martedì, giugno 20, 2017

USB WiFi adapter stopped working on Debian 9

You have got this old USB adapter for WiFi connections and it worked (almost) fine with Debian 8. You discovered it still works if you upgrade from Debian 8 to Debian 9 but then you get tons of "obsolete files" to deal with, while when you perform a "clean install" of Debian 9, the adapter doesn't work any more and the kernel log spits some exotic (in my eyes at least) errors.

I thought of it, of course there is some kind of configuration that is preserved while upgrading from 8 to 9 but does not exist on "clean" 9 or it is totally different. After some casual reading and liver consumption, I found these pages:
1. What's new - network interfaces which says "This change does not apply to upgrades of jessie systems". That ringed a bell.
2. Predictable Network Interface Names where you can find the "just saying, I don't like this, how do I disable it?". Because, you know, who cares if the change breaks hardware compatibility, right? It is just a matter of liking.
I choose to pass the kernel command via Grub config file in "/etc/grub" (you need "update-grub" of course) because it looks like the easiest and more reversible fix. Now the USB adapter seems fine.

On a side note, if your mouse or touchpad don't work or miss some features, like you cannot enable the "tapping", it comes from wise people at Debian replacing the "synaptics" diver with a different one which does not work. You "apt search synaptics" and install the old driver, problem solved, maybe.

Note to myself, while installing Debian 9 the swap partition gets its label changed so Debian 8 cannot find it at boot. You check the partition labels with "sudo blkid" then check "/etc/fstab" and change the label accordingly. To load the swap partion on the fly you do "sudo swapon /dev/sda5" (if "sda5" is swap).

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