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Thread: Preserve Firmware during "Update Manager"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Preserve Firmware during "Update Manager"

    I am new to Ubuntu and need some help. On my OLD OLD Dell Inspiron 8600 have a Broadcom BCM43xx wireless card. After so much trial and error was able to get it running just fine. This was my installation due to a non-PAE processor and wanting LTS, hence the reason to go to Ubuntu 12.04.
    - Lubuntu 12.04. Got the wireless to work following offline option at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BroadcomSTA(Wireless)
    - Installed Ubuntu 12.04
    - Updated all available options using "Update Manager". This is where I ran into issues, as the update died around 80%. Nevertheless, got pass it and installed all. However, at the end of all this, had to reinstalled the wireless driver, following the link again.

    So my question is this: How can I prevent future updates from overwriting/deleting the firmware/driver again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Preserve Firmware during "Update Manager"

    Hi shabuboy,

    This is odd. I have a half-dozen old Dell laptops all running Linux and all requiring the Broadcom fixes on a pristine install. However, after the initial monkey business, kernel updates don't break my modules and they all work fine with each kernel update.

    Since this is a relatively new install, back up any critical data and then do:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get update
    Code:
    sudo apt-get autoremove
    Code:
    sudo apt-get clean
    The above is designed to clear out any cruft remaining from your previous install attempts.

    Then do:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install fakeroot dkms
    ...which should pull down the Dynamic Kernel Module Support system. DKMS allows the system to autobuild driver modules every time the kernel changes in the course of a regular update. However, if you re-install the system from scratch, you bypass DKMS altogether and it cannot intervene.

    If DKMS is not already installed, then your problem may be as simple as the fact that DKMS is absent. If it is already installed, then your problem is more complicated and will need more detective work.

    DKMS is not smart enough to look back in history and recognize your previous Broadcom travails. Therefore, your next kernel update may require you to go through the whole Broadcom nonsense again. However, DKMS should thereafter automatically compile the proper module of any future kernel updates.

    Let us know how it goes.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Re: Preserve Firmware during "Update Manager"

    ok, thanks, let me see what I find out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Reykjavk, sland
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    Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

    Re: Preserve Firmware during "Update Manager"

    It seems like you have had a lot of work just getting some operative system to run. If you want something stable for a non-PAE computer you could try Bodhi Linux.

    When that works (using wired internet access) most of the Broadcoms should be easy to install.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Preserve Firmware during "Update Manager"

    Quote Originally Posted by mrgs View Post
    If you want something stable for a non-PAE computer you could try Bodhi Linux.
    +1

    @shabuboy

    Bodhi is one of my favourite distros. Just be aware that it is not your average distro.

    1. First of all, it is an independent distro based on the Ubuntu repositories. So while you can install into Bodhi almost anything that would work in any of the official flavours, Bodhi is not actually supported by Ubuntu. You would have to go to the Bodhi site and forums, which are quite active.

    2. The philosophy behind Bodhi is the opposite of Ubuntu's. Whereas Ubuntu strives for as complete an experience as is reasonable in its typical install, Bodhi strives for minimalism. It comes with almost no preloaded apps and a pleasingly minimal set of drivers and services. For paranoids like some of us, this is the next best things to a minimal install. Sort of like the mini.iso but with an X environment. We can pick and choose only the apps we want and avoid the bloat and cruft that characterizes so many mainline distros. If you like to customize your computing experience down to the nth degree, Bodhi is the way to go.

    3. Bodhi uses the Enlightenment environment which is like a cross between a full Desktop Environment and a plain Window Manager. It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be wondering why everyone isn't doing things this way.

    4. Bodhi brings back incredible zip and responsiveness to some awfully old HW. It gives some of my oldest stuff a second life. However, this is only true of its default install in a pristine state. If you choose to then bloat it up with compiz, a large DE, inflated apps, and modules/services out the yin-yang, it will slow your old HW down just as if you had installed the bloated flavour to start with. There's an art to choosing only the most minimal apps for Bodhi--those with tiny footprints and few to no dependencies--and it is both challenging and rewarding to customize an installation that does everything you want it to do, but not a smidgen more. This obsession with absolutely optimal computing efficiency has long been lost in the mainstream distros.

    I would suggest burning a DVD and going for a test drive. In your case, make sure you use their non-PAE version. Whatever you use, I'm afraid you're stuck with the extra work needed to install Broadcom drivers.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Reykjavk, sland
    Beans
    9,920
    Distro
    Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

    Re: Preserve Firmware during "Update Manager"

    Agree on everything above, would just like to add that a DVD is not necessary. Bodhi fits to a CD.
    About problems due to upgrading
    Bringing old hardware back to life.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts

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