Damn Small Linux (DSL) Forums

Damn Small Linux => Laptops => Topic started by: BrBearOFS on December 17, 2017, 05:19:17 PM

Title: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: BrBearOFS on December 17, 2017, 05:19:17 PM
Greetings All.. .

I am returning after a number of years absence from DSL, Its been a LOoOOONG time. I have an old Dell that I would like to install Linux on.. I was more or less on the fence between DSL for a lightweight install ( that would be my preference ) and Debian.    Here is the thing.   I would really like to just do an install and have stuff work Out of the box, or as close to that as I can manage.  without damaging components.   

This is what i have.. A Dell E1705 with a broadcom wireless chipset  Dell 1390 wireless ( broadcom wireless 43XX) and an ATI Radeon Mobility X1400  graphics card, and WUXGA  laptop screen whos resolution in WIN 7 is 1440 x 900 .   Intel Core Duo 1.73 GHz  with 2 GB of RAM.

It seems my lot in my computing life that my loved ones dont really ask me what system I want before sending one to me.. and that , at least in the Linux world is no bueno LOL..    Can't fix that.. until I go get one. 

Anywho.. I pretty much wanted to catch up on the current state of the Distro.. and see how much headache it is going to be to install ( HDD install ) and get some advise on how much work this is going to be to get done ?

Anyway thank you in advance for your indulgence.. and information..


Title: Re: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: BrBearOFS on December 17, 2017, 08:55:36 PM
OK, so a quick update---

I downloaded and ran the current version of DSL and booted away.. and it came up to a beautiful screen .. no apperant issues with the graphics..
Then went over to attempt the wifi connection.. but that was a different tale all together.. after attempting all the various versions of network card configuration etc..
I was not able to get the broadcom wireless adapter to connect..   

I am given to understand that in the recent past that the broadcom wireless adapters were incorporated into the Linux Kernel.. any input there ? 

Given that is seems I will at least need to configure the wifi driver / firmware - I would profer the following,

There would, at least to my understanding, the necessity of installing the  b43-fwcutter firmare-b42-installer 

which I found during a search in the Arch32 forums while I was looking for the wireless set up.

More later as I ponder through the process ..


Title: Re: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: CNK on December 17, 2017, 09:52:38 PM
Does the wireless adapter show when you type the "iwconfig" command in a terminal window? What does it say about it in the output of the "lspci" command, or in the "PCI" tab of the "SYSTEM > System Stats" application?

You might want to check how you cope with the web browsers available in DSL before commiting. Firefox V. 2 has become very hard to use with many sites due to the "aging" of its HTTPS support, which coincides with the recent huge uptake of forced HTTPS on websites. I've long been meaning to look into compiling a recent Firefox ESR release for DSL, which I think might be just about possible, but I've got nowhere near the time lately.

Title: Re: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: BrBearOFS on December 19, 2017, 01:33:34 AM

So I loaded Puppy into RAM and it worked out of the box..

the iwconfig while running the live version there is... the IEEE 802.11 bg  and my ssid and it gives power and the band 2.4 blah blah.. so that is good..

At the bottom of the lspci it shows Broadcom 4311 80211 b/g WLAN (rev 1)
presumed that is what you were looking for..

I would have copied and pasted but the methods I am familiar with do not seem to work  the ctl+shift+c/v   or  ctl-Instert/Shift insert etc..  :(


Title: Re: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: CNK on December 19, 2017, 09:34:12 PM
The b43 drivers for linux support your wifi chipset, but they were only made for the Linux V. 2.6 kernel  (http://web.archive.org/web/20100824011022/http://bcm43xx.berlios.de:80/?go=devices). DSL-N Uses a V. 2.6 kernel, though I don't know whether it is above the V. minimum or not.

Web searches bring up reference to an official kernel V. 2.4 linux driver released by broadcom as a binary. I'll leave you to find where that can be downloaded, assuming it's still around somewhere.

There's also the "ndiswrapper" approach, which is something I've thankfully never had to resort to myself.

For copying and pasting, highlight the text to copy, then press the middle mouse button to paste. If you only have two mouse buttons, press them both at once.

Title: Re: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: BrBearOFS on December 19, 2017, 11:47:14 PM
It bares the question to ask.. could one without a vast amount of sweat .. download DSL, with the older kernel, and just upgrade the kernel .. with an Apt-get upgrade ( something or other ?)

Thank you for investing time in my questions..


Title: Re: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: CNK on December 20, 2017, 08:53:15 PM
DSL isn't fully Debian compatible to the extent that it can be completely upgraded using apt-get. Because the kernel upgrade would be to a new major release, it would break software that was specifically compiled for DSL and the 2.4.x kernel. I think there were some threads about this in the old forums.

Title: Re: Ancient Dell E1705
Post by: BrBearOFS on December 21, 2017, 03:17:28 AM
I will go back and look .. while I was away I was reading on the Linux Questions page.. where it was talking about the necessity of an upgraded GRUB first before the inclusion of a new kernel as well.. I would imaging that would require some remastering as well.. 

Oh The Joys :) 


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