or install firmware. In Package Manager I can't find anything that isn't already installed, and manual installation instructions assume a lot of knowledge that I don't have.

I kind of need to get online so I can look things up, I only have one computer and the only Ethernet port in my apartment is in someone else's room. To get internet I need to either sit on the floor outside their door or restart in Windows.
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby bw123 » 2018-05-27 22:48

robosub wrote:I know what the wifi device is (Intel Dual Band Wireless-ac 8260), I just don't know how to find or install firmware.
...


No I don't think that is a good ID, go here
https://wiki.debian.org/WiFi

It's probably iwlwifi, but you need to ID the device and get the correct firmware. Nobody else has access to it, except you, so we can't do it for you.

You don't even mention whether it is usb or pci, so no you don't have a good ID on the device.


https://wiki.debian.org/HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI
https://wiki.debian.org/HowToIdentifyADevice/USB

Quick search on the internet...
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en ... rking.html

says it need ucode-25 (or higher?), and the stretch backports has the higher versions, from what I understand, they load the first available ver.
https://packages.debian.org/stretch-bac ... re-iwlwifi
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby robosub » 2018-05-27 23:42

bw123 wrote:
robosub wrote:I know what the wifi device is (Intel Dual Band Wireless-ac 8260), I just don't know how to find or install firmware.
...


No I don't think that is a good ID, go here
https://wiki.debian.org/WiFi

It's probably iwlwifi, but you need to ID the device and get the correct firmware. Nobody else has access to it, except you, so we can't do it for you.

You don't even mention whether it is usb or pci, so no you don't have a good ID on the device.


https://wiki.debian.org/HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI
https://wiki.debian.org/HowToIdentifyADevice/USB

Quick search on the internet...
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en ... rking.html

says it need ucode-25 (or higher?), and the stretch backports has the higher versions, from what I understand, they load the first available ver.
https://packages.debian.org/stretch-bac ... re-iwlwifi


All right, I think I have the correct ID (and it's PCI, btw). What do I need it for?
I already found the Intel page, my issue is I don't know how to install .tgz files. I have the driver listed for my hardware already, but I don't know what to do with it.
Same issue with the firmware package. Everything says to use Synaptic but I don't know how to use it to find and install packages.
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby bw123 » 2018-05-28 21:48

...
my issue is I don't know how to install .tgz files. I have the driver listed for my hardware already, but I don't know what to do with it. Same issue with the firmware package. Everything says to use Synaptic but I don't know how to use it to find and install packages.


It's OK, we all had to learn these things. That's why I'm saying, don't worry about internet, until you learn some basics. Learn whatever file manager is installed, learn the tar command (basics anyway), learn to use the terminal a little bit. Edit some files with a couple different editors. Move some files around from USB, etc. You have a little learning to do, take it one step at a time.

The live system may be missing some man pages and some documentation, but there should be plenty of help on the live system to read.
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Re: Debian Live can't see WiFi

Postby stevepusser » 2018-05-29 16:41

Debian also provides, but does not really publicize, ISO images that do have the non-free firmware. Any good search engine should turn them up in the first results if you enter those terms.
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