Site hosted by Build your free website today!

On this page I will try to describe how to use the Compaq Wireless LAN W200 interface with the Linux Redhat 9.0 distribution. This should work with other distributions as well but name and location of configuration scripts may slightly differ.



Compaq EVO 610c notebook with Wireless LAN W200 and current Bios release F.15A (August 2003). 2.0-GHz Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor-M and one 40-GB hard disk. Redhat 9.0 (German) with current kernel release 2.4.20-20.9. D-Link wireless router DI-614+.
Compaq Evo notebook n610c Compaq Wireless LAN MultiPort W200

Test environment


I configured a dual boot for Windows XP and Linux using GRUP as the boot manager.



Warning : if you install Redhat 9.0 DON'T use ACPI (with kernel 2.4.20) ! This would be the default. During boot the ACPI bios will be detected and enabled (and therefore APM will be disabled) but the fan will not work and you run into great trouble. Disable it with a 'acpi=off' entry in '/boot/grup/menu.lst'.



I use this one :


# grub.conf generated by anaconda


# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file

# NOTICE:  You do not have a /boot partition.  This means that

#          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /, eg.

#          root (hd0,1)

#          kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda2

#          initrd /boot/initrd-version.img





title Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-20.9)

            root (hd0,1)

            kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20-20.9 ro root=LABEL=/  acpi=off hdc=ide-scsi

            initrd /boot/initrd-2.4.20-20.9.img



If you cannot live without ACPI try to play around with the latest ACPI patches. Have a look at or



Currently Hewlett-Packard doesn't provide Linux drivers for the EVO notebooks. The ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics controller, the 10/100 LAN interface and audio will work with the drivers/modules bundled into Redhat 9.0. They will be detected and configured during install automatically.The Wireless LAN W200 is NOT supported with the current Redhat kernel and therefore you have to do some additional work !




Step 1 : Download the necessary modules from Manuel Estrada Sainz who maintains the Orinoco-USB version of the Orinoco driver. This code should work for the following wireless lan cards :


            Agere/Lucent ORiNOCO USB Client (0x047e/0x0300)

            Agere Wireless USB Card Model 0801 (0x0d4e/0x1000)

            HP/Compaq WL215 (0x049f/0x001f)

            HP/Compaq W200 (0x049f/0x0076)

            HP Wireless USB WL215 (0x049f/0x0082)

            IBM Internal High Rate Wireless LAN PC Card 26P8030 (0x0d4e/0x047a)

            Melco, Inc. BUFFALO WLI-USB-L11G-WR (0x0411/0x000b)

            Thomson SpeedTouch 120 Wireless Lan USB Adaptor (0x0d4e/0x1000)


On this page you will also find the RPM's for Redhat 9.0 provided by Øystein Olsen.

If you don't use Redhat (or Debian) you have to download the source files.


You should now have an wlan0 network device ready for use and your green LED on the W200 should be turned on (use Fn-F2 in order to enable/disable the W200).


[root@xyz root]# iwconfig wlan0

wlan0     IEEE 802.11-DS  ESSID:""  Nickname:"HERMES I"

          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.422GHz  Access Point: 00:00:00:00:00:00

          Bit Rate:11Mb/s   Tx-Power=15 dBm   Sensitivity:1/3

          Retry limit:4   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off

          Encryption key:off

          Power Management:off

          Link Quality:0/92  Signal level:134/153  Noise level:134/153

          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0

          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0


[root@xyz root]# lsmod | grep ori

orinoco_usb            21916   0  (unused)

orinoco                43604   0  [orinoco_usb]

firmware_class          5204   0  [orinoco_usb]

hermes                  6340   0  [orinoco_usb]

usbcore                79040   1  [orinoco_usb hid ehci-hcd usb-ohci]



Step 2: Unfortunately you still won't see the new device within 'redhat-config-network'.


Now you have to configure the necessary options in order to access your wireless router.

Here is one example for my specific configuration (man pages for 'iwconfig' will explain

every possible option).


iwconfig wlan0 essid any

iwconfig wlan0 nickname "xyz"

iwconfig wlan0 key s:abcdefghijklm

ifconfig wlan0 dynamic up



[root@xyz root]# iwconfig wlan0

wlan0     IEEE 802.11-DS  ESSID:"default"  Nickname:"xyz"

          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437GHz  Access Point: 00:30:07:CA:76:71

          Bit Rate:11Mb/s   Tx-Power=15 dBm   Sensitivity:1/3

          Retry limit:4   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off

          Encryption key:6162-6364-6566-6768-696A-6B6C-6D

          Power Management:off

          Link Quality:21/92  Signal level:-67 dBm  Noise level:-88 dBm

          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0

          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0



Step 3 :test your configuration with '/sbin/dhclient'. If you see something like this

you are almost done because someone answered your DHCP request !


[root@xyz root]# /sbin/dhclient wlan0

Internet Software Consortium DHCP Client V3.0pl1

Copyright 1995-2001 Internet Software Consortium.

All rights reserved.

For info, please visit


Listening on LPF/wlan0/00:09:01:f3:80:1b

Sending on   LPF/wlan0/00:09:01:f3:80:1b

Sending on   Socket/fallback

DHCPDISCOVER on wlan0 to port 67 interval 5


DHCPREQUEST on wlan0 to port 67


bound to -- renewal in 230007 seconds.



Step 4 : create a file called ifcfg-wlan0 in '/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts' and add your specific configuration (see step 2). This file will be read during network startup.


Here is my example :


root@xyz root]# cat ifcfg-wlan0

# Please read /usr/share/doc/initscripts-*/sysconfig.txt

# for the documentation of these parameters.




















Step 5 : for the first time now your are able to use the config user interface within Redhat.

Cool stuff :)


Start 'redhat-config-network' and you will be able to see your new wlan0 device. You now can use the activate/deactivate option to request eg. a new IP address from your router.


Ifconfig should now show your assigned IP address :


[root@xyz root]# ifconfig wlan0

wlan0     Protokoll:Ethernet  Hardware Adresse 00:09:01:F3:80:1B

          inet Adresse:  Bcast:  Maske:


          RX packets:11 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0

          TX packets:2 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0

          Kollisionen:0 Sendewarteschlangenlänge:100

          RX bytes:3662 (3.5 Kb)  TX bytes:704 (704.0 b)


Restart your network with '/sbin/service network restart'. You should now see the startup of your two network interfaces (eg. eth0 and wlan0).


Your are done ! If you are unable to access addresses behind your router don't forget to check your routing table ('/sbin/route').



Additional useful links :


(C) Jo_Ka