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Linux and the wireless network driver

By jck ·
OK, ladies and gents (and those who don't want to be classified as either):

Over the weekend, I downloaded and did default installs of 6 flavors of Linux onto the new drive I received on Friday. Linspire seems to have been the only Linux that, by default, found and loaded a driver for my Xterasys 802.11b wireless network card.

Being as I haven't messed with Linux in about 6-7 years, I can't remember a lot about the OS. Plus, now it's GUI and all I remember is command-line interfaces.

Do most Linux distros have a tool now to load a driver, or do I need to do this manually still? I know that I saw an interface for loading drivers for a device, but I didn't see the appropriate one for mine in the list and I didn't see an equivalent to the Microsloth "Browse" button.

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Wireless cards

by jck In reply to good deal

Yeah, the ADMTek chipset was a little difficult to deal with getting installed under Mandrake. However, it was nowhere near the nightmare of the Lexmark printer. I never got the "working" driver to talk to the thing, nor could I find the tools to recompile the source (and I didn't know if I should use alternatives), nor did the PPD work under Mandrake 10.1.

I bought 2 more wireless cards. They are Encore 802.11g 54Mb/s PCI cards. They are based on the RaLink RT2500 chipset, which I have read is easier to implement. So, I'm hoping that now I have switched to one under XP, that swapping the drives to Linux only means that it will get detected. I might have to load a driver, but that's not an issue.

BTW, I guess Prism is still Intersil or did it get sold off or spun off? I remember when "Prism" was the name for the chipset developed at Harris Semiconductor on Palm Bay Road in Palm Bay, FL. I worked at GCSD across the road. Later became Intersil after the company sold it off and Lanier off.

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current ownership

by apotheon In reply to good deal

I'm really not up to date with who owns what in wireless card technology, right now. I'll just take your post as an indication that, should it become important to know about it, I should definitely not rely on my own out-of-date information.

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don't rely on mine

by jck In reply to good deal

by any means. Oz and the other have proved me growing up in rural Oklahoma set me back years.

I just say...Google it.

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Indeed...

by Mantei Woodcraft Ltd. In reply to basically

In spades even. LOL!

I used to have that kind of ambition once. Good luck with it. Any more I find I just never have the time for everything I want to do.

I like the drive tray idea. Use it myself. That and external hard drive enclosures. In fact they're starting to clutter my desk like floppys and CD's used to. Very handy to be able to have several different OS's on tap for sure.

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only issues

by jck In reply to Indeed...

with removable drives with different OSes is just knowing that new hardware you put into the box is compatible with all your OSes.

Otherwise, it is really nice. I've got the XP working with my new 54Mb wireless card, so all I have to do now is load up the Linux drive and configure it to use the new card as well and I'm off to the races :)

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wireless update

by jck In reply to Linux and the wireless ne ...

Well, I ended up having to use ndiswrapper again with Mandrake. It is frustrating, especially in the case that there were Mandrake and 2.6.8 directories that I used things from (I have Mandrake 10.1 2.6.8.1-12 kernel)...and, it wouldn't compile like the instructions say.

So with that in mind...next paycheck...2 new hard drives (seagate 80GBs each)...2 drive trays...2 more Linux implementations.

time to expand my horizons.

BTW, I also have subscribed to a magazine called "SYS ADMIN" or something similar that is supposed to be for Linux. Does anyone have any feedback about this magazine?

I already paid for it, so if you wanna gloat about how it's gonna suck and I can't make good decisions...now is a good time. :)

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SYS ADMIN Magazine

by apotheon In reply to wireless update

My understanding is that SYS ADMIN is actually for administrators of unix systems in general, as opposed to being for Linux administrators in particular. I've been thinking about getting my hands on a couple issues to evaluate it myself, at some point, actually, so I don't really have any room to criticize you on your choice of magazine. I haven't seen it personally, however, so I can't really comment on its quality.

For Linux-specific magazines, the two that really seem to stand out as quality mags out of what I've seen so far are Linux Journal and Linux Magazine. There's also TUX Magazine, a brand new (and FREE) publication "for the new Linux user". I haven't checked it out yet, though I intend to.

I imagine that print issues (if such exist) would cost money, but you can "subscribe" for free at the website and download the entire first issue without being charged, apparently. In fact, I think I'll go do that very shortly. I'd like to see how good the mag is. The webiste for it is, predictably:
http://www.tuxmagazine.com

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cool

by jck In reply to SYS ADMIN Magazine

Thanks for the info again. I'll download that tonite and check the others out off the newsstand.

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another wireless update

by jck In reply to Linux and the wireless ne ...

Well after I got the ndiswrapper working with the RT2500 driver, I shut down and re-installed my XP drive and worked with Windows the rest of the evening.

The next day, I put the Mandrake drive back in to start working with getting some of the Windows-handling software involved.

What happens? The machine boots (VERY slowly) and then after I login there's no network. When I do the lsmod, ndiswrapper is loaded. When I do an "ndiswrapper -l", the RT2500 driver is loaded. I try configuring things and reloading everything to no avail.

So...what is my solution going to be?

I'm going to a different OS.

I am thinking about trying Debian. Hoping that it will have all the tools deployed to make the compile and install easier of all this stuff.

So, next weekend: Linux reload. Maybe a bit extreme, but it will let me delve into a different environment and learn a little more.

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suggestion

by apotheon In reply to another wireless update

I'd recommend installing with the wireless card installed and try to use that to establish initial network connectivity while installing Debian. Also, if it's not detecting the wireless card automatically during installation, try using aptitude during the installation process (when it starts asking what kind of software you'll want installed) to find anything related to ndiswrapper. I don't know if it'll be there, but it's worth a try.

I haven't worked with wireless drivers on Linux at all yet. I'll be doing so very soon, I suspect, but in the meantime the above are the recommendations that come immediately to my mind for things to try out during a Debian install to get wireless support working on your machine.

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