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Linksys AP/Routers Not Supporting Non-Microsoft OSs? 28

Multispin asks: "This isn't exactly new, but Linksys has a nifty little router/firewall/switch/802.11b Access Point box for sale. The only problem is that the wireless interface seems to only work with windows. I've put together a little page about this issue, here. I'd like to try to put together a larger group of interested people. Linksys makes good stuff, I just want to help them solve this problem, not boycot them! I think the problem problem due to the device not sending Ethernet II type however I'm not quite sure." Has anyone else tried fixing this problem?
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Linksys AP/Routers Not Supporting Non-Microsoft OSs?

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  • Has anyone else tried fixing this problem? Ummm...
    No. But don't worry, i'll make a note about it and put it in my "Things to do" folder.

    (Note to self: either recycle the paper notes on that folder more often, or get a bigger folder)
    Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @04:27AM (#142271)

    that's kind of curious. i've been using linksys switches and 10/100 network cards for about six months with no hitches.

    before that a 10Mbit hub for about two years.

    the primary reason i started purchasing their products, was the fact they were displaying a "tested with linux" sticker on their boxes.

    i try to support "early adopters" of linux tested hardware. i think it's a strategy some of the other manufacturers might consider picking up.

    my first question with new hardware purchases is always, "does it work with linux?" if the manufacturer doesn't take the effort to supply this information, i don't buy it.

    it's also helpful to give the vendor some positive feedback regarding their "linux testing" efforts.

  • by Enry ( 630 ) <enry@wayga.QUOTEnet minus punct> on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @05:58AM (#142272) Journal
    I've had the Barricade (7004WBR) for about 6 months now. Has all the cool stuff: NAT, 3 10/100 ports, LPR-compliant parallel port, DB-9 serial for analog modem failover, and 802.11b (64 bit WEP).

    The cool thing about it is that the Barricade is pretty OS-agnostic. The only real requirement is a browser with javascript to configure it. Once configured, you can update the BIOS from the web, FTP, or through a windows app. SMC keeps releasing new versions of the BIOS, and it's worked pretty well for me the entire time.

    Cost at the time was ~$350US, but I think it's dropped some.
  • I have one of the Linksys AP (just the AP) and it works great.

    Does it work without WEP?

    Does it work with other brands of cards? (with my Cisco Aironet 340 I cannot set the speed manually, only works with auto)

    Come to think of it, mine changes its management IP to a random one sometimes. And I do have the latest code running on it.

    I talked with the reps from Linksys at CeBIT this year and they seemed nice. But another thing that annoys me with them is their PCI card. All of them have the same name, but 4 different chip sets and drivers for each. Also don't buy the Linksys PCMCIA wireless card, the range sucks. I got my Aironet 340 from wirelesscentral.net for $140 [wirelesscentral.net]

    Linksys??? Care to comment?

  • my first question with new hardware purchases is always, "does it work with linux?"


    Just now I'm anguishing over the choice of which laptop computer to buy, much to the puzzlement of my W2K-using co-workers.

    They don't appreciate all my fuss over which winmodem card in a Dell laptop has linux drivers available.

    This is my first laptop purchase. I am surprised to find that most folks have no idea what brand of components are in a laptop, so trying to find out if a particular one has a Lucent winmodem (sounds semi-supported) versus a 3com (sounds unsupported) is a challenge.

    I may end up getting an IBM, since they seem to be making a little bit more of an effort to support Linux on their hardware than the other big name laptop vendors, AFAICT.

    At this point I've pretty much conceded that it will be impossible to get a brand name laptop without paying for a pre-installed Windows that I won't use. But I won't settle for a modem that I can't use under Linux.

  • First of all, here's a link to the Linksys BEFW11S4 product information page. [linksys.com]

    I installed one of these the other day on a mostly-Mac network, and got it to work with Apple's Airport cards. Granted, I don't know whether the Airport is using SNAP or EthernetII, but I did find out that the Airport does not support standard WEP. Apparently, they use their own encryption using a password rather than a 128-bit key. Not sure how auth works on the Airport. Anyway, right now it's running unencrypted, so I'll have to put in a separate firewall and an Airport WAP. Bleah.
  • Have to agree here -- installed mine last night and was impressed with ease of setup and features offered.

