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Wireless Networking Hardware

802.11 for Linux Non-Geeks? 86

smanuel asks: "I'm in the process of helping my non-geek friend get his Linux box set up with a PCI wireless card. 2006 is fast approaching and Linux *still* has spotty support for 802.11a/b/g PCI and PCMCIA cards. Ask the The Oracle about wireless for Linux and the results aren't much better. There are a ton of cards to choose from but support is either spotty or requires such contortions that I'm wary of spending the time. What PCI/PCMCIA cards do fellow Slashdot readers recommend? I'm looking for both PCI and PCMCIA cards; preferably ones with native support in Linux (I'm trying to avoid ndis{c,w}rapper if I can). Is the fact that card manufacturers change chipsets more often than they underpants make this a never ending problem?"
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802.11 for Linux Non-Geeks?

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  • Actually (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Punboy ( 737239 ) * on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:41AM (#14068904) Homepage
    Its not that Linux doesn't support the cards, its that the card vendors don't support linux. If they were smart they'd supply linux drivers, or follow a standard that allows current drivers to work with their cards.
    • Re:Actually (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dan_bethe ( 134253 ) <slashdot@smucko l a .org> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @03:14AM (#14069389)
      Yeah no kidding. Has anyone who's complaining about suboptimal hardware support on a free OS, ever tried designing (in other words, reverse engineering) a device driver or abstraction layer for an OS? Get to the freaking point and just ask which cards are best supported, assuming you can't read the docs yourselves.

      How do they think a developer of free wifi would feel if they were reading this public display of bleating and humiliation? Such a developer would by definition have spent years of their lives devoting tons of free time to a labor of love and of liberty. If it was me, I'd be pretty insulted if not humiliated. Hopefully they'd have thick skin and say "yeah I know I don't like it either" or even just "whatever; you're welcome to fix it" but they're under no obligation to sympathize any further. Free device driver developers, especially those in wifi, are some hard working, state-of-the-art people who are substantially increasing our liberties. If you're not part of their solution, you're part of the problem.

      • Upon rest and reflection it occurs to me that I might have been slightly overreacting, as the OP was not terribly abusive ;)

        The problem is that

        1) Hardware is naturally nasty to code drivers for, and almost every device driver engineering effort resorts to reverse engineering regardless of documentation or type of device.

        2) Hardware vendors don't cooperate because of multi-corporate IP licensing entanglements for chips and chipsets and firmwares; some cards require secondary and tertiary firmware to be loade
      • I just spent a substantial part of my day emailing back & forth with a Linux driver who was trying to help me with a driver problem. Or should I say, he spent a considerable part of his day trying to help me.

        We owe a lot to the guys who do this unglamorous but very important work.

        X.
        • Cool. All of em I've met are wicked nice and exhaustively devoted. If you have true concerns and want to be part of a user/support/dev community, join #wireless on irc.freenode.net! I'm dtm there.
    • Of course, the end user really doesn't care about this at all. They just want their wireless card to work. And when it works on Windows and not Linux, the obvious conclusion is less than flattering to the open source community.
    • I don't really want companies to provide Linux drivers; I'm much more interested in them providing Free documentation of their chipsets interface to the host system. Then we can write drivers for whatever system we want to use. We really just want the chance to work ourselves out of poor hardware support.
      Of course, the problem is that sometimes the frequency and power interlocks on the chipset are implemented in software, so, due to slight moronicness of the FCC, they can't realise the full spec, but have t
    • Well if Linux had a stable device driver API that would help things a lot. I know that people really want open source device drivers but not every manufacture can supply them. For some it is a legal issue. The cards us a software controlled radio sections. With an open source driver it would be possible to tune it to the wrong channel or at too high a power. For a transmitter to be legal for unlicensed sale it has to be locked so it is hard to abuse.
      Also most people using linux now, WANT binary drivers. The
  • me too!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lubricated ( 49106 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `plahcim'> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:42AM (#14068908)
    This is the my biggest beef with linux support for wireless. I haven't found an 802.11g chipset that works reliably. I would purchase one this instant(I'm not kidding, I'll go straight to newegg or bestbuy) if I knew it worked, perfectly. All the cards have their quirks and the support is almost a joke. After twisting yourself into contortions it might work. That said the only card that I've had consistent success with has been the centrino chipset. Too bad these only come on intel laptops and not as a pci/pcmcia card.

