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Thread: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

  1. #1
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    Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    I am inquiring here first before I post to the Hamlib email.

    I have a Dell e1505n laptop purchased new in 2007 when Dell released this model with Ubuntu Linux on it from the factory. An install of Ubuntu is a bit too much for the computing power of this computer. I have upgraded it to the maximum of 4 GB installed (3 something GB usable) RAM but still regular Ubuntu performs too slowly. So I installed Lubuntu 18.04.5 on it and it works pretty well. My intent is to use this laptop for amateur radio purposes. One of those is to control an ICOM IC9700 VHF/UHF radio to track satellites when I take the radio to other locations than my home station to operate. To do that I need to use Gpredict and Hamlib 4.0. Gpredict provides solutions to the location of a satellite and has an interface that controls the radio through Hamlib (libhamlib) to set the frequencies and provide compensation for doppler shift.

    My problem is that I cannot get the Dell laptop to communicate with the radio using a USB to Serial converter that contains an FTDI FT232RL chip (or one that identifies as such, the cable is designed to use the 3.5 mm CI-V plug on the radio) or a direct USB connection to the radio. I tried the communication with the radio using the Hamlib utility rigctl which is a command line interface. I know I can communicate with the radio in either way from my radio stations computer wihich is a desktop running Ubuntu 20.04. On the laptop I continually get timeouts after the program tries to talk to the radio. To try to find out if Hamlib 4.0 was giving me problems since I had to compile it as the only *.deb file for 4.0 requires libc6-i386_29 or later and Lubuntu only had libc6-i386_27 installed. So I reverted to Hamlib 3 which is the one available for Lubuntu 18.04. Since Hamlib 3 does not have the IC-9700 in it, I used my ICOM IC-821 which is a 25 year old radio that works similar to the IC-9700. Once again I got the same issue with Hamlib 3.0 getting no data back after multiple timeouts from a radio but only with the USB to Serial converter since there is no direct USB port on the IC-821.

    The USB ports on the Dell laptop are USB 2.0 and the ones in my rather old desktop are also USB 2.0. The laptop correctly recognizes the USB to Serial converter. I have used dmseg and lsusb to confirm this. The USB ports work with mice and keyboards and I have tried all of them with the USB to Serial converter cable. I have /dev/ttyUSB0 which is the normally occurring port set with user group "dialout" and my user name in that group. The only thing I can think of is there being some library or demon not installed. The same libraries for USB though different versions are installed on both computers.

    I really have no clue as to what may be the issue.
    Last edited by deck; April 22nd, 2021 at 02:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    Lubuntu 18.04, because it's a flavor of Ubuntu, has only 3 years of support and it just ended.
    You need to upgrade to 20.04 which is actually a good thing because what you need to work you already know it work in 20.04 so there's a good chance it'll work in the old laptop as well.

  3. #3
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticWarrior View Post
    Lubuntu 18.04, because it's a flavor of Ubuntu, has only 3 years of support and it just ended.
    You need to upgrade to 20.04 which is actually a good thing because what you need to work you already know it work in 20.04 so there's a good chance it'll work in the old laptop as well.
    1) You need to recheck on the support for an LTS release. A mainline LTS release is supported for 5 years not 3. While flavors may only support for 3 they may support for longer. Mainline Ubuntu 18.04 is good till 2023 and was the last LTS release with a 32 bit (i386) version.

    2) The Inspirion e1505 is a dual 32 bit processor. Ubuntu 20.04 and flavors are only released for 64 bit processors. Therefore I can't upgrade to it. I would have upgraded to the latest Lubuntu release (19.04) if it were in 32 bit but it isn't. I have tried the latest Debian release in 32 bit but it is very slow on the hardware.

    3) An accompanying issue is that future Linux releases may only be 64 bit per Linus Torvalds.

  4. #4
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    1) standard Ubuntu has 5 years; flavors only 3, that's exactly what I said. Lubuntu 18.04 supports end this month.

    2) A Dell Inspiron E1505 is a laptop, not a CPU. It has a CPU which happens to be Intel Core 2 Duo, a 64-bit CPU. It may have come with a preinstalled 32-bit OS, typical on early 64-bit computers, but the original and/or current OS architecture is irrelevant. If it has a 64-bit CPU it can run a 64-bit OS.

  5. #5
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    The Inspirion e1505 is a dual 32 bit processor. Ubuntu 20.04 and flavors are only released for 64 bit processors. Therefore I can't upgrade to it.
    I also bought the Inspiron e1505 from Dell in the Spring of 2007 with pre-installed Ubuntu 7.04. If you have the same processor mine has, you are right. It's 32-bit only. There could have been another processor option. I don't know about that.

