Recommendations for wireless PCI card - Hardware

This is a discussion on Recommendations for wireless PCI card - Hardware ; I'm searching for a good wireless PCI card which is totally supported under linux by the manufacturer and supports 802.11g. Until now I've only manage to learn that the atheros-based cards are supported under linux. Yet, that whole binary blob ...

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Thread: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

  1. Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    I'm searching for a good wireless PCI card which is totally supported
    under linux by the manufacturer and supports 802.11g.

    Until now I've only manage to learn that the atheros-based cards are
    supported under linux. Yet, that whole binary blob thing is a bit of a
    downer. So, can anyone recommend me a nice WiFi PCI card from a
    manufacturer which treats linux with respect?


    Thanks in advance
    Rui Maciel


  2. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    On Sat, 21 Jul 2007 17:23:04 -0700, Rui Maciel wrote:

    > I'm searching for a good wireless PCI card which is totally supported
    > under linux by the manufacturer and supports 802.11g.
    >
    > Until now I've only manage to learn that the atheros-based cards are
    > supported under linux. Yet, that whole binary blob thing is a bit of a
    > downer. So, can anyone recommend me a nice WiFi PCI card from a
    > manufacturer which treats linux with respect?


    Linux has native, built-in drivers for Orinoco-type wireless cards.
    Here's one:

    http://www.proxim.com/products/cp/pci.html

    Stef

  3. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    On Sat, 21 Jul 2007 17:23:04 -0700, Rui Maciel wrote:

    > I'm searching for a good wireless PCI card which is totally supported
    > under linux by the manufacturer and supports 802.11g.
    >
    > Until now I've only manage to learn that the atheros-based cards are
    > supported under linux. Yet, that whole binary blob thing is a bit of a
    > downer. So, can anyone recommend me a nice WiFi PCI card from a
    > manufacturer which treats linux with respect?


    I believe there are none. IMHO - your best bet is an Atheros card and
    mad-wifi.


    >
    >
    > Thanks in advance
    > Rui Maciel



  4. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    On Jul 22, 2:35 am, ray wrote:

    > I believe there are none. IMHO - your best bet is an Atheros card and
    > mad-wifi.


    What about some prism54-based and realtek-based cards? I've just heard
    about those and it seems that at least they are also supported under
    linux. Do they work through that proprietary binary blob method?


    Rui Maciel


  5. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    > What about some prism54-based and realtek-based cards? I've just heard
    > about those and it seems that at least they are also supported under
    > linux. Do they work through that proprietary binary blob method?


    Well, you've got to have drivers for said card.

    ndiswrapper - http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/
    wlan-ng - http://www.linux-wlan.org/
    prism54 - http://prism54.org/
    atmel - http://atmelwlandriver.sourceforge.net/
    bcm43xx - http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/

    And then there's the extras that you might want to use with said cards.

    airfart - http://airfart.sourceforge.net/
    kismet - http://www.kismetwireless.net/
    madwifi - http://madwifi.org/

    And probably many many more I don't know about and didn't list here.

    As far as manufacturers that support linux, I don't think there are many
    if any. At least in terms of releasing linux drivers themselves. Some
    have probably helped in the sense of giving specs under an NDA to
    programmers to develop drivers. But as far as doing it in house before
    the product was released, not likely.

  6. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    On Jul 22, 3:13 pm, Shadow_7 wrote:
    > > What about some prism54-based and realtek-based cards? I've just heard
    > > about those and it seems that at least they are also supported under
    > > linux. Do they work through that proprietary binary blob method?

    >
    > Well, you've got to have drivers for said card.
    >
    > ndiswrapper -http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/
    > wlan-ng -http://www.linux-wlan.org/
    > prism54 -http://prism54.org/
    > atmel -http://atmelwlandriver.sourceforge.net/
    > bcm43xx -http://bcm43xx.berlios.de/
    >
    > And then there's the extras that you might want to use with said cards.
    >
    > airfart -http://airfart.sourceforge.net/
    > kismet -http://www.kismetwireless.net/
    > madwifi -http://madwifi.org/
    >
    > And probably many many more I don't know about and didn't list here.
    >
    > As far as manufacturers that support linux, I don't think there are many
    > if any. At least in terms of releasing linux drivers themselves. Some
    > have probably helped in the sense of giving specs under an NDA to
    > programmers to develop drivers. But as far as doing it in house before
    > the product was released, not likely.


