WiFi problems on laptop - Portable

This is a discussion on WiFi problems on laptop - Portable ; I've been having lots of problems with my laptop; screen, video card, sound card, wireless network, wired network card, modem, to name a few. Well, I'd love to get all those to work, but the most pressing for me are ...

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  1. WiFi problems on laptop

    I've been having lots of problems with my laptop; screen, video card,
    sound card, wireless network, wired network card, modem, to name a
    few. Well, I'd love to get all those to work, but the most pressing
    for me are the modem and the WiFi card. I can't get the modem to work,
    so I'm passing on that. So, I haven't even tried to get the wireless
    adapter to work. I haven't even looked in to getting it to work. A
    friend of mine suggested a NDIS wrapper, but I don't know what that
    is, to be honest.

    Anything that helps me start on this would be appeciated.

    Thanks.


  2. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    Sorry for the second e-mail, but I forgot to include my system. Here
    it is:

    AMD Turion ML-32 processor, Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 r3 sarge, kernel
    version 2.6.8-11-amd64-k8. I don't really know how to get the model
    name of the wireless card, but I suppose I can try a lspci, although
    last time I tried a lspci, it said there was no wireless card
    installed. This may have something to do with the wireless switch, no?
    However, there is one small problem. The wireless switch is a software
    switch . . .

    Thanks again.


  3. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    ["Followup-To:" header set to comp.os.linux.portable.]
    kawk@theprogrammingsite.com staggered into the Black Sun and said:
    > I've been having lots of problems with my laptop; screen, video card,
    > sound card, wireless network, wired network card, modem,


    Does this laptop have a make and model#? Without that information, it
    will be totally impossible for anyone to help you. Which version of
    which distro are you using? I'd guess Debian, since you x-posted to
    aol.debian, but which version? You don't want to use Stable on a
    machine with weird hardware, and any laptop that isn't ancient has weird
    hardware. Use Testing; it'll help, especially with X.

    > I haven't even tried to get the wireless adapter to work.


    The first failure is the failure to try.

    > A friend of mine suggested NDIS wrapper, but I don't know what that is


    google://"ndiswrapper" should tell you.

    > Anything that helps me start on this would be appeciated.


    Help us help you. Provide the laptop make, model#, distro, version of
    distro, exact commands you executed, and exact text of any errors
    received.

    --
    A project for developing fully automatically driven cars
    (not just those misnamed auto-pilots) has been improved by your
    explosive flatulence. --MegaHAL, trained on ASR
    Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see

  4. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    kawk@theprogrammingsite.com wrote:

    > Anything that helps me start on this would be appeciated.
    >
    > Thanks.
    >

    Try Mandriva. Their WiFi 'just works', Debian's 'just doesn't' (IME)
    though I have to say I prefer the 'look and feel' of Kubuntu, in the end
    it's functionality that counts.

  5. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    On Wed, 14 Mar 2007 10:58:17 -0700, kawk wrote:

    > I've been having lots of problems with my laptop; screen, video card,
    > sound card, wireless network, wired network card, modem, to name a
    > few. Well, I'd love to get all those to work, but the most pressing
    > for me are the modem and the WiFi card. I can't get the modem to work,
    > so I'm passing on that. So, I haven't even tried to get the wireless
    > adapter to work. I haven't even looked in to getting it to work. A
    > friend of mine suggested a NDIS wrapper, but I don't know what that
    > is, to be honest.
    >
    > Anything that helps me start on this would be appeciated.
    >
    > Thanks.


    IMHO the best thing you can do is to get a properly supported wireless
    card such as a Dlink WNA2330 with Atheros chipset. Atheros cards work 'out
    of the box'. IMHO ndiswrapper and broadcomm cards are a PITA.


  6. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    kawk@theprogrammingsite.com writes:

    >I've been having lots of problems with my laptop; screen, video card,
    >sound card, wireless network, wired network card, modem, to name a
    >few. Well, I'd love to get all those to work, but the most pressing
    >for me are the modem and the WiFi card. I can't get the modem to work,
    >so I'm passing on that. So, I haven't even tried to get the wireless
    >adapter to work. I haven't even looked in to getting it to work. A
    >friend of mine suggested a NDIS wrapper, but I don't know what that
    >is, to be honest.


    You do not tell us anything but want help. What problems? What kind of
    laptop? what is the wireless card? Which Linux distro? Which version?
    We need info in order to help

    To answer your last question, the relevant word is
    ndiswrapper
    (all one word) Google will help you.Note that if you have not even tried
    the wireless how do you know it does not work?



    >Anything that helps me start on this would be appeciated.


    >Thanks.



