Need driver help

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I just formated a HP Compaq dc5700 (small form) buisness comp and
Installed Xubuntu on it. I am finding out that getting drivers for
this thing isn't as straite forward as windows. I went to HP site and
(no suprise) no support for linux there. I tried the internal search
for drivers tool and it came up blank. Also, once I find drivers I'll
have to learn how to install them. I know I'm going to have to learn
unix cmd line. A really good tute on all this would be nice. I'm doing
some searching on my own but If someone has a favorite tute to suggest
for beginners and where to find drivers. One that can pretty much
spoon feed me at first till I get the hang of it.

Doomed Soul

Re: Need driver help

Doomed Soul wrote:
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Re: Need driver help

Doomed Soul wrote:
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I don't know if I can do a good job on the subject, but I'll try.

So underneath, it's Ubuntu, and you'd look to the site
for help. Sometimes, there will be a HOWTO on a particular issue,
which is hosted there. The quality of those, can vary considerably.

Hardware level interface issues ("drivers") aren't uniformly treated.
Some parts of your hardware get treated better than others.

The kernel contains a lot of the low level drivers already. The
kernel is developed separately from each distro. A central body
works on the kernel, and then each distro "builds" their own
version of the kernel. That means, going into a tick box menu,
and turning on the inclusion of support for various pieces of hardware.
Then, after a ten minute compile session, the kernel is baked and
ready to be used. (Your LiveCD will already have several kernel
files, all baked and ready to go. So a new user doesn't have to
learn about this, right away.) This is an example of the interface,
to set hundreds of different options. You'd be surprised the
things you miss in here, the first time you go through it.

Disk interfaces should be integrated into the kernel, and generally,
all the tick boxes will be turned on when the kernel is built.

Linux isn't inherently a GUI equipped OS. It can also be operated
in a text only mode. And many admins, when setting up Linux servers, will
have no use for setting up a GUI for the computer. They may even
SSH into the box, and remotely administer it. (You could run a Linux
box, "headless" if you want.)

The GUI, when provided, is based on Xwindows. Currently, this would
be referred to as Xorg (the supporting site would be Xorg has
some elements built into the kernel (such new innovations as
"kernel mode setting" for example). But Xwindows doesn't always start
properly (for example, I work a fair bit with Linux distros running
within Virtual PC 2007, and see a lot of failures there). If you're
booting a box with your Live CD though, chances are you'll get some
level of GUI support, see a login box and so on.

By default, Xorg may use a "VESA driver" for the graphics. That is
a generic driver. Since virtually all graphics cards support some
basic VESA operating modes, that guarantees you'll see a GUI (a lot
of the time). You can then switch to a binary blob driver, such as
going to the Nvidia or ATI sites, and getting their Linux packages.
You may see an improvement in OpenGL performance by doing so. (Maybe
your copy of Quake3 will run faster. I've had Quake3 running in Linux,
using map files from a Quake CD.)

For wireless, sometimes the recommended recipe is an "ndiswrapper" and
an actual Windows binary for the wireless gear. In that case, you
might Google on the name of your wireless, and see how it's supported.

You use programs such as "lspci", "lsusb", "lshw", to list the hardware
contents of the computer. That gives you the necessary hints, as to
what to Google for when resolving hardware interface issues.

In summary:

1) Drivers don't mean quite the same thing as they do in Windows. In
    Windows, the subject is treated more uniformly. Linux can support
    hardware, either in kernel space, or in user space. For example,
    webcams would have been user space a couple years ago, but for
    reasons that escape me, they've moved the webcams into kernel space.
    The first kernel space version of webcam support I tried, crashed!
    Most impressive.

