*sigh* Linux wireless: what works? - Portable

This is a discussion on *sigh* Linux wireless: what works? - Portable ; I've tried four different cards now, without success. I am running Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything seems to work but the wireless. >:-( Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux? ...

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Thread: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

  1. *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    I've tried four different cards now, without success. I am running
    Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything
    seems to work but the wireless. >:-(

    Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux? Is an 11b
    card more likely to work than an 11g? Any suggestions? Help!

    Matt


  2. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    "Gerbilio" writes:
    > Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux? Is an 11b
    > card more likely to work than an 11g? Any suggestions? Help!


    Yeah, probably. Real old 11b cards with the Prism chipset, e.g.
    Netgear MA401, seem to work. You can get those on Ebay for almost free.

  3. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Gerbilio wrote:
    > I've tried four different cards now, without success. I am running
    > Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything
    > seems to work but the wireless. >:-(


    Perhaps you might try to install thw WIN-drivers with ndiswrapper


    I had to do this on my DELL M60 because there are no native drivers for the
    embedded wireless card (Broadcom).


    > Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux? Is an 11b
    > card more likely to work than an 11g? Any suggestions? Help!

    Some older cards are more likely to be supported by native drivers. But
    there are also some 11abg that should work.
    Here are some links to start:



    >
    > Matt
    >


    Lothar

  4. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    On 22 Sep 2005 00:16:03 -0700, "Gerbilio" wrote:

    >I've tried four different cards now, without success. I am running
    >Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything
    >seems to work but the wireless. >:-(
    >
    >Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux? Is an 11b
    >card more likely to work than an 11g? Any suggestions? Help!


    Gee, my R40 _came_ with an intel 2100 mini PCI wifi board installed
    Works fine with Intel's Linux driver. I guess yours was configured
    without wifi (?)

    How about finding a 2100 mini board and installing it _inside_ your
    R40? I see some on eBay for cheap. Don't know if IBM will sell you
    one - I only see 2200s and 2915s there at the moment. Don't know if
    your BIOS would tolerate one of those.

    As long the mini PCI card you install is white-listed by your BIOS,
    you should be good to go.

    Seems too easy. Sorry if I'm missing the obvious...

    Bill
    --
    William D Waddington
    william.waddington@beezmo.com
    "Even bugs...are unexpected signposts on
    the long road of creativity..." - Ken Burtch

  5. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    On 22 Sep 2005 00:16:03 -0700, Gerbilio
    probably wrote (unless it was a Kook):
    > I've tried four different cards now, without success. I am running
    > Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything
    > seems to work but the wireless. >:-(
    >
    > Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux? Is an 11b
    > card more likely to work than an 11g? Any suggestions? Help!
    >


    Try a RaLink Tech rt2500 card. I have one of those and use the open source
    rt2500 driver off of Source Forge. The driver's a bit quirky (you have to
    ifconfig ra0 up the card before you can iwconfig it) but otherwize you get
    Wifi-G.

    Also, check around with the Intel chipsets. I belive there's open source
    drivers. At last resort, try ndiswrapper.

    - --
    eval join"",map{chomp;s/^.+>\s*//;$_}grep{/>/}; __DATA__
    .' .' Kelly "STrRedWolf" Price -- WolfSkunk Designs
    xX xX .' http://stalag99.net tygris @ same domain
    "X "X X .'
    _____. X" X > 0;
    XXXXXXXx. X".' > 0;
    '"XXXXXX| X > 0;
    "XXX| X" > 0;
    'XX' > 0;
    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
    Version: GnuPG v1.4.1 (GNU/Linux)

    iD8DBQFDMtQHRCiTQGVX194RAnxBAJsGME3Vq+vnl7ZOqtwAhI fE/E3ivACgg/zD
    /UohUki2mkIA98gbRxil3Y0=
    =FV8A
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

  6. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    On 2005-09-22, Gerbilio wrote:

    > I've tried four different cards now, without success. I am running
    > Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything
    > seems to work but the wireless. >:-(
    >
    > Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux? Is an 11b
    > card more likely to work than an 11g? Any suggestions? Help!