  7. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    On Mar 14, 1:58 pm, k...@theprogrammingsite.com wrote:
    > I've been having lots of problems with my laptop;

    First problem - you are using Debian. There is a good chance that
    your video cards have proprietary binary-only drivers available, but
    you need to install them. Debian doesn't include them - as a function
    of policy. Ubuntu, SUSE, and Red Hat do support them.

    > video card,

    ATI and NVIdia have binary extensions and support. You can download
    them manually, and if your laptop has the links to be LSB3 compatible,
    then you can run the install shell script. Everything get compiled,
    patched and moduled.

    > screen,


    The default driver will be a VESA vga compatible driver. At best you
    might be able to get 1024x768, more likely 800x600 by default.

    > sound card,


    Again, SUSE, Red Hat, or Ubuntu will have the extra drivers for most
    such boards. Ubuntu will default to a basic sound card.

    > wireless network,


    Atheros cards (a/b/g) need madwifi.
    Many cards need ndiswrapper. Either solution works well, but these
    are hybrid interfaces to "binary only" solutions - again - against
    Debian policy. If you want "pure OSS" you need to get an intel
    chipset based card.

    > wired network card,


    This one is usually pretty easy. There aren't that many chipsets, but
    if you have a broadcom card, with 1Gb/sec speeds, you need the binary
    interface kit. Again, a good commercial distribution does this
    automatically.

    > modem,




    > to name a
    > few. Well, I'd love to get all those to work, but the most pressing
    > for me are the modem and the WiFi card. I can't get the modem to work,
    > so I'm passing on that. So, I haven't even tried to get the wireless
    > adapter to work. I haven't even looked in to getting it to work. A
    > friend of mine suggested a NDIS wrapper, but I don't know what that
    > is, to be honest.
    >
    > Anything that helps me start on this would be appeciated.
    >
    > Thanks.




  8. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    I demand that Rex Ballard may or may not have written...

    > On Mar 14, 1:58 pm, k...@theprogrammingsite.com wrote:
    >> I've been having lots of problems with my laptop;


    > First problem - you are using Debian. There is a good chance that your
    > video cards have proprietary binary-only drivers available, but you need to
    > install them. Debian doesn't include them - as a function of policy.


    Strictly true - they're in non-free.

    [snip]
    >> screen,


    > The default driver will be a VESA vga compatible driver. At best you might
    > be able to get 1024x768, more likely 800x600 by default.


    vesafb on my laptop gives 1280x800. intelfb (which, AIUI, is what I *should*
    choose for i945) doesn't seem to recognise the hardware...

    >> sound card,


    > Again, SUSE, Red Hat, or Ubuntu will have the extra drivers for most
    > such boards. Ubuntu will default to a basic sound card.


    I have the impression that you're using Debian sarge as a reference. Right
    now, I'd not bother installing that - I'd go straight for etch.

    >> wireless network,


    > Atheros cards (a/b/g) need madwifi.
    > Many cards need ndiswrapper. Either solution works well, but these are
    > hybrid interfaces to "binary only" solutions - again - against Debian
    > policy. If you want "pure OSS" you need to get an intel chipset based
    > card.


    I find that ipw3945 works well, but is "impure" in that there's a binary-only
    user-space daemon. No kernel taint, at least :-)

    iwlwifi is better in that respect - but (when I last looked) was much pickier
    about association - I think that more of the parameters have to be specified.

    OTOH, I set up a Belkin card (which uses a Ralink chip) - while building the
    ra61 module is easy enough (I'm used to compiling my own kernels) I had to
    patch wpasupplicant and build the ra61 module separately. Ralink are... less
    than useful when it comes to supplying patches...

    >> wired network card,


    > This one is usually pretty easy. There aren't that many chipsets, but if
    > you have a broadcom card, with 1Gb/sec speeds, you need the binary
    > interface kit. Again, a good commercial distribution does this
    > automatically.


    Do you mean bcm5700-source?

    [snip]
    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + Burn less waste. Use less packaging. Waste less. USE FEWER RESOURCES.

    Exercise caution in your daily affairs.

  9. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    Darren Salt writes:


    >>> wireless network,


    >> Atheros cards (a/b/g) need madwifi.
    >> Many cards need ndiswrapper. Either solution works well, but these are
    >> hybrid interfaces to "binary only" solutions - again - against Debian
    >> policy. If you want "pure OSS" you need to get an intel chipset based
    >> card.


    >I find that ipw3945 works well, but is "impure" in that there's a binary-only
    >user-space daemon. No kernel taint, at least :-)


    I think that is the firmware which is proprietary. Ie, it is a program
    installed on the wifi card, not in userspace, which controls things like
    the frequency, etc of the card.



