Linux Wifi Adapter Woes

cybereality

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LinuxWifiMeme.jpg
 

cybereality

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It was on an Ubuntu 19.04 live USB.

I do have a USB adapter that works (the Panda one, native Linux support) but the first adapter I tried had problems and I thought the meme was funny.
 

IdiotInCharge

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It was on an Ubuntu 19.04 live USB.

I do have a USB adapter that works (the Panda one, native Linux support) but the first adapter I tried had problems and I thought the meme was funny.

Shoot, 19.04 should rock out with almost any hardware. I just find non-Intel controllers to be dodgy in general, and more so on Linux. Even worse on *BSDs. I make that a priority for all motherboards or laptops I buy :).
 

ChadD

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It was on an Ubuntu 19.04 live USB.

I do have a USB adapter that works (the Panda one, native Linux support) but the first adapter I tried had problems and I thought the meme was funny.

Winmodems .... making life annoying for ALL users for 20+ years now. ;) lol
 

/dev/null

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Check kernel support prior to purchasing. Why make your life more difficult than it has to be?

15+ years ago I downloaded 200MB boot image & installed OpenBSD over wifi and it "just worked"
 

auntjemima

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...don't use a USB adapter. On, well, anything. They almost universally suck, and they don't come with Intel controllers. Get something with an Intel controller.

This is factually incorrect. I have used nearly 2 dozen wifi adapters throughout my windows and Linux use and they ALL have worked in windows, even my $4 Chinese one. They all installed by themselves, except the Chinese one which came with drivers anyway.
 

auntjemima

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It was on an Ubuntu 19.04 live USB.

I do have a USB adapter that works (the Panda one, native Linux support) but the first adapter I tried had problems and I thought the meme was funny.

I do like dev/null mentioned. I look up the revision quick and make sure it's compatible or at least has a driver available. I never used to and found out quick that anything cisco was a no go.
 

IdiotInCharge

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This is factually incorrect. I have used nearly 2 dozen wifi adapters throughout my windows and Linux use and they ALL have worked in windows, even my $4 Chinese one. They all installed by themselves, except the Chinese one which came with drivers anyway.

I didn't say they wouldn't install -- I said they sucked, almost universally. There are a few good non-Intel WiFi adapters out there and some of those have made their way into USB dongles, but by and large a USB WiFi dongle is a last resort.
 

auntjemima

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I didn't say they wouldn't install -- I said they sucked, almost universally. There are a few good non-Intel WiFi adapters out there and some of those have made their way into USB dongles, but by and large a USB WiFi dongle is a last resort.

How does it "suck"? You can't blanket statement this. The connect at the same speed as my internal devices do, they have even worked on my DC rigs that are uploading and downloading 24/7/365.

You'll need to provide a metric to say they "suck".

Being that you're a Linux advocate on these boards and I've seen you reply a number of times, when people say "Linux sucks", with "things change and it's better", I would expect you to give new hardware the same respect.

Things change. This isn't the early 2000's with wireless adapters and windows XP.
 

IdiotInCharge

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You can't blanket statement this.

Clearly I can.

You'll need to provide a metric to say they "suck".

In general, reliability and compatibility across a broad range of operating systems. With respect to reliability, non-Intel WiFi adapters tend to have more issues with disconnects, regardless of operating system. With respect to compatibility, *BSD most comes to mind, but obviously for the newest stuff in the controller manufacturers aren't working to get their drivers into Linux and BSD kernel development, people are going to have issues.
 

auntjemima

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Clearly I can.



In general, reliability and compatibility across a broad range of operating systems. With respect to reliability, non-Intel WiFi adapters tend to have more issues with disconnects, regardless of operating system. With respect to compatibility, *BSD most comes to mind, but obviously for the newest stuff in the controller manufacturers aren't working to get their drivers into Linux and BSD kernel development, people are going to have issues.

Ok, so Linux and BSD. THAT makes sense. By saying "don't use it on anything" is a poor argument not supported by the windows crowd.

Edit: I don't want this to become a windows vs Linux thread, so I'll end it here.

