[NBLUG/talk] finding debian packages, hotplug, ubuntu, etc

Troy Arnold troy at zenux.net
Fri Jun 23 00:35:07 PDT 2006

On Thu, Jun 22, 2006 at 11:25:23AM -0700, Bob Blick wrote:
> I have an old netgear MA101 Rev B usb wireless adapter that works with
> ubuntu.
> The machine I need it to work with is a console-based machine running
> debian testing, so I'd like to figure out what package provides the driver
> and populates the hotplug list so it's detected when I plug it in and the
> correct modules are inserted.
> Please note that I am not asking what driver I need or how to edit the
> hotplug list - I already know how to do that, and the modules at76c503,
> at76c503-rfmd and usbdfu.
> What I am asking is, how does one go about finding what debian package
> might contain what I want, or if I can use an ubuntu package ob a debian
> system? Googling only turns up obsolete information. This is a
> console-only machine, no X, so aptitude is the most advanced a package
> manager I have.

The two most useful tools for this are apt-cache (which searches package
names and descriptions) and apt-file (which search filenames included in
the package)

This is on Debian unstable:
[troy at asp ~/scratch]$ apt-cache search at76
atmel-firmware - Firmware for Atmel at76c50x wireless networking chips.
at76c503a-source - at76c503a driver source

[troy at asp ~/scratch]$ apt-file search at76
at76c503a-source: usr/share/doc/at76c503a-source/README.Debian
at76c503a-source: usr/share/doc/at76c503a-source/README.gz
at76c503a-source: usr/share/doc/at76c503a-source/changelog.Debian.gz
at76c503a-source: usr/share/doc/at76c503a-source/changelog.gz
at76c503a-source: usr/share/doc/at76c503a-source/copyright
at76c503a-source: usr/src/at76c503a.tar.gz
atmel-firmware: lib/firmware/atmel_at76c502-wpa.bin
atmel-firmware: lib/firmware/atmel_at76c502.bin
atmel-firmware: lib/firmware/atmel_at76c502e-wpa.bin
atmel-firmware: lib/firmware/atmel_at76c502e.bin
atmel-firmware: lib/firmware/atmel_at76c503-i3861.bin
atmel-firmware: lib/firmware/atmel_at76c503-i3863.bin
[ ...]

After installing apt-file, you'll need to do an 'apt-file update' to
retrieve the package content lists.

> Searching packages.debian.org turns up a package "at76c503a-source" but no
> binary package. I will grab it and try compiling it and see what "make
> install" actually does.
> Or am I making a mistake by connecting debian and ubuntu?

The answer to that a strong "maybe".  Self-contained packages (like an
editor or a single app) are usually fine.  Packages with heavy dependencies or
reverse depends on others are sketchy at best.  The at76..source package
builds a kernel module so...

The Debian Way to build those kernel add-ons is via the kernel-package

# make-kpkg modules_install

There are good HOWTO's on using kernel-package out there...
> Any comments, including random ones, are welcome.

Don't jump your bike if it has a broken spoke.


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