So you want your
wireless to work
in linux??? Don't we all. This can be an aggravating
problem, but hopefully some of the information below can get you on the
you've installed linux, you would probably like to have the
internet. If you have a wireless card, this can seem like a
daunting task since many cards, as of yet, are not fully supported by
linux. However, nearly all wireless cards are supported fully by
Windows. This allows us a cheat angle. It is possible to
use a Windows driver with Linux via two major avenues (Ndiswrapper and
Linuxant's Driver Loader).
For ndiswrapper, what you'll need is a copy of the CORRECT
Windows driver for your card and instructions on how to make it work.
From my personal experience,
version of ndiswrapper you use is not nearly as important as the
version of the driver you use. Be sure you have the correct
driver! However, if it says a certain driver has been tested with
a specific version of ndiswrapper, I would shoot for that version to
ensure, though, that you have only ONE version of ndiswrapper installed
at a time, as they tend to not get along well with multiple versions
installed. You do have the other option. Linuxant makes a
program called Driver
Loader that will take care of
things for you....for a fee. You can try it free for 30 days and
then you will have to pay $20 to keep it working. For download
info and help installing, click here.
However, if you wish to
try ndiswrapper, just follow
the next few steps and you should be surfing in no time flat. If
at any point you have a problem, feel free to consult the Ndiswrapper
The general format looks like this:
1. Find the correct windows driver.
2. Install it with ndiswrapper.
3. Use your distribution's wireless utility or the command line
to configure your wireless connection.
To search for drivers:
1. First, you'll need to
a tested and supported driver for your card. I would check here. If you
don't find any support for your card, I would check google.
Just search for "windows driver for 'yourcardhere'." If the
driver is in compressed format (i.e. zip, rar, etc), just uncompress it
in your /home/user directory (where user is your log-in name). A
few commands you might need to navigate to it from the command line are
minus the quotes will list all the files in the current folder and "cd
directory" (where directory is where you wish
to enter) minus the quotes will change directories.
To install the driver
2. Once you've located
specified driver, you can find instructions on
how to get it installed here.
(Note: There are USB drivers
included in the list that have been shown to work as well.) I've
included my make
distclean, make and make
for comipiling reference. Also, here
is an example of what the driver install should look like with no
errors. If at any point you get an error
stating "command not found," it's because you need to be logged in as
root or ndiswrapper is not installed. See the end of the Ndiswrapper
Commands section to
how to log in as root. Also, some commonly encountered errors and
their possible solutions can be found under Ndiswrapper
3. If the driver is installed successfully, your last few
commands should return no errors.
Once you've completed all of the
steps in the above installation procedure,
use your distribution's internet configuration tool (Suse and Mandriva
users see here)
setting up your wireless card. If, after you've done this, if you
can open a browser and you have
internet, you are probably set. One thing to check, though, is
that your wireless works again after you reboot. (The last step
of the ndiswrapper installation guide is responsible for this) If
you can't figure out where your configuration utility is, are having
problems using it, or simply prefer using the command line, see the
first section here.
If all has gone well, but you still can't
get the internet, you might see What
to do next. If
encountered a problem, see the Ndiswrapper
Problems section. For more
overview on ndiswrapper and its' associated commands, see Ndiswrapper
Commands. For links to resources about networking,
etc, see Other
NOTE: When you update your
kernel in the future, you will more than likely have to redo
ndiswrapper. (i.e. completely remove the driver, ndiswrapper, and start
over) However, your wireless utility should remember the settings
for your card. Once ndiswrapper has worked, though, you'll find
is very simple as the process should be easy to recall.
I came across this
today for those trying to set up a USB adapter.
to do next -
Ndiswrapper installation went well, but what do you do now?
Contains a list of common problems and their possible solutions.
A list of useful Ndiswrapper commands, how to execute them, info on
logging in as root, etc.
Resources - Contains links to sites that
offer help with various things. (includes a nice tutorial for new
all else fails -
What to do if things STILL won't work after troubleshooting.
To report a broken link or if there is something you feel would be a
helpful addition to the page, feel free to email me at