    Check to find model:
    Code:
    dmn@Kayleigh:~$ inxi -C
    CPU:       Dual core Intel T2080 (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB
               clock speeds: max: 1733 MHz 1: 1263 MHz 2: 1191 MHz
    and to see architecture and op-modes:
    Code:
    dmn@Kayleigh:~$ lscpu
    Architecture:        i686
    CPU op-mode(s):      32-bit
    Byte Order:          Little Endian
    CPU(s):              2
    Right now, I am using Ubuntu MATE 18.04 32 bit.

    And sorry, I can't offer any advice on your questions. Not something I know anything about.

  6. #6
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticWarrior View Post
    1) standard Ubuntu has 5 years; flavors only 3, that's exactly what I said. Lubuntu 18.04 supports end this month.
    This is what I used to think, but it's not that cut and dry. While Lubuntu devs will not be working on LXDE updates from this point on, users will still receive the same updates that Ubuntu users get and are still free to ask for support from the community. See the "Release Cycle" graphics at the bottom of: https://lubuntu.me/downloads/

  7. #7
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    Dennis N,

    CPU op-mode may be 32-bit because the OS is 32 bit. I did some checking and there seemed to be problems running a 64-bit OS on the e1505 because of some hardware in the system. I am going to try a 64 bit Linux and see if it even works. If it gives me grief then there are hardware issues. I still need a light weight Linux to operate within the hardware constraints. One thing I did note in reading the Owner's Manual specifications is that the data bus is 64 bit but the address bus is 32 bit (4 GB maximum address range)
    Last edited by deck; April 22nd, 2021 at 07:30 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    You will have to have a Core 2 Duo ("Merom") for 64-bit to have any chance of working. The original Core Duo ("Yonah") is not 64-bit capable.

  9. #9
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Pasque View Post
    You will have to have a Core 2 Duo ("Merom") for 64-bit to have any chance of working. The original Core Duo ("Yonah") is not 64-bit capable.
    Exactly.
    I bought my last 32-bit hardware around 2006, a DualCore, but the same model had a 64-bit option with Core2Duo. That was exactly the turning point. I expect most laptops from known brands sold during 2007 to have been 64-bit already.

  10. #10
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    Re: Lubuntu 18.04, Dell e1505n and USB

    Quote Originally Posted by deck View Post
    1) You need to recheck on the support for an LTS release. A mainline LTS release is supported for 5 years not 3. While flavors may only support for 3 they may support for longer. Mainline Ubuntu 18.04 is good till 2023 and was the last LTS release with a 32 bit (i386) version.

    2) The Inspirion e1505 is a dual 32 bit processor. Ubuntu 20.04 and flavors are only released for 64 bit processors. Therefore I can't upgrade to it. I would have upgraded to the latest Lubuntu release (19.04) if it were in 32 bit but it isn't. I have tried the latest Debian release in 32 bit but it is very slow on the hardware.

    3) An accompanying issue is that future Linux releases may only be 64 bit per Linus Torvalds.
    Ubuntu 18.04 LTS had 5 years only for packages in the 'main' repository, ie. those included on specific ISOs including Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 LTS, Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS etc. You can see https://fridge.ubuntu.com/2018/04/27...aver-released/ for details where you'll note

    Maintenance updates will be provided for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, and Ubuntu Core. Ubuntu Studio will be supported for 9 months. All the remaining flavours will be supported
    for 3 years.
    You'll read the same in Lubuntu's release notes too https://lubuntu.me/bionic-5-released/
    Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS, will be supported until April 2021.
    In fact I just put up a warning about the approaching EOL on Lubuntu's discourse

    Quote Originally Posted by deck View Post
    I would have upgraded to the latest Lubuntu release (19.04) if it were in 32 bit but it isn't.

    I have tried the latest Debian release in 32 bit but it is very slow on the hardware.
    I don't really understand this, the latest release is Lubuntu 21.04 with Lubuntu 19.04 having been end of life for some time. ISOs were produced in x86/i386 for 19.04 and upgraded packages were provided the entire life of 19.04, but that was long ago & is of no consequence now. Lubuntu 19.04 however was never officially supported at time of release, so only alpha or test ISOs were ever produced, those having been deleted now.

    FYI: I QA-test both Lubuntu & Debian (as well as others, eg. Xubuntu also had i386 images in the disco or 19.04 cycle so tested them too), and whilst in most boxes I find Lubuntu (LXDE or LXQt) pretty much equal to Debian (using same LXDE or LXQt desktop), I have one resource challenged box where Lubuntu 18.04.5 LTS (i386) clearly outperformed Debian 10.6 (Buster LXDE i386 non-free) last tested in August-2020 (one box being out of nine i386 boxes used in QA-testing) My last x86 netbook was a early 2007 asus eeepc.
    Last edited by guiverc; April 23rd, 2021 at 12:08 AM.

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