I find most realtek controllers work, but a lot say they don't. I feel it's generation specific. Always search your model AND revision. Quite a few will use 2 or 3 controllers on devices all with the same name.
 
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IdiotInCharge

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Ok, so Linux and BSD. THAT makes sense. By saying "don't use it on anything" is a poor argument not supported by the windows crowd.

Oh, I wouldn't suggest using them on Windows -- they work, mostly -- but they're not worth taking a chance on IMO. If you have to rely on it, use an Intel controller.


[unless you're doing commercial stuff where you need > 10Gbit...]
 

auntjemima

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Oh, I wouldn't suggest using them on Windows -- they work, mostly -- but they're not worth taking a chance on IMO. If you have to rely on it, use an Intel controller.


[unless you're doing commercial stuff where you need > 10Gbit...]

LOL, I just hit edit on my last post as you posted this. Crazy.
 

cybereality

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Well, I definitely do try to buy hardware that is widely compatible, but my main machine has always been on Windows.

I found Panda to make good adapters, that are Plug n Play on Linux. The adapter I was having a problem with was Asus, so not a cheap brand, but with poor Linux compatibility.

I'm still trying to convince myself to switch to Linux for real at some point. I did try it for like 6 months, only using a second Win10 machine for gaming, but it wasn't easy.

And I do get bursts of motivation, but there always seems to be some issue when I try Linux again. Either some hardware doesn't work or software isn't supported, etc.

The Wifi thing is not the worst case, I mean I have an adapter that works. But I tried to set my monitor to 166Hz and Ubuntu went into a black screen and I had to hard reset.

It's just stuff like that you expect to work but doesn't. I'm sure I could get it working with some effort, but it always seems like Linux requires extra effort (could be good or bad depending on what you want).
 

IdiotInCharge

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The adapter I was having a problem with was Asus, so not a cheap brand, but with poor Linux compatibility.

Ahhh.... yeah. If it's a standard implementation, ASUS is usually rock solid. If it's not- well.

I will say that my ancient ASUS Xonar U3 works great under Linux. However, so do my Chinese USB DACs :D.
 

Mazzspeed

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Where Realtek drivers work under Linux they're generally using reverse engineered Windows drivers and offer poor performance and are flakey at best - Avoid Realtek under Linux and your experience is fairly faultless.

No operating system is immune to driver issues, HP printer drivers under Windows are some of the worst. Even techs participating in IT support forums I'm a part of harp on constantly about the state of HP drivers under Windows. Any time you get a callout to diagnose printer issues and you know a HP printer is involved there's a measurable level of anxiety as they're just so hit and miss.

Then we have Apple and the current state of NVIDIA web drivers under Mojave...
 

B00nie

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IIRC Realtek audio driver was a 200-400Mb download lol. I avoid the brand no matter what OS.
 

Mazzspeed

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IIRC Realtek audio driver was a 200-400Mb download lol. I avoid the brand no matter what OS.

This is actually a massive issue under Windows, from printer drivers through to NVIDIA drivers, the amount of bloatware is an outright joke.

Not going out of my way to turn this into a Windows vs Linux flamewar, just stating the facts.
 

IdiotInCharge

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This is actually a massive issue under Windows, from printer drivers through to NVIDIA drivers, the amount of bloatware is an outright joke.

That is one notable difference seen when switching between Windows and Linux; on Windows driver packages usually include software, whereas on Linux, it's usually just the driver, and that's usually included with the distro.

As an exception Nvidia drivers still seem large on Linux, but they're also smaller than they are on Windows.
 

B00nie

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The Realtek XP/NT/Server2k3 version was only 30Mb lol. Since Vista bloooooooat. The driver install must include the whole .Net framework lol.
 

auntjemima

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The Realtek XP/NT/Server2k3 version was only 30Mb lol. Since Vista bloooooooat. The driver install must include the whole .Net framework lol.

I haven't downloaded a realtek driver package in quite some time, but windows driver packages are definitely getting out of control.
 

Mazzspeed

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That is one notable difference seen when switching between Windows and Linux; on Windows driver packages usually include software, whereas on Linux, it's usually just the driver, and that's usually included with the distro.

As an exception Nvidia drivers still seem large on Linux, but they're also smaller than they are on Windows.

