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Old 05-30-2018, 11:13 AM   #1
JaLynn
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replaced defunct network adapter with usb wireless adapter


I've dusted off an old pc with an eye to installing Linux on it. It had a non-working internal network adapter card which I replaced with a usb wireless adapter. The usb wireless adapter came with drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux but since I was in Windows, those were the drivers I installed.

I haven't installed any Linux distro as I'm still looking for the right one for me but none of the trial distros I've used recognize the usb adapter.

Is there anything I can do to access the internet and home network while I decide on a distro?

I'm totally new at Linux & know nothing,(yet)so, if you can help, please give very specific, from the ground up, instructions!!

Thanks!
 
Old 05-30-2018, 01:52 PM   #2
jefro
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Might start by booting to some distro and telling us which one. Then issue a command line command. Command in terminal or from a ctrl-alt number screen.

lspci


should report what the pc might know is in the usb ports.
 
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:43 AM   #3
JaLynn
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Thanks, Jefro,

I've attached a copy of screen I got following your instructions (thanks for being so specific, I know it's probably tiresome when we don't know even the basics but, like anything, it has to be learned)

I don't know what I'm looking for here but I do see the internal network adapter that doesn't work. I disabled it hoping Ubuntu wouldn't try to use it but that evidently didn't work.

As you can see, this is a trial of Ubuntu 18.04. I'm also trialing Mint and Zorin and they don't connect with the usb adapter either.

Would it help to install the Linux drivers on Windows or would that just mess up everything?

Thanks for your help

J
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:18 AM   #4
jlinkels
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You don't have to try different distro's. Ubuntu and Mint usually contain the most complete collection of drivers.

It is clear that Ubuntu is not aware that there is an additional network interface. The question now is why.

Now to get some more information, remove the USB network adapter. Open the terminal screen again, and issue this command:
Code:
tail -f /var/log/syslog
If you get an authorization error, precede the command with sudo.

The last lines in that log file will appear on screen now, but you will not return to the command prompt. Instead, everything which is added to the log file will immediately show up on the screen.

Now plug in the USB network adapter again. You'll see that the computer detects the insertion, and you'll also see what Ubuntu concludes what device it is and what it should do with it.

After everything is quit yet (expect 10-20 lines and 30 seconds time) close this command again with CTRL-C

jlinkels
 
Old 05-31-2018, 11:54 AM   #5
JaLynn
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Thanks so much for the further instructions. I wasn't using Ubuntu or Mint for the drivers but just trying different distros to see which would work best for me.

OK, did what you asked early this morning and took photos of the different screens. I had to leave for an appointment before I got it all organized and have forgotten the order of it all! I'm posting the different photos based on the order I took them so hope all this makes sense (image 1, image 2, image 3, and the 4th after the usb adapter was plugged in).

Again, I appreciate any help you can give.

J
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:05 PM   #6
jefro
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Both internal and usb seem to be Realtek so the solution would most likely fix both. I don't think that the distro's you selected had the drivers by default. Realtek has offered linux drivers for a very long time.

An example for ubuntu. In some cases they will install even to a test or trial live boot cd/dvd/usb. https://unixblogger.com/2016/08/11/h...updated-guide/
 
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:28 PM   #7
JaLynn
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Thank you again for your help.

I have the needed drivers on the installation cd that came with the usb adapter but I'm not savvy enough with Linux to install them to a trial of any Linux distro.

I haven't read your link yet so maybe it can help, hope so but I guess I can decide which distro I want, install it, then install the drivers.

The internal adapter wouldn't work with anything and was one of the reasons I replaced that computer when I did.

Again, thanks for taking the time to help with this problem. I'm going now to check out your link.

J
 
Old 05-31-2018, 05:21 PM   #8
jlinkels
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Your adapter is a RTL8811AU according to https://wikidevi.com/wiki/0bda

The bad news is that it seems no driver is available in Ubuntu. The best what I found is this instruction, but it might be overwhelming for a first-time user.

I don't know what your situation is, but purchasing a known supported adapter might be the easiest way. Once you have that up and running you could even try and download the RTL8811AU driver and see if you can compile. Experimenting on a computer without network is very challenging.

jlinkels
 
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:20 PM   #9
JaLynn
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Thanks, that adapter was cheap enough but I don't have any idea about which adapter has Ubuntu drivers! I knew switching to Linux wasn't going to be a walk in the park but I almost feel defeated before I start now.

Well, I might be really old but I'm stubborn - will keep trying to make Linux work! I really hate Windows. Will do some searching and see what I can find!

Really appreciate you pointing me in the right direction!

Duh! Should have looked at link before posting!

Last edited by JaLynn; 05-31-2018 at 06:22 PM.
 
Old 06-01-2018, 04:27 AM   #10
jlinkels
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I have used this one in the past: goo.gl/poSKJm. I am surprised it is still available, often good things are discontinued before you can buy them.

Switching to Linux might not be a walk in the park as you say, but that is only true for the conversion. After some time you'll see that Linux is actually less complicated than Windows. Documentation is more easily available and less crap is published so that it is easier to search for solutions. Linux is less complex by design, and the aim is to be more open and transparant.

jlinkels
 
Old 06-01-2018, 12:27 PM   #11
JaLynn
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You have been an outstanding help and while I decided not to purchase another usb wireless adapter, following your links eventually led me to the proper drivers to fix the internal adapter so I'm now able to access the internet with all the distros I'm trying.

I had downloaded what I was told were the right drivers before but they didn't fix my connection and I thought it was the adapter itself that wasn't working.

I'm very grateful for all the help here and now I need to decide on a distro and install it! Glad to know Linux gets easier and is less complicated! I did start a basic Linux class so hope to learn enough not to be discouraged until I'm comfortable with it.

Again, thanks to both of you for your help.

J
 
  


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