2) Attack your hardware subsystems one at a time. You're going to learn
    about hardware sooner or later. For example, a lot of distros, don't
    enable sound by default, and it'll take you a day or two to sort that
    out. Some distros have the nerve, to set the volume to zero on each
    boot, so you have to do crap each time you startup. Again, not that

3) Some distros, simply have better user land support than others. The
    folks at Ubuntu mean well, but the community based help provided is
    very uneven. By comparison, the Gentoo distribution may be laughed at,
    for its reliance on building from source. But the recipes the Gentoo
    community provide, all work, and work well. With Gentoo, I was able
    to build an environment from scratch, learning as I went. Most of the
    time was spent compiling. The recipes were all there. With Ubuntu,
    frequently I'm forced to separate the bad advice from the good advice.
    This was particularly hard with PulseAudio, as the community gave the
    impression that PulseAudio could not be removed (safely) with package
    manager. I eventually tried it myself, only to find that the impact
    of doing so was minimal. Not nearly as earth shattering, as the community
    advice would make it seem. (The package manager wanted to remove something
    called "desktop", which looked scary by implication, but the word "desktop"
    was poorly chosen, and I suspect was done that way on purpose.)

    With Gentoo, it was even easier, as by setting a flag for "minus PulseAudio",
    the environment built, seamlessly, without it.

No matter what distro you're going to use, you are going to learn something.
You'll end up in a terminal window eventually. In fact, on my Gentoo
virtual machine, the only thing I populated in the Gnome desktop manager,
was a command to launch a terminal. None of the other stuff has been
set up. I've got a Firefox button somewhere, so starting a browser isn't
too hard.

So each piece of hardware you work on, could either have drivers
already in the kernel, or it could involve something as crude as
a Linux wrapper around a Windows binary (that actually works pretty
well). And you learn about each case, one at a time. It's not like
slipping in a driver CD, and bingo-bongo, all the hardware works.
It takes a bit more work than that. Some hair loss. Some cursing
and swearing. You get the idea.

As for fixing bugs, once you've been Googling a lot, you'll find
that the rate of bug fixing is pretty slow. Some of the bugtracker
threads I've read, users can suffer the same problems, over three
different distro releases. So some things simply get no attention
at all. However, if something didn't work on Linuses desktop, then
I bet it would get fixed :-) A little publicity, works wonders for


A worst case scenario for Linux, is

1) Being trapped in a distro, where the GUI is broken and Xorg
    won't run. Now, you can't (easily) run a web browser. You
    can use Lynx of course, but much of the content is invisible
    that way.

2) Your stupid Ethernet interface won't start. My batting average
    with that stuff, is simply terrible. Sometimes I go in, do an
    "ifconfig" and there is no "eth0". Or, I'll have an etho, but
    the environment doesn't have a working "ifup" and "ifdown". It
    takes eons, to sort that out (if ever!). I've been defeated
    on a number of occasions.

3) Anything that prevents your web browser from running, is the
    hard part. If your LiveCD can browse to the web, chances are you
    can find a HOWTO. And then, you might just fix it. But if you
    can't get the GUI running, Firefox won't run, or the network
    interface is broken, then those are tough to put right. One
    of the reasons I do so much work and testing in VirtualPC 2007,
    is I can use my Windows Firefox, and sort issues with the
    Linux running in a window. That's much easier to deal with.

This is what Linux looks like, running inside a window on your
WinXP desktop. You hold down the <alt> key, and then you can
move the mouse cursor outside the window. You can minimize this
window, and then you're back staring at your Windows desktop.
I have more than half a dozen distros set up in such an
environment. VPC2007 isn't the best, because the Linux crowd
now use a lot of facilities, that aren't emulated in VPC2007.
And that's why I had to work so hard, to beat them into shape.
I'm still not finished. (Most of my issues right now, are


Re: Need driver help

On 2/1/2011 3:43 PM, Doomed Soul wrote:
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It might be easier to simply try some other Linux distributions. I've found
that some seem to have built-in support for everything I've thrown at them
while others fail to recognize even rather common items. Given the price of
your average distribution (free) you have little to lose beyond your time.

