Klaus Knopper answers your Linux questions

Ask Klaus!

Article from Issue 178/2015

Klaus Knopper answers your Linux questions.

Localization and 3G Connectivity

Dear Klaus,

I just wanted to thank you for answering my question regarding setting the keyboard layout correctly in Linux Magazine issue 176. I also found myself a workaround and maybe something that could help others who are struggling with finding out how to set their keyboard layout:

  1. Right-click on the panel and choose Add/Remove Panel Items. Click Add | Keyboard Layout Handler (Figure 1).

    Figure 1: Setting the keyboard layout.
  2. Right-click the little nationality flag that appears in the taskbar and choose Keyboard Layout Handler Settings, then uncheck Keep system layouts. Under Keyboard Layouts, click Add and add your desired layout (Figure 2).

    Figure 2: Keyboard layout handler settings.

I think it would be an improvement to have the little nationality flag visible when a user starts Knoppix right from the first time. People will probably click on it if they face keyboard problems.

I also noticed another small problem: After some time, Knoppix 7.5.0 refused to install further new software with this message: The value 'wheezy' is invalid for APT::Default-Release as such a release is not available in the sources.

I found out I could work around this issue by editing the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/00knoppix file and placing two slashes in front of the line APT::Default-Release "wheezy."

I have been experimenting with Knoppix 7.5.0 on my old Eee PC 901Go, and it works quite nicely. The only problem I'm facing is that I can't start 3G, which does work fine under Xandros on the same machine. I tried out the Knoppix | GPRS/UMTS connection menu, but I can't find the right parameters to start the 3G connection correctly. My 3G provider here in Belgium is Proximus, from the information on their website, I have these:

APN ou Access Point Name: internet.proximus.be
Username: leave empty
Password: leave empty

For the type of connection, I chose usb: USB connector (i.e, Modem), then I got the Create /dev/modem link, for which I answered Yes. If I just perform a start connection, I get: Script failed. Another option is configure, but I don't know what I have to enter for INIT string. Could you please help me further?

Kind regards,


P.S. I belong to the Flemish community in Belgium which speaks Dutch (Nederlands); you probably thought I spoke French, no problem with that, I do love languages and the melting pot Belgium is.

Hello Hugo,

Thanks for your suggestion about the new keyboard handler in lxpanel! I tried it as well, and it looks lightweight enough (it just calls the setxkbmap command) to add it as default in one of the next Knoppix releases. The pictures below show the lxpanel plugin's activation and setting.

The "missing wheezy" problem you described during an upgrade was already covered in the previous issue of Linux magazine; since Debian's new release, the "wheezy" branch which I previously used for installation, has disappeared, hence the error message. However, you can fix this in the apt configuration by changing "wheezy" to "stable" in /etc/apt/apt-conf.d/00knoppix.

About your mobile connection: If your 3G device was detected and initialized as a serial device properly, you can use NetworkManager's modem manager (Figure 3) to configure your provider (Figure 4). It is located in the right-mouse button menu over the NetworkManager's tray icon. Apparently, the settings for your provider are an option in the presets (Figure 5).

Figure 3: Using NetworkManager to edit connections.
Figure 4: Selecting the connection type.
Figure 5: The user's provider is one of the presets.

Card Reader Driver

Hi Klaus,

I'm trying to get my laptop SD card reader working with CentOS 6.6. (I've tried with many other distros as well with no luck.) The reader was working until the kernel was upgraded.

The card is a Realtek 5287. I've been searching and searching online and can't really find anything that helps. After checking all the kernel source, it appears that the device support was removed. I have the source for a downloaded driver, but I'm a total greenhorn at this. I'd be much happier if I could just install a driver that worked.

Can you help me with this please? I have three laptops that use this device. I can't imagine why support would have been dropped, as I would have thought that this card reader was widely used and therefore dropping support could cause major issues for corporate users.

Thanks in advance,

Martin Roll

The Realtek 5287 SD card reader is supported by the rtsx_pci kernel module. If it's loaded, it should appear in the output of the lsmod command.

From different reports that I've read, I suspect that the module was simply not enabled in CentOS kernel configuration. If the command

modinfo rtsx_pci

yields no results, the driver is missing in the kernel or is compiled into the static kernel part. You can check your kernel configuration about this by doing:

grep RTSX_PCI /boot/config-*

In this example, the driver is statically built in, whereas =m would indicate that it's available as an on-demand loadable module.

Starting from kernel 3.14 and up, it should be working and be enabled by default in Ubuntu, so doing a kernel upgrade might fix the situation in other distros as well.

The Author

Klaus Knopper is an engineer, creator of Knoppix, and co-founder of LinuxTag expo. He works as a regular professor at the University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserslautern, Germany. If you have a configuration problem, or if you just want to learn more about how Linux works, send your questions to: mailto:klaus@linux-magazine.com

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