Netgear Wireless Cards + Linux?

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Netgear Wireless Cards + Linux?

Postby Philosophicles » Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:10 pm

Does anyone have any experience making Netgear wireless cards work with linux? Specifically, I have a WG311 v2, the relevant support page for which does not mention linux at all (or any non-microsoft OSes for that matter). The fact that it's an internal rather than USB wireless solution does make me think it could be harder to get up and running on linux, perhaps impossible if Netgear don't produce correct drivers, but I'm very much a newb, and would appreciate anybody's experience with similar cards.
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RE: Netgear Wireless Cards + Linux?

Postby A-Wing » Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:32 pm

I have one of those on a machine at work and use Ndiswrapper on it with the Windows driver. Ndiswrapper can be found at: http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/
Quite a few distros have a deb, rpm or whatever package format is used for it.
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Postby Philosophicles » Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:08 pm

hmm, getting ndiswrapper itself seemed fairly painless. I now just have to figure out the guy's very long and complicated explanation of how to make the relevant Netgear drivers work right, and how to get ndiswrapper to do the right things with 'em :)

Perhaps I'll leave this a few days, ethernet is working fine and I don't *really* mind wires all over my bedroom floor ;)
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Postby graham » Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:22 am

Another option: I've got one of these, and I managed to get it to work using the Madwifi drivers.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/madwifi/

You may be lucky and find a package for your distribution.

Otherwise, if you're familiar with Linux, it's fairly straightforward to install. The only requirement is the pre-installed source code for your kernel. You basically download the madwifi tar file from SourceForge, untar it, change into the directory, make and make install as root.

The only problem I had (using Mandriva 10.2) was that the modules were installed into:

/lib/modules/2.6.11-6mdkcustom/net

(the installation had assumed I was using a custom kernel). They needed to be moved from there to:

/lib/modules/2.6.11-6mdk/kernel/net

I also added alias ath0 ath_pci to /etc/modprobe.conf, and finally executed depmod -a as root to build the module dependencies.

(you can load the module manually using modprobe ath_pci).

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need some help configuring the card.
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Postby Philosophicles » Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:38 am

Lets just say for example that I'm not that familiar with linux yet. For the sake of argument, I've got less than a week's experience with it ;). Where is the correct place to untar something like this to, and thus install from?

Also, what do you mean by
The only requirement is the pre-installed source code for your kernel.
?

I'm using mandrake 10.1, as it happens, so I guess it's pretty likely I might get the same problem you had... but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
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Postby graham » Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:45 pm

Right. Well this is going to be a baptism of fire! You should really treat this as a last resort in cases where there's no easier way. You could easily mess up your system.

You basically need to install the kernel-source, download the drivers, compile then install them.

I'll try and break it down into small steps, but, if you run into any problems it could get messy. ;)

Firstly, you need to install the kernel source. Without wanting to state the obvious, your kernel is the heart of your Linux system, and Mandriva/Mandrake's kernel is pre-compiled from this source code, including drivers. The Madwifi driver is a module that connects to the kernel, which is why it needs the kernel source code when we compile it.

From a console, switch to root, and enter the following to install the kernel source, the compiler and the cvs client:

urpmi kernel-source gcc cvs

You can also accomplish the same thing from Mandrake's control center. It's fairly large...

Next step is to download the Madwifi drivers. There isn't a package to download, so we need to get them from the development repository. Back at the console, cut and paste the following (ignore my itallics!):

cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/madwifi login
Just press return when asked for a password

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/madwifi co -P madwifi

This will then download the source code for the driver. I really hope this isn't putting you off Linux for life... Change to the new madwifi directory, build the package and install by typing the following:


cd madwifi
make
sudo make install


As mentioned in my first message, this has placed the drivers in /lib/modules/2.6[VERSION]mdkcustom/net. VERSION should look something like '11-6'. We need to move the files to /lib/modules/2.6[VERSION]mdk/. For me, I would use:

cp -rf /lib/modules/2.6.11-6mdkcustom/net/* /lib/modules/2.6.11-6mdk/kernel/net/

But you may need to change the version number to match your installed kernel. The final step is to make sure the driver is automatically loaded. The following command appends the right line to the module configurating script:

cp /etc/modprobe.conf /etc/modprobe.conf_backup
echo "alias ath0 ath_pci" >>/etc/modprobe.conf
depmod -a

Finally, load the driver:

modprobe ath_pci

You should then be able to configure your wireless card from Mandrake's control center. Good Luck!!!
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