Take a look at:
and: /
for some ideas where you might start testing.

And yes, you had better plan on eventually learning command line and even
how to do your own builds. Linux has come a long way but eventually
everyone gets to the point that the glossy GUI just won't cut it.

Re: Need driver help

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Wow. I gotta lot learning to do. I have 2 other windows machines I run
on my own little 4 way (wired) network so outside access is no issue.
Right now I have no sound but I have a volume button at least and
realtec running in the sys tray. I can't get a 64 bit version of acro
flash for opera. It says they have a beta version but the link just
takes you too the same 32 bit links. So that means no youtube.. I may
have sound right now but just don't know it yet because I don't have
cd driver working yet. I am having no issues with the GUI or internet.
I've got my desktop fairly customized.  If I could just figure out how
to install browser plug-ins and get the cd/dvd drive working I'd be
happy enough for right now.

I see much google in my near future. lol
Doomed Soul

Re: Need driver help

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Select the link

The following instructions work on a 32 bit system.  I don't have a
64 bit system to check, but I expect it will just be a matter of
replacing /lib with /lib64.

After you save the file, open a terminal program, such as konsole.
Use cd to get to the directory where you saved the file.
Uncompress the file with ...
tar -xf flashplayer10_2_p3_64bit_linux_111710.tar.gz
Install it with ...
sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib/flash-plugin
sudo cp ./ /usr/lib/flash-plugin
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/flash-plugin/ /usr/lib/opera/plugins/
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/flash-plugin/ /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/

Then restart opera.

Regards, Dave Hodgins

Change to to reply by email.
( has been set up specifically for
use in usenet. Feel free to use it yourself.)

Re: Need driver help

On Tue, 01 Feb 2011 12:43:04 -0800, Doomed Soul wrote:

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What hardware are you having problems with? A lot of hardware is
supported by the kernel and doesn't require specific drivers to function
in the same way that Windows does.

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Re: Need driver help

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cd/dvd drive

Re: Need driver help

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When I go to Applications>Settings>Hardware Drivers the little window
pops up "scanning for available drivers" then after about 30 sec the
Driver window pops up empty with "No propriatory drivers are in use on
this system"

Re: Need driver help

On Wed, 02 Feb 2011 10:46:30 -0800, Doomed Soul wrote:

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That's only for video cards as far as I know.

So does the DVD drive not work at all?

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Re: Need driver help

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OK I've been reading the internal tutes("Using Removable Media") as
much as possible. I been tinkering around and this is what I got.

Right now if insert a cd with .cda Exaile player comes up and shows
music list in sidebar and if I drag it over to the main window it
plays the songs. That's a huge relief. Now I know I have sound and the
OS sees the drive.
Now if I put in a cd with .mp3 files on it I get an error

alert (Failed to mount "UDF Volume"
         mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /
         dev/sr0,        missing codepage or helper program, or
         other error        In some cases useful info is found in
         syslog - try        dmesg | tail  or so  .)

If I put a dvd in a movie player pops up and says "could not read you
don't have nessesary plugins bla bla."

I haven't read through all responces yet, just thought it would be a
good idea to update behavior.

And thanks for the instructions on installing the flash plugins. I see
you posted link to the actual 64 bit versions. Thats a big help but I
do have a couple questions about the process of un zipping and
installing. Right now I'm going to consentrate getting hardware
functional and I'll get back to that one. My Feeble little mind can
only handle one problem at a time. lol
Doomed Soul

Re: Need driver help

Doomed Soul wrote:
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Keep your search engine fired up. The fun never stops in Linux land.
Use the name of your movie player, and look for bugs related to it.

To check out a CD with unknown file system on it, go to package manager
and find a copy of "disktype". (Using Synaptic Package Manager, means
you don't have to compile from source, and installation is a click of
a button plus a download.) /

In a terminal window, try

    sudo disktype /dev/cdrom

while the CD is in the drive. The program will tell you what flavor of UDF
is on there. Then you can go read up on what flavors of UDF that Linux

The most disappointing part of using some of the distros, is there
is so much old and stale advice out there. You can spend hours sorting
through it, to get your recent distro to work.

