I just installed Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS (kernel 3.13.0-83-generic) alongside win10 in my new Acer V5-591G.

Since its wireless card (Qualcomm Atheros Device [168c:003e] (rev 32) ,QCA6174) isn't supported, and I am not sure whether I can use LTS Enablement Stacks to install linux-firmware (possibly follow 661424).

Thus, I followed 1520343 and downloaded ath10k firmware with ath10k-dkms installed with debian file. Though I still can't see my wireless card.

Therefore, I followed 703720 install backports package and remove ath10k-dkms, but skipped installing ath10k-firmware again.

After rebooting, I got my wifi work surprisingly!

However, I have no idea about what did I do, actually.

First, what's the difference between installing LTS Enablement Stacks and upgrading to newer version? If I have some programs strongly depend on the 12.04 environment, is it fine to install 14.04 LTS Enablement Stacks to reach my hardware requirement?

Second, what did backports package actually do? How could it partially support some packages?

I've used ubuntu for 3 years and encountered with hardware/software consistency problems every time I try to install ubuntu in a new computer. It will be my pleasure if someone can explain why can we use LTS Enablement Stacks or backports package to solve this kind of problem.

  • I am not sure why you installed Ubuntu 12.04 as your laptop should be able to run 14.04 or the soon to be released 16.04 easily. I suspect you will have to install the firmware using the same method in 16.04 if/when you upgrase – Jeremy31 Mar 24 '16 at 22:33
  • I wish 16.04 can automatically support my chip. I still use some window's programs via wine, and they cannot perform well in 14.04. I suspect that those old win's program can only be supported by software environment of 12.04. And actually I plan to run 4 os in my new computer (win8/12.04/14.04/16.04) so that I can slowly migrate to newer os. Once I can't find the way to run those programs in newer ubuntu I will at least remain a fixed 12.04 until I finally find the way to escape from those window program : ) After all, ubuntu can still run well even it is not supported. – Shiny Mar 25 '16 at 14:31
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The Hardware Enablement Stacks and backports use newer kernels to support devices. LTS Hardware Enablement is usually preferred as kernel updates are automatic, backports need to be recompiled after a kernel update.

Backports will not break dkms packages like LTS Enablement Stacks can

It seems you are already using the LTS Enablement Stack from Trusty as it originally had the 3.13.0- kernels and your wireless would be supported in Wily's 4.2 kernel series as the modinfo ath10k_pci from 4.2.0-34-generic reveals

alias:          pci:v0000168Cd0000003Esvsdbcsci*
alias:          pci:v0000168Cd0000003Csvsdbcsci*

The first line shows that it supports the 168c:003e device

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