    Prices appear to have gone down. Mine cost $49 after rebate, makes my printer accessible over the network, acts as a 4-port 10/100 (full duplex, I believe) switch, has a number of configurable firewall options (which ports to leave open, allows you to leave one machine open, etc), is easy to configure, etc. If I'd been paying full price I would have considered the Netgear #314, which seems comparable but will also send messages to the syslog server on your network (neat feature).

    For those who are curious: my DSL provider included a PCI modem that only came with Windows drivers, so I've been running Win98 + internet connection sharing to make share the dsl line over the network. When I replaced the (233 MHz) Win98 box with the SMC Barricade and an external modem, the DSL test pages showed my connection speed had *quadrupled*. Money well spent.
  • by saintlupus ( 227599 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2001 @08:17AM (#142277) Homepage

    my first question with new hardware purchases is always, "does it work with linux?"

    i'm in a bit of a tougher situation... though the drones at the local compusa have gotten used to me asking if stuff works with netbsd or not.

    "well, shit, it works with SCO. _nothing_ ought to do that. i'm sure it's fine."

  • Just now I'm anguishing over the choice of which laptop computer to buy, much to the puzzlement of my W2K-using co-workers.

    I've gotta say it: get an Powerbook or one of the new iBooks. I mean OS X is kinda pretty and it's Unix and obviously you know the hardware will work OK with it. And the machines themselves are really nice.

    Maybe it's not your thing, but I know that if I had the cash and the inclination to get a laptop it would be an Apple on for sure (note that I'm not an Apple zealot either - my two machines are a Pentium II and a SparcStation5)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I got my airport card (in a 2000 powerbook) working fine with WEP and that very same Linksys AP.

    This is in Linux, if you're using OS9 or OSX, you might be SOL. I just specified the key (in hex) as a paramater to "modprobe airport".

    As usual with Apple, its a software limitiation, not a hardware one.
  • Linksys released a firmware update on May 30th. Version 1.37.2b. They're really vague on what they changed ("Optimized Wireless sessions for stability" -- which could apply), but you can get it here [linksys.com] if you don't have it already.
  • QLITech [qlitech.net] has a nice line of Linux laptops. I bought the Amethyst 20U from Tuxtops, now the King System, and I'm very happy with it. IBM also sells laptops running linux if you look around. Don't pay the Microsoft tax!
  • I've got a Linksys BEFSR11 (Single Port CableModem router) - I've even gotten it to work with Lynx (Gotta send a space as the user name, other than that, no problem).
  • If you are using bleeding edge kernels with the Alan Cox patches, this has already been taken care of for you, close to a month ago now. The problem is a funky encapsulation that they are using.
  • Where did you get it for that price? I can only find it for around $200....
  • if you read the page linked to above, it says it's only been fixed for one brand of wireless cards.
  • I'm not using the WAP feature, though, so I haven't seen that problem. The wired connections seem to work OK. Mostly.

    Problems so far:

    • Every few days, the thing seems to crash, with the DIAG light blinking. Power cycling gets it going again, although you have to recycle the DHCP sessions on the clients.
    • Sometimes it stops responding for short periods. Normally, the router is pingable, but sometimes it goes to sleep for a minute or two and won't return pings from the LAN side. It also seems to be possible to tie up its mini-HTTP server, the only available status interface, for a few minutes.
    • The thing can be configured to log TCP connections, but has no facility for logging errors. This is a real lack. You can't diagnose why a DSL PPPoE session failed, which, given the current state of DSL technology, is a major problem. If you manually initiate the session from the router's web page, you get back a dialog box if the connection can't be established, but all you get is some dumb message like "Can't open PPPoE connection".
    • The default configuration, out of the box, has WAP on, encryption off, no password, and allows configuration and flash memory updates from anywhere. Anybody in range or on the Internet can then take over the box, turn off firewalling, and cause trouble. So set the password before you plug in the antennas or the WAN link. Also bear in mind that the WAP is behind the firewall, so anybody in range can talk to the local machines if you don't turn on encryption.