    I have a pheobe usb wireless that mostly works(atmel chipset). It only supports 802.11b(hardware limitation) and it can't do a scan for networks while connected to one, this really fucks up wifi-radar.

    I had an orinico pcmcia card by smc. Very nice card, unfortunately it had a very flimsy plastic antena that broke when my cat stepped on it. Scanning did not work at all, so if I wanted to connect to a network, I had to guess the essid.

    I also had a linksys pcmcia card. I forgot the name but it was one of those where earlier versions worked fine but the newest version had a different chipset even though the model name remained the same. This was a piece of shit card under any os. Though it mostly didn't work under linux.
    • Re:me too!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by rincebrain ( 776480 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:15AM (#14069040) Homepage
      Bull. The Ralink chipset has nice Linux drivers (the old ones were derived from the same source base as the Windows drivers, but the rewrite is so much better - and well supported), as well as any Atheros card. Prism cards are well-supported, and rtl8180 cards will work (when you figure out what order you do crap in. :) )

      Centrino you mentioned already has excellent Linux support.

      The ACX1xx, as well as a few other obscure chipsets, have Linux support, but it's spotty.

      The moral is, there are chipsets with good support, even though there are also some with really bad support. :)
      • Atheros(B and G) here. On a 2.6.x kernel, it was a straightforward compile. It's not bad at all.
        If you use pansy-assed package managers, I would expect them to work too, no troubles whatsoever. And kismet seems to have at least _some_ support for it, even if I don't know what I'm doing.

        However, there doesn't seem to be a way to scan for other networks that doesn't kill its link. This sucks, because I have a very pretty dockapp that can show 4 or 5 APs and their signal strength all simultaneously (god I hate
      • Newer Prism54 chipsets are not supported. Intersil, who made the Prism chipsets, were bought by Conexant, and they have always been among the worst to get information from. The Prism54 driver project [prism54.org] are working on reverse engineering, and make much progress, but don't hold your breath. And don't buy a card with Prism54 chipset just now, because they all use one of the newer unsupported revisions.

        Ralink, as you say, have good support. Thanks to them, I have working wireless in Linux on an old Mac. Drivers a
      • ok, so when I go to newegg.com and type in ralink I get zero results. This information is mildly helpfull at best.
    • Re:me too!! (Score:2, Informative)

      by theJML ( 911853 )
      I'm running FC3 on my laptop, have a Netgear WG511( it's based off the Prism chip and does 802.11a/b/g) and it works on linux PERFECTLY. I just had to install the prism drivers in the right place and when I insert the card (if you watch the dmesg) it says:

      Loaded prism54 driver, version 1.1 PCI: Enabling device 0000:01:00.0 (0000 -> 0002) divert: allocating divert_blk for eth1 eth1: prism54 driver detected card model: Netgear WG511 ip_tables: (C) 2000-2002 Netfilter core team eth1: islpci_open() eth1: re

    • I've also recently tried to build a server with a pci wifi card in it but it was a pain to find a good and well-supported card under linux. After deciding that the Atheros chipset had "not bad" support, I decided to get this [amazon.co.uk]card. I haven't managed to make it work properly however. It doesn't seem to find my access point unless I force it to, and the other problem is that the txpower (transmission power) of the card is very low on linux. I get only about 30/100 strength when the machine is right next to the
      • yeah this is a bad-ass card with my laptop. I know you need some sort of antenna cable for the mini-pci card. I haven't seen any mini-pci/pci adapter, but I don't see why they wouldn't exist
  • by aCapitalist ( 552761 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:46AM (#14068919)
    The RTL8180 is a pretty infamous card that now has native support after years of Realtek jerking us around with drivers that worked on 2.4.24 kernel or below. Of course the old orinico and prism chipsets work well, but 802.11g native support seems to be lacking a lot more than b. There's a chipset called RALINK or something or another that is open sourced.

    The big problem is that the card makers will change chipsets at the drop of a hat and it can be next to impossible to find out what chipset its actually using - even if you know the revision and everything. I remember one card where there was the same version, but some were made in taiwan and some were made in china and only the chinese cards had the proper chipset.

