[Trisquel-users] Trying to install the drivers for Netis WF-2109 wifi adapter and don't know how to use Terminal

chris at thinkpenguin.com chris at thinkpenguin.com
Thu Aug 28 05:52:22 CEST 2014


Just to give you a heads up that driver has non-free firmware embedded in it.  
As many people here are aware the fact the code is under a free software  
license (like the GNU GPL v2) doesn't in itself make the whole of it  
completely free if there is critical non-free binary code embedded in it.  
There is no source available for the binary code which is what makes it  
non-free. While you could install it you'd be losing the primary benefit of  
running Trisquel. The best way to get support for the latest hardware is  
usually to install the linux-libre kernel from jxself.org/linux-libre. Jason  
(jxself) here is the maintainer of the repository and I can attest to the  
fact he does an excellent job maintaining it (and responding to issues with  
it!).

Rubén (quidam) also has added a slightly newer kernel to the 6.01 repository  
(3.5 if I recall correctly) if you prefer to stick with an official Trisquel  
release.

In either event both kernels are free software, and without the non-free  
bits.

Here is the list of the USB G and USB N chipsets that are free software  
friendly (usually):

RTL8187B (generally great, not aware of any you can go wrong with),
RTL8187L, RTL8187 (I have seen reports of problems, but I think they should  
generally OK too)
AR9170 (not reccomended any more, and not really available anymore anyway)
AR9270 (excelent, although there are some poor choice non-free adapters too)
AR7010+AR9280 (excelent, at least in some instances, not true of all  
instances)

However there are a few USB dongles with AR7010+AR9280 and the AR9271 which  
are not free software friendly for one reason or another. One of the adapters  
I know doesn't work (weird design, and it needs a propitiatory  
driver/firmware component, and it doesn't matter which distribution you have  
it won't work) and at least one more others which have non-free drivers  
included.

Check the FSF list next time you are looking at hardware:

http://fsf.org/ryf

* Note: I'm the CEO of ThinkPenguin, inc. which focuses on free software in  
its intersection with hardware.




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