Wireless USB dongle not working <SOLVED>

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MikeF90000
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Wireless USB dongle not working <SOLVED>

Postby MikeF90000 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:10 pm

I have a very commonly available Ralink MT7601U USB wireless dongle (ID 148f:7601). It does not appear in Network Manager for use under LMDE 2 or SolydX. The firmware-ralink package is installed; kernel version is 3.16 :-( and no newer kernels are available AFAIK.

It IS recognized under LM 18 and Ubuntu 16.04, not surprisingly.

Any ideas what else to check?
TIA, Mike
Last edited by MikeF90000 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Moem
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Re: Wireless USB dongle not working

Postby Moem » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:24 pm

Does the Driver Manager show anything of interest?
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Fred Barclay
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Re: Wireless USB dongle not working

Postby Fred Barclay » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:09 pm

Hi Mike,
If it works under Ubuntu 16.04, but not Debian 8-based distros (LMDE and SolydX), my guess would be that the 3.16 kernel does not have the proper drivers for your wireless card, while later ones do.

Here on LMDE, we (usually) have to update our kernel to get a newer driver, since there's no Driver Manager. Let's try installing the 4.8 kernel from the Debian stable backports:

Code: Select all

sudo su
echo -e "deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie-backports main contrib non-free" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jessie-backports.list
apt-get update
apt-get -t jessie-backports install linux-image-amd64
exit


Then reboot and see if it works.

(Sometimes after adding the backports, the Update Manager wants to update all your packages to the version currently in backports. To keep this from happening, create a file /etc/apt/preferences.d/jessie-backports.pref with the contents shown in viewtopic.php?f=236&t=216635&p=1132021#p1132021)
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MikeF90000
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Re: Wireless USB dongle not working

Postby MikeF90000 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:04 pm

Moem wrote:Does the Driver Manager show anything of interest?

Not at all. :( It only shows some 'Intel firmware' as being available.

Fred Barclay wrote:Here on LMDE, we (usually) have to update our kernel to get a newer driver, since there's no Driver Manager. Let's try installing the 4.8 kernel from the Debian stable backports:


BTW I did try that in SolydX, as they have a 4.4 kernel available - no success.

I'll try the kernel from the jessie-backports repo to see if that makes a difference.
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Re: Wireless USB dongle not working

Postby Moem » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:10 pm

MikeF90000 wrote:
Moem wrote:Does the Driver Manager show anything of interest?

Not at all. :( It only shows some 'Intel firmware' as being available.

And what happened when you tried that?
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

MikeF90000
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Re: Wireless USB dongle not working

Postby MikeF90000 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:58 pm

I did Not update 'Intel firmware' as this is an external USB, non-Intel device. One thing at a time ....

After some futzing with conflicts (linux-base) I was able to get a 4.9 kernel installed.
This also made no difference - the dongle is found by lsusb but apparently no driver is loaded.

I'll have to revisit some of those other posts I've seen about magic driver incantations. :o
Fortunately Debian 9 isn't far off .....
Use the Panels, Luke! (not just the Whisker Menu)
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MikeF90000
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Re: Wireless USB dongle not working

Postby MikeF90000 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:51 pm

Just tested the Stretch RC4 iso and the "unofficial" one that contains "firmware for awkward hardware". The latter ISO is here: http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unoff ... -firmware/ and it detected the dongle!

The Debian web site is not very clear on what else is done to load the firmware, and the docs seem to say that package 'firmware-ralink' contains the secret sauce. It is installed on LMDE2 and SolydX, so perhaps the Stretch version supports more hardware?

UPDATE: after some digging I noticed that Debian has consolidated many binary blobs into the package 'firmware-misc-nonfree'. This is the package required in jessie-backports and stretch. Also, this specific driver is prefaced with Mediatek, the owner of the Ralink brand.

I now consider this issue 'SOLVED'.

Side note: the Debian Xfce panel indicator for Network Manager looks Different than the one for Ubuntu / Mint. The latter version (possibly improved by Canonical) shows the list of user named / defined connections rather than just a list of SSIDs. No idea where to select by named connection in LMDE/SolydX.

Side note #2: I could not get NM to switch over to the USB dongle even though it recognized it as present. I then replaced NM with wicd which worked the first time! Perhaps this is some NM configuration subtlety.
Use the Panels, Luke! (not just the Whisker Menu)
XFCE and Linux Mint 18 LTS - stable, easily configurable goodness.


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