    Cisco Aironet works fine on my ThinkPad-240 with vectorlinux-4.3.

    --

    John (john@os2.dhs.org)

  7. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Gerbilio wrote:
    > I've tried four different cards now, without success.


    Which ones? Did you check what you can find on Google?

    > I am running
    > Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything
    > seems to work but the wireless. >:-(


    I do not think that ThinkPad blocks in BIOS which wifi cards will
    work with it but maybe I am mistaken.

    > Are there any cards that work particularly well with Linux?


    Just for example FC3 kernels come with 18 wireless drivers and
    this covers a lot of cards (drivers are for chips and different
    cards use the same chip)

    Just yesterday I was hooking up a laptop with a D-Link DWL-G650
    (AirPlusXtremeG, version B4, "Made in China") card. This one requires
    'madwifi' driver which was a one more download but otherwise nothing
    special. If you want it to use WPA, as opposed to WEP only, you can do
    that as well but you need an extra program, like 'xsupplicant' or
    'wpa_supplicant', compiled with 'madwifi' support. Nothing onerous
    although hacking that nicely into your general network setup may require
    some creativity.

    http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/

    is a good place to start and has tons of useful links.
    In particular look at links under "Wireless LAN Hardware (surveys and
    reviews)" header.

    > Is an 11b card more likely to work than an 11g?


    No, not really. OTOH which chip is that may make a substantial
    difference.

    On x86 hardware in the last resort you can use 'ndiswrapper' and
    windoze drivers. There are good reasons why this is not particularly
    appealing but it is still an option.

    Michal

  8. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    I bought mine used. They evidently scooped the wifi card, because it
    wasn't there! >:-(

    Thanks for your replies, all of you. You've given me food for thought.


    Matt


  9. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Bill Waddington writes:
    > Gee, my R40 _came_ with an intel 2100 mini PCI wifi board installed
    > Works fine with Intel's Linux driver.


    But there's no source code available for that driver, right? I don't
    think I would count that.

  10. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    On 23 Sep 2005 01:17:50 -0700, Paul Rubin
    wrote:

    >Bill Waddington writes:
    >> Gee, my R40 _came_ with an intel 2100 mini PCI wifi board installed
    >> Works fine with Intel's Linux driver.

    >
    >But there's no source code available for that driver, right? I don't
    >think I would count that.


    Hmmm, didn't notice that the OP specified source too. Thought they
    just wanted something that worked. Regardless, here's the home page:

    http://ipw2100.sourceforge.net/

    Here's the source:

    http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/i...2.tgz?download

    The firmware is closed IIRC.

    Bill
    --
    William D Waddington
    william.waddington@beezmo.com
    "Even bugs...are unexpected signposts on
    the long road of creativity..." - Ken Burtch

  11. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    On Thu, 22 Sep 2005 19:26:40 +0000 (UTC), Michal Jaegermann
    wrote:

    >Gerbilio wrote:
    >> I've tried four different cards now, without success.

    >
    >Which ones? Did you check what you can find on Google?
    >
    >> I am running
    >> Mandrake 10.2 on an IBM ThinkPad R40, on which just about everything
    >> seems to work but the wireless. >:-(

    >
    >I do not think that ThinkPad blocks in BIOS which wifi cards will
    >work with it but maybe I am mistaken.
    >


    IIRC, the ThinkPad BIOS blocks _internal_ cards (mini PCI) that aren't
    on the whitelist.

    Bill
    --
    William D Waddington
    william.waddington@beezmo.com
    "Even bugs...are unexpected signposts on
    the long road of creativity..." - Ken Burtch

  12. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Bill Waddington writes:
    > Hmmm, didn't notice that the OP specified source too. Thought they
    > just wanted something that worked. Regardless, here's the home page:
    > Here's the source:
    > http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/i...2.tgz?download
    >
    > The firmware is closed IIRC.


