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Old 05-03-2014, 04:47 PM   #1
abramelin
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broadband


Hi - about as basic as it gets! I want to install ubuntu on my ex-xp machine (HP Compaq nx6310 - 12 years old). It installs and runs great from the disk, but I can't get it to do broadband. It says there's 'firmware' missing (and my level of technical expertise is such that I don't know what that is). My ISP pointed me at some videos of tecchies on YouTube saying how easy it is but said they don't support ubuntu and weren't interested. And the local computer shop said they aren't interested either and that it won't be possible to connect this machine.
So! What I'd be grateful to know from someone is whether it really is impossible to use BB in Ubuntu on this machine, so I can stop wasting my time trying.
Or if it is possible I'd appreciate a hint about how to go about it. But please no tecchie language, I'm too old and too blind to cope with it. Thanks folks!
 
Old 05-03-2014, 04:54 PM   #2
shane25119
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So, when you say ``broadband'' do you mean any network access (ie: You're plugging an Ethernet cable into the back of the computer and the other end into a router or modem? In Ubuntu that should ``just work,'' so I'm a bit confused as to how you're getting a firmware error.
 
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:13 PM   #3
JeremyBoden
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Do you have a router connected to a landline?
Do you have an ethernet cable connected to that router or
are you accessing the internet via a wireless connection?
 
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:16 PM   #4
spazticclown
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You may have an unsupported network card/wireless card in the computer.

From HP's support page it appears to have a broadcom ethernet (10/100 or gigabit) and possibly broadcom wifi (if it was intel it should work).

Unfortunately broadcom has a spotty reccord for linux support. A USB wireless adapter may get you up and online without much effort, perhaps your local computer shop might be able to find one that has good Linux support.

If you open up a terminal and type in the following, followed by the enter key:
Code:
lspci | grep -i "wireless\|ethernet"
(if you get nothing back try wire and eth instead of wireless and ethernet).
This should print out the model name for the wired and wireless network controllers.

Welcome to Linux!
 
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:06 AM   #5
abramelin
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hi all, thanks for replies. Sorry I don't understand the jargon! I have a router plugged into one laptop (windows 7) and the two old laptops (vista and xp) work wirelessly. Thought I'd use the opportunity of xp support ending to install ubuntu. But it refuses so far saying it is missing 'firmware' and that I might need to get drivers from somewhere.
The shop said ubuntu is so complicated that I'll never get it online, but the YouTube videos say it's easy as pie!
If it's some mionor detail I'm missing it would be good to get ubuntu online, but if it's impossible then Iought to stop trying
Thanks again
 
Old 05-05-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
JeremyBoden
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It is unusual to go around loading drivers for Linux - especially in Ubuntu.
If possible, try plugging your PC into your router with an ethernet lead.
Wired connections virtually always work.

Some varieties of Broadcom wireless cards require a lot of complicated configuration.
(Broadcom don't tend to provide Linux drivers).

BTW That "shop" is wrong.
 
Old 05-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #7
schneidz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abramelin View Post
hi all, thanks for replies. Sorry I don't understand the jargon! I have a router plugged into one laptop (windows 7) and the two old laptops (vista and xp) work wirelessly. Thought I'd use the opportunity of xp support ending to install ubuntu. But it refuses so far saying it is missing 'firmware' and that I might need to get drivers from somewhere.
The shop said ubuntu is so complicated that I'll never get it online, but the YouTube videos say it's easy as pie!
If it's some mionor detail I'm missing it would be good to get ubuntu online, but if it's impossible then Iought to stop trying
Thanks again
easy and hard usually translate into whether the person has experience with something or not (e.g.- i would find driving a car with manual transmission hard whereas a few of my friends say its easy).

you are not giving us much information to go by (i am still not clear if you are trying using wired ethernet cable or trying to connect via wifi).

to help us diagnose the problem, thecommands suggested by spazticclown are the best bet. open up a terminal (i dont use ubuntu so not sure where it is in the menu -- proably 'applications -> system tools -> terminal'). then copy-paste the command and hit enter; then copy-paste the output in your next response so that we can provide better advice.
 
Old 05-05-2014, 09:40 AM   #8
yancek
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You are probably wasting your time trying to install Ubuntu on a machine that old, especially with Broadcom for wireless.
You might try a lighter Linux distribution but may have the same problem due to Broadcom.

Most Linux distributions are pretty easy to install on most computers. Two exceptions being really old hardware (12 years is very old for computers) or new state of the art.

