[Assist] wireless card not connected during installation

Luke T. Shumaker lukeshu at sbcglobal.net
Mon Jun 10 02:03:12 GMT 2013

At Sun, 9 Jun 2013 19:16:48 -0400,
Andrew Spano wrote:
> Hello,
> I'm trying to make the switch to parabola from ubuntu but I'm running into
> trouble at the beginning of installation.  For some reason parabola is not
> detecting my wireless hardware.  When I run iwconfig, it does not report
> the existence of any wireless device on my laptop.

Does it show up when you run `lspci`?  Even if a driver for a device
is not found (nescessary for it to show up as an interface in
iwconfig), it will show up in lspci.

> Is this because there isn't any free software available for my wireless
> card?  I find this difficult to believe because I'm almost certain that it
> was running fine using a free driver on ubuntu.

It could be.
> When I plug in a separate usb wireless card I am prompted with this error
> "1-1: Missing Free firmware"
> "usb 1-1 ath9k_htc: Async request for firmware /*(DEBLOBBED)*/ failed.

The /*(DEBLOBBED)*/ message means that it requires non-free firmware,
as the above message indicates.  Part of the way that removing
non-free drivers from the Linux kernel works is that in addition to
deleting the firmware file, it replaces the filename in the source
with "/*(DEBLOBBED)*/", so that even if you installed the firmware
file, the kernel wouldn't be able to find it, because it is looking at
a bogus file path.

> I had both of these devices working fine using free drivers on other
> devices.  I know at the very least that I did not personally install any
> proprietary drivers and they appeared to be using atheros drivers.

The normal Linux kernel includes many non-free drivers.  For this
reason, we use a fork of Linux called Linux-libre.  When you were on
Ubuntu, you had many non-free drivers installed by simple virtue of
having the normal Linux kernel.

> My laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad T530.
> I'd like to know what's going wrong, and how to fix it if possible.
> Any help is sincerely appreciated in advance.

I'm obligated to tell you that (assuming your internal wifi card requires
non-free firmware, and it's not another issue) the fix is to buy
freedom-friendly hardware.  However, as a short-term fix, it is
possible to patch the Linux-libre kernel against Linux to support your
specific hardware, or to install a regular Linux kernel; but the
Parabola team cannot help you do either of these things.

Resources on obtaining hardware that works with free software:
 - http://h-node.org/ is a free-software hardware compatability
 - https://www.thinkpenguin.com/ sells hardware known to work with
   free software.

Happy hacking,
~ Luke Shumaker

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