An alternative solution, is to try another distro, such as Linux Mint.

    "Linux Mint also includes some proprietary software, such as the
     Adobe Flash plugin, and uses a Linux kernel that contains binary blobs."

Now, maybe you can see why I test these in Virtual Machines, just to
separate the distros into "good" and "bad" ones :-)


Re: Need driver help

Doomed Soul wrote:
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In a terminal window

    sudo lshw

In a Linux here, this returns, amongst other things...

                 description: DVD reader
                 product: C/DVD-ROM
                 vendor: MS
                 physical id: 1
                 bus info: scsi@1:0.0.0
                 logical name: /dev/cdrom
                 logical name: /dev/dvd
                 logical name: /dev/scd0
                 logical name: /dev/sr0
                 version: 3.0
                 capabilities: removable audio dvd
                 configuration: ansiversion=5 status=nodisc

If I do

    ls /dev

then I can also see /dev/cdrom.

If I run this, pressing the space bar or return key to advance
the display...

    dmesg | less

I can see a dump of messages from the system startup. Multiple
pieces of software are running in parallel, and dumping messages
into the same log facility. These are some extracted lines from

    [    1.611513] sr0: scsi3-mmc drive: 0x/0x cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
    [    1.613062] Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.20
    [    1.615144] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
    [    1.615527] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5

and that means the CDROM has been detected. If I saw no mention
at all, of CDROM or DVD, in "dmesg" program output, then I'd be
concerned. The SCSI there, refers to the pseudo-SCSI protocol stack
used (sending a CDB or command-data block to the drive - in Windows
pseudo SCSI is also used, to make it easier to write drivers).

If I then run a utility in Linux, that talks to optical drives,
I may see further proof they're present. (Some distros, would
put an entry in /etc/fstab for the CDROM, but not Ubuntu. It
has some kind of automounter scheme, so the mount point only
gets set up, when media is present. ( /etc/fstab and /etc/mtab
keep track of mounts - the first is the command prototype,
while the second keeps track of the current system state, for
mounted devices. Both are text files, and an administrator
would edit fstab to solve volume mounting issues.)

In Ubuntu, I can see this command as an option to check for media
in the tray. Notice that this relies on the existence of a device
(/dev) entry, and if the hardware isn't showing up in that sense,
then you won't have a way to use this utility. Many utilities will
require "sudo" slapped in front of them, to give you root
permission to issue the command. If the command won't run right
or complains, then slap "sudo" in front of the command (without
the double quotes of course).

    dvd+rw-mediainfo /dev/sr0

There is a burner application called Brasero (On KDE GUI systems, an
equivalent would be K3B, which is a very nice burner program.)
Try a "disc copy" command from here, and see how many optical
drives it can find.


Brasero should be installed by default. If it was not, you'd
go to Synaptic Package Manager, and install it. If you tried to
install K3B, then it would download lots of unrelated KDE stuff
as well, so you'd save such a move for a rainy day.

I think I'd look around "dmesg" and see what's up. Or, you
could do

    dmesg > dmesg.txt

then copy the contents of dmesg.txt into a posting. It would
help if you only copied relevant parts, but at this point,
I guess we really don't know what would be relevant. If you
saw an error message, for example, then that might save having
to copy 60KB of junk to USENET.


Re: Need driver help

Doomed Soul wrote:
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You can't download drivers for Linux you have to write them yourself
because Linux isn't for beginners but for smart people.

Re: Need driver help

On Tue, 08 Mar 2011 11:24:48 +0000, Christen Alex wrote:

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That's a load of rubbish if ever I saw it. There are plenty vendors out
there who have linux drivers for their hardware. And of course, plenty
that don't unfortunately.

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