Remember – Debian Still Supports 32 Bit Systems, Even If Ubuntu, Mint and Chrome Don't…Learn Debian PPA Installs

I have a mini HP Pavillion s7610 with an Intel Celeron and 1GB RAM – originally designed for XP Media Ed. so performed very well on XP.

Image result for Pavilion s7610 pic

It still does given a chance – a lesson there for not binning older systems just because "you should upgrade".

You can still get Debian8 Netinstall ISOs from

Ok, I'll never be able to use it as a main PC without Chrome, as there is so much I have automated with that. Hang on! I forgot about Chromium in Debian! It's the OSource version of Chrome, and still runs on 32 bit, look:

sudo aptitude install chromium

For folks who have an old but perfectly good system with 1GB+ of RAM, it is ideal as a web surfer/office unit or more, as Firefox and Libre Office is present as standard.

I created a boot USB with it using Mint, then installed it on the mini Pav and it runs great! The default session Desktop is crappy (no local network link in Files), but I installed MATE too, so used Caja, which looks just like a skinny version of Cinnamon, and does the same – nearly…:

By nearly – I mean it won't connect to other netshare's Home folder, but it will to their system's other shares…odd…

Another thing is it won't drag files into the WP editor, you have to upload them via the Add Media button…odd…

It is as quick as any of my other PCs/servers writing this, and running the Picam reviews was the same over the network using it's default Mplayer GUI as Videos in Mint.

I haven't explored more than that so far…

A note on Debian; samba has to be installed as it not included by default like Mint/Ubuntu, so just best to run through the Ubuntu Post to get those things in and just add samba. The smb.conf file is the same of course, so just uncomment the usual Homes section:

and remember to

smbpasswd -a user

to get yourself file net sharing.

I found the Mate Terminal was the nicest of the others once Preference configured:

The great thing about trying new things due to technology limitations is you still learn so much!

This Pav has a CF Card Reader in the front, and as I have an old 8GB card I thought I would try and write the netinsall.iso to it as you would in Mint using the Bootable USB Formatter – but Debian doesn't have it – it's Mint's; but it has the Disk Image Writer (seems a modified version of Disks) which does the same, by right clicking an ISO image:

Once done I wondered on the performance of an old USB1 CF Card…very slow! But usable nonetheless.

I wondered if this is bootable from the BIOS menu? Sure I saw it read as a device…If so this would at least be a backup for an OS reinstall option. I'll check on reboot…Yes, a CF Card is there as a boot option.

I'm still awestruck as to how quick (and quiet!) this system is for an 11 year old machine! I paid £10 for it, removed the CD and 3.5" HD for weight, put a 2.5" SATA HD in it, and it's about as portable as a tower gets!

I wonder if Debian can get the MediaTek 7601 USB wifi dongle working as per that PPA Post?

Easy Driver Install for MediaTek 7601 USB WiFi on Later Mint Kernels

stevee@debian:~$ lsusb
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 058f:6362 Alcor Micro Corp. Flash Card Reader/Writer
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 148f:7601 Ralink Technology, Corp.
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 045e:0084 Microsoft Corp. Basic Optical Mouse
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

stevee@debian:~$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:thopiekar/mt7601
sudo: apt-add-repository: command not found


sudo apt-get install software-properties-common


sudo apt-add-repository ppa:thopiekar/mt7601


sudo apt-get update

Googling…Replace Debian jessie version with Ubuntu version – as 16.04 xenial worked for this driver in Mint – change jessie for xenial in the file lines:

sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list.d/


sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list.d/thopiekar-mt7601-jessie.list

deb xenial main
deb-src xenial main

Try again:

sudo apt-get update
Ign file: apt-build InRelease
Ign file: apt-build Release.gpg
Get:1 file: apt-build Release [106 B]
Ign file: apt-build/main Translation-en_GB
Ign file: apt-build/main Translation-en
Get:2 xenial InRelease [17.6 kB]
Ign jessie InRelease
Hit jessie-updates InRelease
Hit jessie Release.gpg
Hit jessie/updates InRelease
Hit jessie Release
Get:3 xenial/main Sources [625 B]
Get:4 xenial/main i386 Packages [509 B]
Get:5 jessie-updates/main i386 Packages/DiffIndex [6,916 B]
Get:6 jessie-updates/main Translation-en/DiffIndex [2,704 B]
Get:7 xenial/main Translation-en [153 B]
Hit jessie-updates/main Sources
Hit jessie/updates/main Sources
Hit jessie/main Sources
Hit jessie/main i386 Packages
Hit jessie/updates/main i386 Packages
Hit jessie/main Translation-en
Hit jessie/updates/main Translation-en
Fetched 28.5 kB in 9s (2,860 B/s)
Reading package lists… Done

It works! Wow…what a long output:

sudo apt-get install mt7601-sta-dkms

Running module version sanity check.
– Original module
– No original module exists within this kernel
– Installation
– Installing to /lib/modules/3.16.0-4-686-pae/updates/dkms/


DKMS: install completed.
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.19-18+deb8u7) …


sudo tail -f /var/log/syslog

Plug in the wifi:

No, doesn't work –

Driver does not support authentication/association or connect commands
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> devices added (path: /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-4/net/ra0, iface: ra0)
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> device added (path: /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-4/net/ra0, iface: ra0): no ifupdown configuration found.
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> (ra0) supports 1 scan SSIDs
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> (ra0): supplicant interface state: starting -> ready
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> (ra0): device state change: unavailable -> disconnected (reason 'supplicant-available') [20 30 42]
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> (ra0): supplicant interface state: ready -> disconnected
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> (ra0) supports 1 scan SSIDs
Feb 15 00:59:13 debian ModemManager[501]: <warn> Couldn't find support for device at '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-4': not supported by any plugin
Feb 15 00:59:15 debian NetworkManager[498]: <info> (ra0): supplicant interface state: disconnected -> inactive

Learned about Debian PPAs though…

Another thing that doesn't work following my Posts as is, that do in Mint, is the SDR radio for tracking planes.

But here is Chromium – complete with all my Chrome account settings loaded, running ok on a 32bit Dell D420 Dual Core Netbook with only 1GB RAM, which has no proprietary hard drive, so running from a 16G USB3 Sandisk Cruzer – slower than the PAV, but cute:

Videos in Debian was renamed from Totem, if you didn't install it at first. On this Dell, it also runs the Picam reviews fine too.

sudo aptitude install totem