Nvidia drivers are about half the size they are under Windows. ;)

~120mb for printer drivers when you're in a rush is soooo frustrating, especially when they don't work (grumble...HP).
 

cybereality

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Okay, so I decided to give it one more shot. I do like Ubuntu and want to make this work.

Asus adapter still sucks. It's a Realtek chip, but I'm not 100% sure which model (Asus used different chips for the same adapter) and the drivers I tried to compile didn't work.

So I will use the Panda adapter for now, even though it is "only" 300Mbps. I also ordered 2 more adapters, another Panda one that is plug and play (600Mbps) and some random brand 1200Mbps dual-band that claimed Linux support.

I mean, 300Mbps is not exactly slow, but of course I want the best knowing newer stuff exists.

With the Nvidia driver installed, I was able to select 166Hz for my monitor, so that is good.

Only weird thing was that I had 2 lock-ups upon finishing the install, but after an apt update everything seems to be working (even my Bluetooth earbuds, really happy about that).
 

auntjemima

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Okay, so I decided to give it one more shot. I do like Ubuntu and want to make this work.

Asus adapter still sucks. It's a Realtek chip, but I'm not 100% sure which model (Asus used different chips for the same adapter) and the drivers I tried to compile didn't work.

So I will use the Panda adapter for now, even though it is "only" 300Mbps. I also ordered 2 more adapters, another Panda one that is plug and play (600Mbps) and some random brand 1200Mbps dual-band that claimed Linux support.

I mean, 300Mbps is not exactly slow, but of course I want the best knowing newer stuff exists.

With the Nvidia driver installed, I was able to select 166Hz for my monitor, so that is good.

Only weird thing was that I had 2 lock-ups upon finishing the install, but after an apt update everything seems to be working (even my Bluetooth earbuds, really happy about that).

Find out the revision of the adapter to figure out the chip inside. I have a DLink adapter that's revision C1, thankfully as the other two use incompatible chips. Most are very well documented, luckily.
 

Mazzspeed

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Okay, so I decided to give it one more shot. I do like Ubuntu and want to make this work.

Asus adapter still sucks. It's a Realtek chip, but I'm not 100% sure which model (Asus used different chips for the same adapter) and the drivers I tried to compile didn't work.

So I will use the Panda adapter for now, even though it is "only" 300Mbps. I also ordered 2 more adapters, another Panda one that is plug and play (600Mbps) and some random brand 1200Mbps dual-band that claimed Linux support.

I mean, 300Mbps is not exactly slow, but of course I want the best knowing newer stuff exists.

With the Nvidia driver installed, I was able to select 166Hz for my monitor, so that is good.

Only weird thing was that I had 2 lock-ups upon finishing the install, but after an apt update everything seems to be working (even my Bluetooth earbuds, really happy about that).

One thing I have found lately when installing Nvidia drivers using the PPA method is use 'aptitude' as opposed to 'apt'. I don't know what it is, but for some reason the driver packages seem to have dependency issues and aptitude appears to be better at pulling the necessary dependencies.
 

cybereality

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Find out the revision of the adapter to figure out the chip inside. I have a DLink adapter that's revision C1, thankfully as the other two use incompatible chips. Most are very well documented, luckily.
Yeah, I could probably figure it out if I didn't have any options, but I'd rather just use another adapter that is plug and play. I've had issues before with compiling kernel drivers when it comes time to upgrade.
 

cybereality

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One thing I have found lately when installing Nvidia drivers using the PPA method is use 'aptitude' as opposed to 'apt'. I don't know what it is, but for some reason the driver packages seem to have dependency issues and aptitude appears to be better at pulling the necessary dependencies.
I let the Ubuntu installer setup Nvidia proprietary drivers and things look good. They finally fixed the problem with high refresh monitors, so 166Hz is looking nice.
 

IdiotInCharge

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One thing I have found lately when installing Nvidia drivers using the PPA method is use 'aptitude' as opposed to 'apt'. I don't know what it is, but for some reason the driver packages seem to have dependency issues and aptitude appears to be better at pulling the necessary dependencies.

