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unityxx311 08-25-2010 11:32 AM

Why does Debian require me to compile a driver for my wireless card...
Hi All,

Why does Debian (Lenny - 5.0) require me to compile a driver for my wireless card when Ubuntu does not? It's not that I can't...I just don't understand the why. Doesn't Ubuntu use drivers from Debian?


craigevil 08-25-2010 11:40 AM

Most likely because the driver is not 'free' according to the DFSG.

Ubuntu has drivers that are considered non-free, while Debian does not.

digerati1338 08-25-2010 05:42 PM

If the driver has been compiled for ubuntu, you can most likely get it in binary form for debian as well. There are several add-on repositories for debian that can be added to your sources.list to provide non-free packages. Debian Multimedia comes to mind.

Also make sure you have enabled non-free and contrib in your sources.list.

Finally, google around and check the manufacturer's website for the .deb package final. One option is to download the .deb package from ubuntu's repository and then install it using dpkg, but while this will probably work it is not recommended since there are slight differences in ubuntu packages.

evo2 08-25-2010 05:54 PM

If you could tell us which driver we could tell you which reason.


evo2 08-25-2010 05:54 PM


unityxx311 08-27-2010 09:24 AM

Thanks for the help and sorry for the delay - got busy here. The card is a EDIMAX EW-7108.

craigevil 08-27-2010 09:43 AM

product info: "Ralink Technology, Inc.", "RT2500", "802.11 CardBus Reference Card"
manfid: 0x1814, 0x0201
function: 6 (network)
aptitude install firmware-ralink


unityxx311 08-27-2010 11:56 AM


Originally Posted by craigevil (Post 4079624)

Thank you - I will try this when I get home.

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