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Finding linux drivers

Hk Cheung
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2011
Posts: 11
Hi all,

Hope someone can help me although my topic may not really suitable for this forum.

I have an external fax modem to be used with linux, however the CD only provided windows drivers. So I started searching for linux drivers on the web but no result for it.

I am not sure the websites below help me for my case:
http://www.linuxant.com/drivers/
http://www.linmodems.org/

Hope someone can help me. Thanks!

Kit
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15641
    
  15

If it's one of those detestable winmodems, you may be out of luck. Those things were built out of the cheapest circuitry possible, with a great deal of the actual work being done in the Windows device driver code itself. The hardware, being totally non-standardized had no easy way of being driven any other way, since for the most part, it wasn't worth the effort to reverse-engineer the protocols enough to create Linux equivalents. Especially when you consider that all those CPU cycles needed to do the modem's work were being stolen from your normal system's resources.

Use the "lspci" command to get the vendor/id code for the device. If we know that, we can tell more about the device.


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Hk Cheung
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2011
Posts: 11
Tim Holloway wrote:If it's one of those detestable winmodems, you may be out of luck. Those things were built out of the cheapest circuitry possible, with a great deal of the actual work being done in the Windows device driver code itself. The hardware, being totally non-standardized had no easy way of being driven any other way, since for the most part, it wasn't worth the effort to reverse-engineer the protocols enough to create Linux equivalents. Especially when you consider that all those CPU cycles needed to do the modem's work were being stolen from your normal system's resources.

Use the "lspci" command to get the vendor/id code for the device. If we know that, we can tell more about the device.

Hi Tim, thanks for your reply!

I am a total new beginner to Linux and my Linux is actually a guest VM, I tried using "lspci" and it didn't show my fax modem. Is there any way to let my linux guest OS to detect the serial port?

Thanks
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15641
    
  15

Sorry. I'm an idiot. No, "lspci" wouldn't show the modem. I missed that critical word "external".

If the modem supports the standard "AT" command set, you shouldn't need a special driver. Everything you need should be already there.

Serial-port modems don't actually need modem drivers, since the application program issues the modem control commands and the serial port driver transmits both commands and data without distinguishing between the 2. If you're using the modem to do fax - say if you want to send stuff to Barney the Dinosaur - the Linux fax software handles the sordid details of issuing the fax commands and encoding text into raw image bits.

You may have to set some options based on the brand of modem you have, since the finer details of the command set may vary, but it doesn't require a special driver.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13875
    
  10

Hk Cheung wrote:I am a total new beginner to Linux and my Linux is actually a guest VM, ...

So. are you running Linux inside a virtual machine?

If so, then installing specific Linux drivers for the modem is most likely not going to work. When running in a virtual machine, the operating system does not get direct access to the hardware. Access to the hardware goes via the host operating system. Check in your virtualisation software if there is a way to enable the modem inside the guest OS (maybe in the settings for the virtual machine - it depends on what virtualization software you are using).

As an example, I have an NVIDIA video card. When I run Linux in a VirtualBox virtual machine, then Linux won't even see that I have an NVIDIA card. The graphics card will look like some emulated VirtualBox video card to Linux. I'd have to install the VirtualBox video driver in Linux to give it access to hardware accelerated graphics. Installing the NVIDIA driver in the virtual Linux would not work.


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Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15641
    
  15

Jesper de Jong wrote:
Hk Cheung wrote:I am a total new beginner to Linux and my Linux is actually a guest VM, ...

So. are you running Linux inside a virtual machine?

If so, then installing specific Linux drivers for the modem is most likely not going to work. When running in a virtual machine, the operating system does not get direct access to the hardware. Access to the hardware goes via the host operating system. Check in your virtualisation software if there is a way to enable the modem inside the guest OS (maybe in the settings for the virtual machine - it depends on what virtualization software you are using).

As an example, I have an NVIDIA video card. When I run Linux in a VirtualBox virtual machine, then Linux won't even see that I have an NVIDIA card. The graphics card will look like some emulated VirtualBox video card to Linux. I'd have to install the VirtualBox video driver in Linux to give it access to hardware accelerated graphics. Installing the NVIDIA driver in the virtual Linux would not work.


That would generally be true, but you fell victim to the same trap I did. It's an external modem! And pretty much any VM host will offer COM and LPT port virtual services.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 13875
    
  10

Aha, yes Tim, you're right. Ofcourse he should check that the virtualization software gives the guest OS access to the COM or LPT port that the modem is connected to.
Hk Cheung
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2011
Posts: 11
Oh sorry for putting a trap

I used the VMware and set the Linux VM physically connected to the host, and then I used the wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf command and it showed:

Found a modem on /dev/ttyS0.
Modem configuration written to /etc/wvdial.conf.
ttyS0<Info>: Speed 115200; init "ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0"


I will try to install the HylaFAX (http://www.hylafax.org/content/Main_Page) to the linux and hope it will work.

Thanks Tim and Jasper!
 
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