I've literally never used 'aptitude' over 'apt' or 'apt-get'. And I've wiped and reinstalled to address dependency hell on occasion too...
 

Mazzspeed

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I let the Ubuntu installer setup Nvidia proprietary drivers and things look good. They finally fixed the problem with high refresh monitors, so 166Hz is looking nice.

What version Nvidia driver did it pull out of curiosity? It'd be interesting to see if it's using the PPA of the default repositories.
 

Mazzspeed

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I've literally never used 'aptitude' over 'apt' or 'apt-get'. And I've wiped and reinstalled to address dependency hell on occasion too...

This is the only time I used it and trust me, it without a doubt fixed the problem across multiple machines running differing variants of Ubuntu. At first I thought it was due to my 16.04 install being outdated so I upgraded to KDE Neon 5.16 on two machines and the exact same issue was still present - You install the drivers using the official PPA, notice errors after compile and reboot to a black screen with a blinking cursor.

Using aptitude the dependencies were pulled, the errors disappeared and upon reboot I was presented with the login screen as normal. Bearing in mind installing the previous Nvidia driver version via PPA worked just fine using apt.
 

cybereality

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What version Nvidia driver did it pull out of curiosity? It'd be interesting to see if it's using the PPA of the default repositories.
I'm on 418.56, which is fairly old I believe. Things seem to be working, but I can try the newer driver to see if it's any different.
 

IdiotInCharge

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I'm on 418.56, which is fairly old I believe. Things seem to be working, but I can try the newer driver to see if it's any different.

Just installed the 19.10 Beta of Ubuntu Creator (or whatever), and 435 is on tap, with 430 and 390 being available.

Then I tried to run Davinci Resolve, and well, shit went downhill.
 

Mazzspeed

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Just installed the 19.10 Beta of Ubuntu Creator (or whatever), and 435 is on tap, with 430 and 390 being available.

Then I tried to run Davinci Resolve, and well, shit went downhill.

I've installed DaVinci Resolve, it's really simple using the .deb patch.

I'm on 418.56, which is fairly old I believe. Things seem to be working, but I can try the newer driver to see if it's any different.

My advice is to practice baby steps.

418.56 isn't that old, get used to adding PPA's and installing software first, get your head around the basics before getting too involved in installing the very latest drivers.

If Windows has been your OS of choice up until this point you have a lot of familarisation ahead of you, which is as exciting as it is challenging when your muscle memory is so programmed to exist in a Windows world.
 

cybereality

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Well, I've used Linux before, Ubuntu at one point for almost 6 months (this was like two years ago) and I've messed with other distros in VMs.

So I'm not a total noob, but yeah, I do have a lot to learn. Things are working fairly well now. A few small things could be better, but not deal breakers.
 

Mazzspeed

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Well, I've used Linux before, Ubuntu at one point for almost 6 months (this was like two years ago) and I've messed with other distros in VMs.

So I'm not a total noob, but yeah, I do have a lot to learn. Things are working fairly well now. A few small things could be better, but not deal breakers.

I'm almost certain that 6 months and a little dabbling in Linux is vastly less time than you have under your belt running Windows, and there's nothing wrong with that, as much as we'd all like to deny it there was once a time where each and every one of us thought Windows = Great and made it a part of our daily lives without issue.

When switching to Linux you have to unlearn everything you know, this becomes daunting when people are looking specifically for a Windows replacement, as Linux is not a replacement for Windows. This is the area where most fail. All I'm saying is don't rush, take your time, learn to appreciate just why the Linux way is how it is in comparison to what you may be used to and enjoy the experience.
 

B00nie

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Linux is so difficult that my 70-year old mother still doesn't know how to break it after 10 years of use. She did manage to uninstall Chrome a couple days ago which reminded me that maybe it was not wise to give her instructions over the phone and let know how sudo works lol.
 

Mazzspeed

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Linux is so difficult that my 70-year old mother still doesn't know how to break it after 10 years of use. She did manage to uninstall Chrome a couple days ago which reminded me that maybe it was not wise to give her instructions over the phone and let know how sudo works lol.

*Imagines your mother blowing up the E-Corp building logged in via ssh using terminal... ;)
 
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