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Realtek 2832 and Debian

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Harumph. Well, I tried a couple of distributions before I retreated and decided to go with Debian over the others that already had more of the heavy lifting already done for me.

After one or two hours ( yeah, buddy, right ), I have the kernel source installed, the drivers for the realtek built, the command line rtl_* tools running, etc.

The reason I finally ended up on Debian is that I don't like distributions with built in self explosive dates.

Debian is an install once, update forever environment. If you want a new window manager, you install it, configure it, and then you can use the new zippee doo da user interface you have chosen, rather than being forced into a new interface because that is the way it is ( Ubuntu 12 <blech> ). To give Ubuntu proper credit, the community has come out with alternate packages and released them as alternate distributions that track the main core Ubuntu distribution, and Ubuntu doesn't seem to get really worked up over it. I even use Kubuntu with the netbook desktop on one of my older boxes ( Intel Atom ).

I specifically don't like being tied into most distributions because I find that being forced into an upgrade because security patches are being eliminated for my platform ( like Ubuntu does ) is a sham stunt reminiscent of Microsoft, and probably Apple,

I find something I like, and then they change the window manager on the new edition ( Ubuntu, not Debian ), they have changed the window manager to something I loathe.

Yes, Kali has a ton of "stuff" in it for hacking, network penetration testing, etc., but I don't necessarily need all of that "stuff" to do what I want to. I can always run it from a live usb or DVD disk if I want to, or evaluate the usefulness of the tools, and install them alongside what I am doing as standalone packages.

So, even though some things may take a bit more work in Debian, it is the devil I know. Hell, I am even a contributor to Debain ( the documentation project, in any case ).

People may be ahead of me with what they are doing on their zip bang distro of linux, but I am happy doing what I am doing, and most importantly, it will be the easiest for me to maintain and support, and if I want to stay with Gnome, or if I decide to jump to KDE or Xfce, it is all my choice.

Granted, many of the steps are already spelled out for me in other's tutorials and such, but I blew a day and a half attempting to get WPA2 to work on my USB wireless adapter, before I realized the adapter didn't support WPA2, and so I had to install another adapter that supports WPA2, and install the firmware and drivers for it into Debian, but that was easier than trying to make a Whale croon like Dean Martin, which is my symbolic representation of attempting to get a non WPA2 adapter to do WPA2.

In any case, I am having fun, and I have some more Realtek dongles coming so I don't have to move the one I have betwixt computers. So one will end up being on the Win 7 box, one on the Rasberry Pi, and one on my Debian box. Really, the Pi runs Debian as well... so it is perhaps as accurate to say I will have one on my windows box, and two setup on Debian boxes. Granted, even though the AMD 64 box is really outdated ( it still has PS/2 connectors for mouse and KB <unused> ), it is still 3+ Ghz (one core), and 1 Gig of Ram, which makes it a smidge faster than the Pi box by a few orders of Mips.

I also came across an interesting Ham Radio distribution alt to Ubuntu which had a nice package selection included with it, but I will just take the packages I like from the distribution, and install them onto my Debian boxes.

I am into bondage, but not software bondage, so I don't want to be stuck with apps that I don't want or need on a bloated distribution of Linux because that is the way it came out of the box.

I may leave fooling around with the Realtek radios on FreeBSD or Solaris for another lifetime.


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Kali Linux is Debian based and has pre-installed SDR tools right out of the box. I love Gqrx, it's uber simple to use and works great with my rtl2832U dongle. There's also GNU Radio but it's a bit more complicated to use so I just stick with Gqrx.

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