    It's a real mess. I probably spent 3 hours one night doing research and had my choices narrowed down when I happened to pop in a kanotix live cd and lo and behold it picked up my card without ndiswrapper or anything. So I'm happy for now, even though its just a 802.11b card. And then of course you've got the whole frequency regulation crap where manufacturers can't even open source if they want to.
    • > And then of course you've got the whole frequency regulation crap where manufacturers can't even open source if they want to.

      That always will be and always has been a bunch of bullshit. Will the card be banned if someone reverse engineers a driver? If a card company has been so shortsighted that they can't release the specs, they don't need to preach any excuses to me, they aren't getting my money.
    • Ralink cards (Score:2, Informative)

      by kwench ( 539630 )
      My biggest problem was to know in advance what I'd buy. Most cards don't come with chipset specifications, and - like with webcams - vendors like to change chipsets between different versions.

      So, I bought a Linksys Wireless-G USB, thinking it is a Prism2 chipset which is well supported and has RFMON. It turned out, version 4 has a Ralink chipset which seems not to work flawlessy with ndiswrapper.

      Fortunately, these great guys at rt2x00.serialmonkey.com [serialmonkey.com] have native driver that supports RFMON and native li
  • That is the biggest question. I have a builtin 801.11b in my laptop that uses the orinoco_pci, orinoco, and hermes modules, and a card that uses the rt2500 module. EVERY distribution I've tried in the past year has been able to use both cards. Ubuntu configured my wireless on the install (had to manually install before breezy came out). Gentoo I had to "emerge rt2500". If you have any idea what card you want, just search the forums for the distro you are going to run beforehand, you should find out pr
  • by dwater ( 72834 )
    Since when was 'underpants' a verb?
    • That's the great thing about English - you can verb any noun you like and get away with it.
      • Yay for gerunds!
      • You can do what and get away with it?

        How are we supposed to communicate if you keep making crap up?
        • How are we supposed to communicate if you keep making crap up?

          In the case of "verbing of nouns", there is long and distinguished precedent for it. After all, it isn't uncommon in Shakespeare's work.

          • Art thou comparing thy self to Shakespear?

            Just because someone else does it, doesn't mean you should too. There's such a thing as style you know....

            I know some would disagree, but I don't think Shakespear made 'crap' up; some would say it was rather good, actually. Making 'underpants' into a verb is *not* good (IMO).

            What does 'to underpants' actually mean? I can't even guess. It brings back images of Bill and Ted...

            In this case, anal-retentiveness asside (pun intended), you're missing the point. It is clear
        • > How are we supposed to communicate if you keep making crap up?

          Sorry I don't understand you.

          Perhaps you meant "making up crap" ?

  • Orinoco-based (Score:4, Informative)

    by SocialEngineer ( 673690 ) <invertedpanda AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:08AM (#14069008) Homepage

    I've been using an orinoco-based Enterasys Roamabout DS for quite a while now, and am pretty satisfied with it. No issues getting it working, and Kismet works well with it. I just plug it in and go.

  • by Matt Perry ( 793115 ) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:10AM (#14069014)
    Clearly you asked the wrong Oracle [indiana.edu].
  • Two things. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Noodlenose ( 537591 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:13AM (#14069022) Homepage Journal
    If you want advanced wi-fi support, OpenBSD [openbsd.com] is the *nix with the broadest hardware support. It is of course inherently safe, secure and perfect for wi-fi for exactly those reasons. If your friend insists on a Linux, I would advise Ubuntu, a RTL8180 card and this driver [sourceforge.net]. I have been running a Ubuntubox as webserver (with an old IBM Aptiva as hardware) wirelessly in my sleepout for yonkers now [dyndns.org], and the uptime is great.

    But in hindsight I should have used OpenBSD, just forgot to get the bloody CD's out.

    • As an OpenBSD user I can tell you that it does not have the broadest support. Let me back this counterclaim up.