    Hmm, interesting, thanks. What's the "firmware" situation? Is the
    firmware something that runs strictly on the mini-pci card, so there's
    no closed code needed on the host side? Does it stay resident on the
    mini-pci card (i.e. in flash memory) or does it have to be downloaded
    at every reboot/powerup/whatever?

    I usually think of firmware as code that lives and runs entirely in an
    embedded device, so that users and host devices never touch it except
    in special circumstances like occasional upgrades. So I'd expect to
    not need a firmware file, since the firmware would already be in the
    card. But that doesn't seem to be what this is.

    Also, given the installation headaches, it seems to me like a Prism (=
    Orinoco?) chipset card is still the simplest solution. I think some
    mini-PCI cards with that chip were sold under the name Lucent Wavelan
    a while back. I'm using a Netgear MA401 PC card which is slightly
    annoying (ties up the card slot, antenna sticks out the side) but
    works with FC3 out of the box, absolutely no additional software
    needed.

  13. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Bill Waddington writes:
    > IIRC, the ThinkPad BIOS blocks _internal_ cards (mini PCI) that aren't
    > on the whitelist.


    Yeah, there's some way to edit that list though. I remember a webpage
    about it. Google can probably find it. I may have a bookmark someplace.

  14. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    On 23 Sep 2005 07:30:06 -0700, Paul Rubin
    wrote:

    >Bill Waddington writes:
    >> Hmmm, didn't notice that the OP specified source too. Thought they
    >> just wanted something that worked. Regardless, here's the home page:
    >> Here's the source:
    >> http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/i...2.tgz?download
    >>
    >> The firmware is closed IIRC.

    >
    >Hmm, interesting, thanks. What's the "firmware" situation? Is the
    >firmware something that runs strictly on the mini-pci card, so there's
    >no closed code needed on the host side? Does it stay resident on the
    >mini-pci card (i.e. in flash memory) or does it have to be downloaded
    >at every reboot/powerup/whatever?


    I'm about as far from expert as you can get, so I refer you to the
    docs w/the driver page. But... IIRC, the firmware is loaded onto the
    card whenever it gets initialized (including being reset by the
    driver) via the firmware/hotplug stuff.

    >I usually think of firmware as code that lives and runs entirely in an
    >embedded device, so that users and host devices never touch it except
    >in special circumstances like occasional upgrades. So I'd expect to
    >not need a firmware file, since the firmware would already be in the
    >card. But that doesn't seem to be what this is.


    Nope, it's loaded in to a "virgin" card each time w/the Intel wifi
    boards AFAIK.

    >Also, given the installation headaches, it seems to me like a Prism (=
    >Orinoco?) chipset card is still the simplest solution. I think some
    >mini-PCI cards with that chip were sold under the name Lucent Wavelan
    >a while back. I'm using a Netgear MA401 PC card which is slightly
    >annoying (ties up the card slot, antenna sticks out the side) but
    >works with FC3 out of the box, absolutely no additional software
    >needed.


    No argument with that, really. I just found it really easy to grab
    the intel driver(s) and firmware and run them on my R40 and T43. If
    the OP can find an Intel mini PCI card (thought I saw one for $7 on
    eBay) that frees up the cardbus slot for other stuff. *As long as
    the R40 has a built in antenna already*

    Re your comments downthread about editing the BIOS whitelist, all I
    remember is folks singing the blues about unusable mini PCI cards.
    Much easier to just use a "sanctioned" board, or a cardbus card IMHO.

    Later,
    Bill
    --
    William D Waddington
    william.waddington@beezmo.com
    "Even bugs...are unexpected signposts on
    the long road of creativity..." - Ken Burtch

  15. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Paul Rubin writes:

    >Bill Waddington writes:
    >> Gee, my R40 _came_ with an intel 2100 mini PCI wifi board installed
    >> Works fine with Intel's Linux driver.


    >But there's no source code available for that driver, right? I don't
    >think I would count that.


    Hmm, wonder what it is I am looking at? Of course there is source code.
    Note that the FCC mandates that the actual firmware cannot be in source
    code. That is what sets the frequencies, and they do not want people
    screwing around with their wireless cards and setting the frequencies to
    say aircraft automatic landing frequencies. So NO wireless driver has
    opensource firmware. But the intel driver is certainly open source.