The shop you went to probably works exclusively with windows and what they really meant is 'they' don't know how to install it. The suggestions above to try directly connecting to the router might work if it is feasible or practical for you. If you just wanted to try to get some use out of the old machine, you might investigate other lighter versions of Linux. If you want to investigat Linux, you can do something like dual-boot one of the other machines. Test it with the Live CD first. You can also install free software such as VirtualBox and run Linux inside windows that way. Depends upon your intentions and how much effort you want to put into it.
 
Old 05-05-2014, 10:13 AM   #9
michaelk
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The information is a bit dated but it might provide some help. As spazticclown surmised it does appear that your laptop has a Broadcom network adapter.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wi...nternet_access
http://codeghar.wordpress.com/2012/0...-ubuntu-12-04/
 
Old 05-06-2014, 04:36 AM   #10
onebuck
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Member Response

Hi,

Welcome to LQ!
Quote:
Originally Posted by abramelin View Post
Hi - about as basic as it gets! I want to install ubuntu on my ex-xp machine (HP Compaq nx6310 - 12 years old). It installs and runs great from the disk, but I can't get it to do broadband. It says there's 'firmware' missing (and my level of technical expertise is such that I don't know what that is). My ISP pointed me at some videos of tecchies on YouTube saying how easy it is but said they don't support ubuntu and weren't interested. And the local computer shop said they aren't interested either and that it won't be possible to connect this machine.
So! What I'd be grateful to know from someone is whether it really is impossible to use BB in Ubuntu on this machine, so I can stop wasting my time trying.
Or if it is possible I'd appreciate a hint about how to go about it. But please no tecchie language, I'm too old and too blind to cope with it. Thanks folks!
We speak Gnu/Linux.

So I suggest that you look at:
Quote:
(Linux is Not Windows) <- 'Refer to the GNU/Linux OS and various Free & Open-Source Software (FOSS) projects under the catch-all name of "Linux". It scans better.' + Great Article
Comparison of Windows and Linux <- 'Comparisons between the Microsoft Windows and Linux computer operating systems are a long-running discussion topic within the personal computer industry.' + Great Wiki
Windows Partitions <- "How can I allow normal users to access my Windows partition?" + SlackWiki
I suggest that you look at the Newbie sticky: Newbie alert: 50 Open Source Replacements for Windows XP

I would think that the "shop" does not have much experience using Gnu/Linux. While Ubuntu is not something I use or would recommend to use on older hardware. You will find lighter Gnu/Linux listed in the referenced link above under 'Lightweight Operating Systems'. For your 12 year old system I suggest you select one of the lighter distributions. Puppy Linux (LTS) does work well on older systems. puppylinux.org can be useful for new users. I use Slackware and feel comfortable recommending "*NEW* Slacko Puppy (Slackware-Compatible Build)";
Quote:
March 9, 2014 - The developers group led by 01micko has released the latest build of Slacko Puppy, version 5.7.
Open ibiblio.org folder of Slacko 5.7 and choose your preferred ISO*.
Open nluug.nl folder of Slacko 5.7 and choose your preferred ISO*.
Other download sites are at aarnet, internode, UOC, and VCU.
ISO Size: 161 MB
* Note: The PAE build is for enabling full access to installed RAM in PAE-enabled, high-memory machines. Non-PAE is for older PCs with at least 256 MB RAM (512 MB is recommended).
Once you have selected and downloaded the ISO image you can use one of the 'MD5SUM' checkers below to verify a valid download. Then use 'Imgburn' at a low burn rate (setting of 4) to insure a valid burn on your hardware.
Quote:
M$Windows:
Windows Burn tutorial <- 'Nero' Live Video for the newbies who burn the iso instead of the image of the iso.
Imgburn <- 'ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!' + Freeware
-- MD5SUM:
M$Windows iso md5sum checking <- LQ Post on how too
md5sum.exe <- M$Win Application to perform md5sum checking.
winMd5Sum Portable <- FREE + Good for all M$ Windows
A few links to helpful information so you can have a good Gnu/Linux experience.

Quote:
Just a few links to aid you to gaining some understanding;


1 Linux Documentation Project
2 Rute Tutorial & Exposition
3 Linux Command Guide
4 Bash Beginners Guide
5 Bash Reference Manual
6 Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide
7 Linux Newbie Admin Guide
8 LinuxSelfHelp
9 Utimate Linux Newbie Guide

The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
Have Fun!

Hope this helps.
 
  


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