    I see...

    So it seems that in the end the best alternative is indeed an atheros-
    based card. It may be based on a binary blob but at least the company
    contributed directly to the madwifi project.

    One last question. One downside of using ndiswrapper is that we are
    limited by whatever windows driver is there. In my case, along with
    other annoyances, it meant that I was forced to keep using a 32bit
    release instead of migrating to a 64-bit OS. Does a binary blob driver
    also comes with that sort of limitations? I've heard that some
    drivers, like the realtek one, do not support SMP. Are there other
    limitaitons?


    Rui Maciel


  7. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    I demand that Rui Maciel may or may not have written...

    [snip]
    > So it seems that in the end the best alternative is indeed an atheros-
    > based card. It may be based on a binary blob but at least the company
    > contributed directly to the madwifi project.


    I've set up a Ralink-based Belkin card; it works sufficiently well with the
    rt61 driver and a patched wpa_supplicant (the patch provides it with an
    "ralink" protocol module so that it can communicate with the kernel module).
    Configuration was via /etc/network/interfaces, as is normal on Debian
    installations.

    http://www.ralinktech.com.tw/data/RT...1.1.0.0.tar.gz contains
    the driver and the extra wpa_supplicant files. These files are intended for
    0.4.7, but I've had it working with 0.5.5 with a little fiddling; for some
    reason, it isn't supplied as a patch, but see also Launchpad for a version in
    patch form:
    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...nt/+bug/104282
    http://launchpadlibrarian.net/724393...r_support.diff

    Also, http://rt2x00.serialmonkey.com/ has drivers for various Ralink chips.

    [snip]
    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    |

    Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs.

  8. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    > One last question. One downside of using ndiswrapper is that we are
    > limited by whatever windows driver is there. In my case, along with
    > other annoyances, it meant that I was forced to keep using a 32bit
    > release instead of migrating to a 64-bit OS. Does a binary blob driver
    > also comes with that sort of limitations? I've heard that some drivers,
    > like the realtek one, do not support SMP. Are there other limitaitons?


    Most times there's a sp####.exe to upgrade your driver. Inside is a 32
    bit and 64 bit version of the drivers for my card which uses
    ndiswrapper. You don't even have to run windows to extract them.

    # catextract sp34152.exe

    And it extracts them like a regular tarball or zip file. Or at least
    that's how they come packaged from the manufacturer for my laptop. Yours
    might be different to some degree.

    I don't know much about SMP stuffs. Aside from regular XP being 32 bit
    and NOT supporting SMP at all. Taking note of my dads new super computer
    that runs about as fast as my old 800MHz duron laptop under XP. Even
    though it has dual 64bit 3.4GHz processors. I don't have any dual
    machines and most of my current processors are about 2GHz. All of which
    run linux much faster than my dads new super computer on a mismatched
    version of XP (that came with the computer). As I note that XP didn't
    recognize his new wireless keyboard and mouse out of the box, but my
    knoppix 5.0.1 CD did.


  9. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    Rui Maciel said:
    >On Jul 22, 2:35 am, ray wrote:
    >
    >> I believe there are none. IMHO - your best bet is an Atheros card and
    >> mad-wifi.

    >
    >What about some prism54-based and realtek-based cards? I've just heard
    >about those and it seems that at least they are also supported under
    >linux. Do they work through that proprietary binary blob method?


    Old (so-called "fullMAC") prism54 cards could be a good solution; however
    these haven't been manufactured recently. Current (manufactured during
    last three years or so) prism54 cards are softMAC cards, for which the
    driver support isn't complete yet (or if it is, I'm very happy to be
    corrected in this).
    --
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  10. Re: Recommendations for wireless PCI card

    Rui Maciel wrote:

    > So it seems that in the end the best alternative is indeed an atheros-
    > based card. It may be based on a binary blob but at least the company
    > contributed directly to the madwifi project.


    I can't help with the issue of getting a PCI based wireless card
    working, but there is another alternative. Use whatever Ethernet card
    you like and then connect it to a wireless bridge like the Linksys
    WET54G.

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