  16. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Paul Rubin writes:

    >Bill Waddington writes:
    >> Hmmm, didn't notice that the OP specified source too. Thought they
    >> just wanted something that worked. Regardless, here's the home page:
    >> Here's the source:
    >> http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/i...2.tgz?download
    >>
    >> The firmware is closed IIRC.


    >Hmm, interesting, thanks. What's the "firmware" situation? Is the
    >firmware something that runs strictly on the mini-pci card, so there's
    >no closed code needed on the host side? Does it stay resident on the
    >mini-pci card (i.e. in flash memory) or does it have to be downloaded
    >at every reboot/powerup/whatever?


    Every boot/powerup/whatever. Loading the driver module automatically loads
    the firmware.


    >I usually think of firmware as code that lives and runs entirely in an
    >embedded device, so that users and host devices never touch it except
    >in special circumstances like occasional upgrades. So I'd expect to
    >not need a firmware file, since the firmware would already be in the
    >card. But that doesn't seem to be what this is.


    No. All wireless cards are designed so that firmware is uploaded on each
    reboot.



    >Also, given the installation headaches, it seems to me like a Prism (=
    >Orinoco?) chipset card is still the simplest solution. I think some
    >mini-PCI cards with that chip were sold under the name Lucent Wavelan
    >a while back. I'm using a Netgear MA401 PC card which is slightly
    >annoying (ties up the card slot, antenna sticks out the side) but
    >works with FC3 out of the box, absolutely no additional software
    >needed.


    My intel 2200 works fine.

    YOur MA401 works because the firmware and the driver are included in FC3.
    Apparently you do not really mind closed source, because you have not even
    looked for or at the source for your card.




  17. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Unruh writes:
    > Hmm, wonder what it is I am looking at? Of course there is source code.
    > Note that the FCC mandates that the actual firmware cannot be in source
    > code. That is what sets the frequencies, and they do not want people
    > screwing around with their wireless cards and setting the frequencies to
    > say aircraft automatic landing frequencies. So NO wireless driver has
    > opensource firmware. But the intel driver is certainly open source.


    No, if it has to download closed-source code into the card every time
    it runs, then the code being loaded is not firmware even if they
    pretend that it is. That code is software, not firmware, and if the
    driver has to include it so it can send it to the card to make the
    card work, then that software is a component of the driver. What
    we're seeing is a (partially) closed source driver.

  18. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    Unruh writes:
    > YOur MA401 works because the firmware and the driver are included in
    > FC3. Apparently you do not really mind closed source, because you
    > have not even looked for or at the source for your card.


    Are you sure of this? I thought the firmware was resident in the card.

  19. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    It does indeed! Since my last post I bought an Intel 2100 internal
    card cheap on eBay, only to have it blocked because it wasn't on the
    whitelist!

    *sigh* And so the search goes on...

    Matt


  20. Re: *sigh* Linux wireless: what works?

    On 3 Oct 2005 15:01:39 -0700, "Gerbilio" wrote:

    [context reinserted]

    >>IIRC, the ThinkPad BIOS blocks _internal_ cards (mini PCI) that aren't
    >>on the whitelist.


    >It does indeed! Since my last post I bought an Intel 2100 internal
    >card cheap on eBay, only to have it blocked because it wasn't on the
    >whitelist!
    >
    >*sigh* And so the search goes on...


    Well fsck! Seems like the whitelist excludescards that haven't
    been personally blessed by IBM/Lenovo even when they are the same
    model. I guess the eBay search has to include "wrenched from an
    actual IBM ThinkPad" or something.

    Here's a link I just googled up:

    http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/lin...06.1/1105.html

    Looks scary as hell! I haven't followed the thread or tried any
    of this. Might work, might make winged monkeys fly out of your ass.
    No idea, just thought it looked interesting.

    Bill
    --
    William D Waddington
    william.waddington@beezmo.com
    "Even bugs...are unexpected signposts on
    the long road of creativity..." - Ken Burtch

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