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Old 03-28-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
Neville Hillyer
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Which versions of Linux work properly with RTL8187B?


Are there any versions of Linux which work properly with RTL8187B?

I have acquired an old laptop and spent several hours trying to get Puppy Linux and Ubuntu 9.1 working with its internal wireless - USB I think. I see that some use Windows drivers but I am interested to know which versions of Linux are known to work with their 'normal' drivers.
 
Old 03-28-2017, 03:52 PM   #2
pan64
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why don't you try a newer version?
 
Old 03-28-2017, 03:58 PM   #3
273
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Looks like on Debian they should just work out of the box with no need for firmware.
 
Old 03-28-2017, 04:02 PM   #4
ondoho
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for ubuntu: always use the newest/current LTS version.
if it's older hardware, try Lubuntu instead.
if it's really old hardware, try something like antiX.
 
Old 03-28-2017, 05:28 PM   #5
Neville Hillyer
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Originally Posted by pan64 View Post
why don't you try a newer version?
As far as I can tell all the more recent versions frequently fail to work with RT wireless. Given that the RT drivers embedded in Linux rarely work it is surprising that Linux designers continue with this approach so that users have the extra task of disabling old drivers as well as installing new ones.
 
Old 03-28-2017, 06:22 PM   #6
Neville Hillyer
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for ubuntu: always use the newest/current LTS version.
if it's older hardware, try Lubuntu instead.
if it's really old hardware, try something like antiX.
It is a Lenovo 3.6 GHz Intel core 2 but I am not sure how old it is or where to find its specification.
 
Old 03-28-2017, 06:30 PM   #7
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Looks like on Debian they should just work out of the box with no need for firmware.
So should many other versions of Linux but few, if any, do with RT hardware. The problem appears to be badly modified embedded drivers.

Does anybody have experience of very reliable RT hardware working with standard Linux installations?
 
Old 03-28-2017, 10:22 PM   #8
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neville Hillyer View Post
As far as I can tell all the more recent versions frequently fail to work with RT wireless. Given that the RT drivers embedded in Linux rarely work it is surprising that Linux designers continue with this approach so that users have the extra task of disabling old drivers as well as installing new ones.
Hi...

From what I've seen here, here, and here, it appears your chip/model has been problematic across distributions and versions for quite some time. I'm wondering if a USB adapter that has a better history with Linux might be better.

Regards...
 
Old 03-29-2017, 02:33 AM   #9
pan64
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here is another link: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=807353
but as it was already told you can try an(other) usb wifi dongle, that will be much faster.
 
Old 03-29-2017, 02:36 AM   #10
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neville Hillyer View Post
As far as I can tell all the more recent versions frequently fail to work with RT wireless. Given that the RT drivers embedded in Linux rarely work it is surprising that Linux designers continue with this approach so that users have the extra task of disabling old drivers as well as installing new ones.
do you mean that older versions do work with this wireless?

anyhow, it is not a question of throwing distros at it, it is a question of recognizing the problem and solving it.

i have NOT looked into it but i guess it's a combination of reverse-engineered drivers (because the manufacturers won't release the source code) and/or obtaining the right firmware (which cannot be included in the linux distro for legal reasons).
now take a deep breath and a long think - do you still want to blame linux designers for that?

anyhow, judging from the age of the helpful links provided by the previous poster, i'd say the computer is very old.
you should look at a distro like antiX (and maybe search their forums for help with this driver, although other debian-based will be helpful, too. please keep in mind that you are seeking help with a piece of hardware that always had poor linux support AND has been outdated for a long time).
 
Old 03-29-2017, 04:25 AM   #11
Neville Hillyer
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Originally Posted by ardvark71 View Post
Hi...

From what I've seen here, here, and here, it appears your chip/model has been problematic across distributions and versions for quite some time. I'm wondering if a USB adapter that has a better history with Linux might be better. :(

Regards...
I am not sure to which "chip/model" you refer. I have yet to find the computer model. Perhaps you refer to the wireless 'card' which I assume is RT. One of your links noted that it can be RT not working well with 64 bit however I have had RT problems before on G4 Macs (not 64 bit). My impression is that RT cards work well with Windows but not much else.

I am considering other connectivity - upgrading without any is a pain especially as the optical drive is not working - limited USB sockets and I am reluctant to use a hub.
 
Old 03-29-2017, 04:32 AM   #12
Neville Hillyer
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Originally Posted by pan64 View Post
here is another link: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=807353
but as it was already told you can try an(other) usb wifi dongle, that will be much faster.
Useful initially but I don't want to lose a USB socket longer term.
 
Old 03-29-2017, 05:00 AM   #13
Neville Hillyer
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do you mean that older versions do work with this wireless?

anyhow, it is not a question of throwing distros at it, it is a question of recognizing the problem and solving it.

i have NOT looked into it but i guess it's a combination of reverse-engineered drivers (because the manufacturers won't release the source code) and/or obtaining the right firmware (which cannot be included in the linux distro for legal reasons).
now take a deep breath and a long think - do you still want to blame linux designers for that?

anyhow, judging from the age of the helpful links provided by the previous poster, i'd say the computer is very old.
you should look at a distro like antiX (and maybe search their forums for help with this driver, although other debian-based will be helpful, too. please keep in mind that you are seeking help with a piece of hardware that always had poor linux support AND has been outdated for a long time).
I was replying to "why don't you try a newer version?" and not saying that older versions work any better although they might if the problem is 64 bit related.

What makes you think it is "firmware" - I suspect it is software. Do you have evidence for RT not allowing their drivers to be included? I should not have blamed linux designers without knowing more about the issue. However there is some evidence that efforts to resolve the issue in later versions of Ubuntu appears to have failed.

I saw no mention of my computer in the old links and would be interested if anybody could tell me more about the age and model I have. To which "hardware" do you refer when you mention "poor linux support", the computer or wireless card?

You could say that most computers are "outdated" when initially released as the design, testing and building probably takes over 2 years although my 10 year old Macs still give very good service.
 
Old 03-29-2017, 07:57 AM   #14
ardvark71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neville Hillyer View Post
Perhaps you refer to the wireless 'card' which I assume is RT.
Yes, that's correct.

Regards...
 
Old 03-29-2017, 08:49 AM   #15
Neville Hillyer
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Originally Posted by ardvark71 View Post
Yes, that's correct.

Regards...
OK - thanks for confirming this.

I wonder if strictly it is a 'card' as it appears to be on the USB bus - perhaps just a small PCB inside a metal box.
 
  


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