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I'm having trouble getting my wireless card seen in debian squeeze. iwconfig only shows eth0 and l0 but no wlan0. ifconfig wlan0 up says theres no such device.
I compiled a backport kernel and I now have "2.6.39-bpo.2-686-pae". I downloaded the rtl8191se driver from the Realtek site. It said it needs kernel version 2.6.35 or above. So now that I have 2.6.39 all should be fine. However when I run make in the firmware driver it says

make entering directory lib/modules/2.6.39-bpo.2-686-pae/build
no rule to make target 'modules'
Stop.

Is there a problem with my make? I installed i386 packages as theres no i686 packages on the Debian site. However, my kernel is i686 it seems. Is that a problem?

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More steps, please. Where did you unpack the source files? What instructions did you follow, if any? In what directory did you type make? –  Faheem Mitha Dec 19 '11 at 17:23
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1 Answer

It looks like this is in 3.0 onwards. See Linux Kernel Driver DataBase.

So what you need to do is

  1. install a 3.0 kernel or later. Debian has sources and binaries for 3.1 and 3.2, 3.1 in testing and unstable and 3.2 in experimental. See linux source package page. The linux-2.6 source package name is confusing, but it looks like they haven't changed the name yet to 3.x.

  2. Install the firmware-realtek package.

You could of course use an external kernel source, but you are better off using a Debian kernel. Note that this driver is probably already enabled in the binary kernel as a module, so in that case you don't need to do anything except install the firmware. If you are compiling from source, make sure to select this module to build.

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