-   Debian (
-   -   Problems installing ndiswrapper on new Debian install (

JonWin 04-29-2008 06:59 PM

Problems installing ndiswrapper on new Debian install
Hey, I have a problem with make. I installed Debian last night from the netinst CD. I confess to being a complete newb, so please don't assume I know exactly what you're talking about. This is my first Linux install.

I'm now trying to install ndiswrapper for my DLink Wireless Adapter, but when i type in "make distclean" (instructions I found somewhere), it tells me "Cannot find kernel version in /lib/modules/2.6.18-6-486/build, is it configured?. Stop." I cd'ed to /lib/modules/2.6.18-6-486, and there's no file named build anywhere. Isn't something like this supposed to come with the install disk?

Also, I can't run sudo commands. I know my root password is correct, because I can log into the root terminal, but when I try to run a sudo, nothing I type appears after the Password: prompt.

Telemachos 04-29-2008 07:20 PM

A standard Debian installation does not enable sudo. You can use the command su to get root privileges temporarily. Enter su and you will be prompted for your root password. Enter it and then do whatever you need to do as root. When you are done, enter exit and that will return you to your regular user status. (If you want to get sudo for your regular user, you will need to edit your /etc/sudoers file. You can do this with the command visudo which protects you because it will only save your edits if the syntax is good. That is, if you make a mess of the edit, it won't get saved.)

I don't know anything about the precise error you are getting with Ndiswrapper, but I can say that a standard Debian installation will mean that you are almost certainly lacking some of what you will need to compile things by hand. As a start, you will probably want these two packages "build-essential" and "linux-headers-$(uname -r)", which you can install pretty easily this way:

<Enter root password>
apt-get update
apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

The linux-headers-$(uname -r) should give you the headers for your current kernel, which you need to build modules, and build-essentials packs together the tools you need to compile C and C++ source code.

JonWin 04-29-2008 09:20 PM

Thanks for the info. I didn't know that Debian didn't come with those kinds of things. Are there any other vital libraries/programs or dependencies I should know about? For example, I know I need WINE to run some Windows-exclusive programs. Applications like Firefox and Pidgin don't have any dependencies, do they?

Telemachos 04-30-2008 07:43 AM

When you install an application like Iceweasel (Debian's unbranded version of Firefox) or Pidgin, using apt-get or aptitude or synaptic or any of the Debian package tools, dependencies will automatically be brought in as needed. That's part of the magic of the APT package system.

You don't get a compiler etc., because a standard Debian install doesn't assume that you are a developer or (very different) a desktop user who will immediately want to build an NVidia module for your 3D graphics or your laptop's wireless. The installation process itself doesn't assume anything. You can add anything you need (using apt-get, aptitude, synaptic, etc.), but then you need to know what you need. Some distros will offer you a very full install, but Debian doesn't.

As for sudo, it's not a vital program. You can get all the root privileges you need using su, and it is arguably more secure than sudo.

JonWin 04-30-2008 10:28 PM

Thanks a lot! "dependencies will automatically be brought in as needed" is a very relieving thing to hear.
I'll get an ethernet cord this weekend, and report back here when I've gone through with it.

JonWin 05-04-2008 08:03 PM

OK, ndiswrapper install was a success, and my drivers (apparently) are working. However, I've got another big problem, and that is I can't connect to my home WLAN. I can see all the networks in my neighborhood, but when I click to connect to mine, it just cycles for a bit and then stops. I found a tutorial online that said to add a new connection in the network administrator (I dont think that was the exact name), but when I opened up that program, "Add" wasn't even an option! It can't be the drivers, because I can see all the networks. My router's DHCP is enabled, but since something is obviously going wrong, how do I set my own IP address, gateway, DNS server address, etc for my Debian desktop? Preferably through the terminal, since "Add" is missing(!) from the network adminstrator.

farslayer 05-05-2008 10:33 AM

Just a heads up you could have installed ndiswrapper using the 'Debian method' with module assistant. it would have gone like this..

aptitude update
aptitude install build-essential module-assistant
m-a update
m-a prepare
m-a a-i ndiswrapper

Debian would automatically grab and install the kernel headers, then download and compile the source for ndiswrapper amd install it. whenever theres a kernel update, re-compiling ndiswrapper is as simple as ..

m-a update
m-a prepare
m-a a-i ndiswrapper

Works for many many other modules.

For your current issue...

See section for manually configuring a network interface with a static IP address..
and section for setting the essid and WEP key for your wireless connection

Might also want to become familiar with the wireless-tools package available in Linux ..

* iwconfig manipulate the basic wireless parameters
* iwlist allow to initiate scanning and list frequencies, bit-rates, encryption keys...
* iwspy allow to get per node link quality
* iwpriv allow to manipulate the Wireless Extensions specific to a driver (private)
* ifrename allow to name interfaces based on various static criteria

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:14 AM.