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flagrant2
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:12 am    Post subject: Using stuff from linux-firmware with install cd [SOLVED] Reply with quote

Hi everyone. I'm trying to install gentoo on an old compaq presario cq57 notebook. My problem is that the ethernet jack is broken (it has never worked since I have owned the machine) and the wireless card, a Ralink RT5390, uses proprietary firmware in the sys-kernel/linux-firmware package (at least this is my interpretation of https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Wifi#Firmware following what I did before with https://wiki.debian.org/rt2800pci )

When I installed debian, I put their firmware-ralink.deb on a usb stick which the minimal install cd found and used. With gentoo, I followed the handbook and can successfully modprobe the relevant rt2800pci module and the device shows up in the output of lspci, but I don't know where to put what file to make the firmware available in a way analogous to what I did with debian. At least after I modprobe, there are no new devices with wireless extensions that show up when I say ifconfig -a.

Any pointers as to what file I need and where to put it?

Thanks very much for reading. This great community and the superiority of portage to apt is what has me converting all my machines. :)


Last edited by flagrant2 on Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Atomic Beef
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you have to do is extract the firmware from the firmware-ralink.deb and then copy it to /lib/firmware on the livecd. After that, just reload the kernel module and your device should show up when you do ifconfig -a.
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flagrant2
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, that appears to be the right place to put it. I ran ar -x on that deb file and got some text files and a file called "debian-binary" which I doubt will work on other distros. One of the text files contains some 32 byte numbers paired with relative paths to various firmware binaries, so I suspect that these binaries are all concatenated into one big file.

Unless somebody has another suggestion, I guess I'll go googling around for these individual rtXX.bin files.
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flagrant2
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I'm really confused. I started poking around in /lib/firmware on the minimal gentoo cd, and all the firmware files present in the debian package are already there. I'm totally lost as to why gentoo isn't using them even after I modprobe.
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Atomic Beef
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can always use a different live CD than the official Gentoo one. You might want to try installing Gentoo from the Debian live CD if the firmware works there.
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flagrant2
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, but after I'm installed I still won't have a way to get online.
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Atomic Beef
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure that the wireless card still works? The sys-kernel/linux-firmware package is on the live CD already so you shouldn't need any extra firmware. The wireless card not working is the only other explanation I can think of.
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flagrant2
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wireless card works perfectly in debian and calculate linux. I noticed calculate has some rt2800 modules that aren't available on the gentoo minimal install cd, so maybe I need to find those. No luck so far.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

flagrant2,

Wireless extensions may not show in
Code:
ifconfig -a
until the interface is up.
Code:
ifconfig <interface> up
will do that.

To get the interface associated and authenticated, you will need to set up a wpa_supplicant.conf in the liveCDs /etc/wpa_supplicant/ or whatever tool set it uses for wireless.
Wireless is rather poorly supported on the liveCD. Start from System Rescue CD or even your Deban boot disc.

None of the code from the boot disc ends up in your Gentoo install, you only need a root shell and a few tools to install Gentoo.
System Rescue CD will allow you to follow the handbook. Debian will need an extra step. Thats
Code:
mkdir -p /mnt/gentoo

_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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Atomic Beef
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually remember having a similar problem with my Raspberry Pi. I spent hours wondering why the network card wouldn't show up in
Code:
ifconfig
and the solution ended up being to just run
Code:
/etc/init.d/net.eth0 start
Thanks for pointing that out (and solving flagrant2's problem) NeddySeagoon!
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flagrant2
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the help to both of you. I ended up using the calculate linux livecd as one would use the gentoo livecd as Neddy suggested, installed linux-firmware and wireless-tools from the chrooted environment, but after rebooting iwconfig reports that none of my interfaces have wireless extensions (in spite of the wifi light being on indicating the device is up and running). I'm not sure where to go from here but I will keep poking around.
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flagrant2
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it. I had set my router temporarily to use WEP so I wouldn't have to mess with wpa_supplicant (I use wicd anyway) and iwconfig was reporting no wireless extensions because wpa_supplicant was not installed. I booted calculate linux, remounted and rechrooted, installed wpa_supplicant, and now I'm in business.

Thanks very much to Atomic Beef and Neddy!
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