  10. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    Unruh wrote:
    > Darren Salt writes:
    >
    >
    >>>> wireless network,

    >
    >>> Atheros cards (a/b/g) need madwifi.
    >>> Many cards need ndiswrapper. Either solution works well, but these are
    >>> hybrid interfaces to "binary only" solutions - again - against Debian
    >>> policy. If you want "pure OSS" you need to get an intel chipset based
    >>> card.

    >
    >>I find that ipw3945 works well, but is "impure" in that there's a binary-only
    >>user-space daemon. No kernel taint, at least :-)

    >
    > I think that is the firmware which is proprietary. Ie, it is a program
    > installed on the wifi card, not in userspace, which controls things like
    > the frequency, etc of the card.


    No, there's a userspace daemon to control things like xmit power,
    available channels and other regulated things.

    There's also a re-write of the ipw3945 driver in progress that doesn't
    need the daemon, IIRC it's being done by INTEL, apparently they've
    decided that this would not violate FCC (& other government) regs.

    Jerry

  11. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    I demand that Jerry Peters may or may not have written...

    > Unruh wrote:
    >> Darren Salt writes:

    [snip]
    >>> I find that ipw3945 works well, but is "impure" in that there's a
    >>> binary-only user-space daemon. No kernel taint, at least :-)


    >> I think that is the firmware which is proprietary.
    >> I.e., it is a program installed on the wifi card, not in userspace, which
    >> controls things like the frequency, etc of the card.


    That'd be firmware-ipw3945 (in non-free), whereas I'm referring to
    ipw3945d....

    > No, there's a userspace daemon to control things like xmit power, available
    > channels and other regulated things.


    > There's also a re-write of the ipw3945 driver in progress that doesn't need
    > the daemon, IIRC it's being done by INTEL, apparently they've decided that
    > this would not violate FCC (& other government) regs.


    I did mention that, but for some reason it got snipped in the follow-up
    message. It requires newer firmware which includes the functionality of the
    user-space daemon; see http://intellinuxwireless.org/?p=iwlwifi for more
    info.

    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + Output less CO2 => avoid massive flooding. TIME IS RUNNING OUT *FAST*.

    Unix hacks go to /usr/local/pub/red-lion for a pint.

  12. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    On Fri, 16 Mar 2007 21:21:22 -0700, Rex Ballard wrote:

    >> wireless network,

    >
    > Atheros cards (a/b/g) need madwifi.
    > Many cards need ndiswrapper. Either solution works well, but these
    > are hybrid interfaces to "binary only" solutions - again - against
    > Debian policy. If you want "pure OSS" you need to get an intel
    > chipset based card.


    Or a RaLink 2500 series. Or several others.

    Intel does not have a monopoly on open source.


  13. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    mark south writes:

    >On Fri, 16 Mar 2007 21:21:22 -0700, Rex Ballard wrote:


    >>> wireless network,

    >>
    >> Atheros cards (a/b/g) need madwifi.
    >> Many cards need ndiswrapper. Either solution works well, but these
    >> are hybrid interfaces to "binary only" solutions - again - against
    >> Debian policy. If you want "pure OSS" you need to get an intel
    >> chipset based card.


    >Or a RaLink 2500 series. Or several others.


    >Intel does not have a monopoly on open source.


    madwifi is, AFAIK a native driver.Ie, it is not "binary only" except for
    the firmware which on all cards is binary only. (the claim is that the FCC
    mandates that so that users cannot mess with the frequencies and destroy
    aircraft communication for example)

    Note that the intel cards also have binary only firmware and the 3945 in
    addition has a binary only control driver.



  14. Re: WiFi problems on laptop

    Unruh wrote:
    > mark south writes:
    >
    >>On Fri, 16 Mar 2007 21:21:22 -0700, Rex Ballard wrote:

    >
    >>>> wireless network,
    >>>
    >>> Atheros cards (a/b/g) need madwifi.
    >>> Many cards need ndiswrapper. Either solution works well, but these
    >>> are hybrid interfaces to "binary only" solutions - again - against
    >>> Debian policy. If you want "pure OSS" you need to get an intel
    >>> chipset based card.

    >
    >>Or a RaLink 2500 series. Or several others.

    >
    >>Intel does not have a monopoly on open source.

    >
    > madwifi is, AFAIK a native driver.Ie, it is not "binary only" except for
    > the firmware which on all cards is binary only. (the claim is that the FCC
    > mandates that so that users cannot mess with the frequencies and destroy
    > aircraft communication for example)


    Nope, there's a binary only HAL which sits between the driver and
    the device which controls frequency and power limits. There's a BSD
    driver with an open source HAL, and I believe there's a project to
    port it to Linux.

    ZYDAS (now owned by Atheros) has USB devices with open source drivers.
    And there's currently a semi-working re-write in the 2.6 kernels
    called zd1211rw.

    Jerry

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