    It's a cute little box, but Linksys needs to work on manageability.

  • If you're of an adventurous bent, there's an even later alpha rev available (1.37.9a0612) [dslreports.com] at http://www.dslreports.com. [dslreports.com]

    It adds a fairly sophisticated set of tweakable parameters for the radio as well.

  • My girlfriend got a Dell laptop and wanted to make sure it would dual boot Win98 and Linux. The best solution I found (and it does work very well) was NOT to get the Dell-supplied NIC, and buy one after the fact that is Linux-supported. We chose the a 3com model...I don't recall exactly which one.
    I realize you're talking about a modem, not a NIC, but I would go the same route there as well. Just my $0.02. Hope it helps.
  • Actually, while I believe you do have to use four different drivers in Windows, I have three versions of the card and all of them work fine with the latest version of the tulip driver under linux. Of course I don't know about the version I don't have, but all my LNE100TX cards have worked very well under linux and I recommend them highly. I don't know anything about the PCMCIA card though.
  • I also have the BEFW11S4 (I use with a Win2k laptop).

    Occasionally, it it stops responding for a min or two like yours, but I think it's a problem with my laptop (since removing my card fixes it).

    Otherwise I haven't had any issues with it... And it never crashes. However, I had to return the first BEFW11S4 I got because it crashed all the time (and sometimes wouldn't let me connect at all). This hasn't happened once since I got it replaced.

    So maybe you got a defective unit too?

  • I had to return the first BEFW11S4 I got because it crashed all the time (and sometimes wouldn't let me connect at all). This hasn't happened once since I got it replaced.

    Sounds just like mine. Linksys tech support says if the DIAG light comes on after powerup has completed, it's broken. So it goes back. Linksys must have a quality problem.

  • The inexpensive version isn't the wireless model. It's just a router/firewall. Useful, but probably not what you want.
  • I'm not running Linux, but I can't use my Checkpoint VPN software over wireless, probably because of the same issue. Robert
  • I dumped the Linksys DSL router for a Netgear RT-314. While both do port-forwarding (I could not determine from the online documentation nor from various searches whether the SMC barricade or any other number of routers did this), there appeared to be a bug in the Linksys code which caused various applications (read: online games) to abort with generic 'out of sync' errors. The Netgear runs these apps flawlessly... to think I wasted many hours playing games that would die because of my router !!! It also looks nice and feels solid. I should note, however, it does not have an uplink port (the Linksys does), and it does not have either a serial or printer port (which the barricade does).
  • My rules of thumb whewn buying for linux is
    1) Get something cheap
    2) get something old

    Most of the new funky stuff does not work, because the manufacturers are building everything for the windows market. The older and cheaper stuff is, the better it works IMO, because the brave pioneers have had more time hacking on device drivers.

    Look at network cards. Those 3com cards costs a leg and a half, and it can be right out messy to get them working. On the other hand, you can get NE2000 clones for 10 bucks or less. NE2000 clones don't even implement the ethernet specs properly, but because they're so cheap and widely used, they work like a charm for linux.

    Same with video and sound cards. New stuff in general sucks. Don't get it unless you're planning on writing the device drivers yourself.

    I much prefer linux to other operating systems, and I am a really big cheapskate. I don't cry if I can't get my hands on the latest 5 dimensional video cards, and quadrophonic sound monsters. New stuff is for suckers.

  • Same issue; I just upgraded the AP to firmware 1.37.9a and it works fine. Available from http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark%2c910510%3b root=equip%2c16%3bmode=flat#975379 This is an unofficial alpha firmware -- if it breaks your AP I would assume you own both pieces.

  • I downloaded firmware version ( 1.37.9b, Jun 21 2001 ) from DSLREPORTs and it fixed my SecureRemote problem!!

    It may fix the Linux problem as well.


The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court