      OpenBSD supports the following chipsets (as taken from the OpenBSD i386 hardware compatibility page [openbsd.org] on 19th November 2005:

      ADMtek, Aironet, Atheros, Atmel, Centrino (2100, 2200), Prism 2.5/3, Ralink (2500), Raytheon and Realtek

      Now by comparison a Linux distro (e.g. Ubuntu) can have support for the following chipsets (list taken from Linux WLAN Howto [hp.com] cross referenced against Ubuntu) on 19th November
  • Can't you just run linux on your laptop under VMWare?
    • Re:VMWare? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Trinn ( 523103 )
      If you are being serious, CoLinux is a far better answer for running linux under windows than vmware. It runs at near-native speed, using essentially a port of UserMode Linux to Win32 (it runs as an NT service)
  • Card that Works (Score:1, Informative)

    by smvp6459 ( 896580 )
    You have to find the ARM firmware and put it in the right place, but some of these cards will work...

    http://www.netgear.com/products/details/WG511.php [netgear.com]

    Buy it someplace where you can return it.
  • ... go with Ubuntu. (If that's an option). I've had absolutely no trouble with my installation: it picked up my D-Link DWL-G250 (a g card) and all I had to supply was the SSID and network key; it worked beautifully from the get-go. Just my 2 cents.
  • Use an HCL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Burz ( 138833 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:43AM (#14069135) Homepage Journal
    The best Hardware Compatability List for Linux that I've seen is here:
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/hcl/index.php [linuxquestions.org]

    It could be better (it HAS to get better) but I did get some useful modem purchasing info from it.

    You are wise to inquire about Linux compatability before buying components for your 'industry standard x86 platform'.
  • Linux *still* has spotty support for 802.11a/b/g PCI and PCMCIA cards

    Definitely. Maybe if your essid is default and your network is wide open, its easy to use.

    Linux wireless gets shot down by the simplicity of XP SP2's config interface, and other things (xsupplicant STILL DOES NOT WORK WITH A PEAP/MSCHAP NETWORK I HAVE TO USE, so I had to buy the Aegis client from Meetinghouse). I hear cries from the KDE crowd about KWirelessSomething (don't remember). That utility is crud.

    Its approaching 2006 and my Prism2
    • I've had some luck with the Netgear WG511 and Fedora Core 4. The prism54 driver is built into the current kernels. The only thing required is the firmware (which is easily found on the net) and copy it into /lib/firmware
    • Prism 2.5/3 based cards have supported scanning for years on Linux BUT (there had to be a but becaues your experience is different right?) it depended on the driver (HostAP and linux-wlan had could by default, orinoco needed drivers). Since the 2.4.13 kernel the orinoco drivers have supported scanning in the mainstream Linux kernel without patches.
    • As another poster pointed out, the prism54 based Netgear WG511 v1 (AND MAKE SURE ITS A V1 BECAUSE THEY CHANGED CHIPSETS ON THE V2) is very solid under linux.

      Also, it would help out with your 802.1x PEAP issue, as I've just recently gotten mine authenticate reliably on a network using 802.1x by using wpa_supplicant (in fact, I'm using such a connection to post this comment :). I've had xsupplicant work with the card once, but I've never been able to recreate it.
  • I grabbed a WG311 thinking it was a v1 with the atheros chipset, and realized I had a v2 after I had mailed off the rebates. I got screwed. There might be support for it soon from acx100.sf.net, but for now there is no acx111 support that anyone will but their name on without a beta tacked on it too.
  • My laptop has an excellent intel ipw2200 chipset (B+G) and the ipw2100 is supported as well. Intel makes a pci version too, though it is hard to find.

    My desktop has a netgear WPN311 with an athereos chipset, which works with the madwifi driver.
  • by dimss ( 457848 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @03:48AM (#14069479) Homepage
    D-Link DWL-G630 (ver.D1) + Ubuntu work fine out of box. But WPA support is tricky. You have to install wpa_supplicant and configure it.
  • by mellon ( 7048 ) * on Saturday November 19, 2005 @04:09AM (#14069523) Homepage
    I'm using Ubuntu Breezy with an Intel 802.11g card, and it works just fine - it worked out of the box with no tuning on my part. AFAIK most old 802.11b cards Just Work - the problem comes when you go to 802.11g; there you want to avoid Broadcomm, since drivers for Broadcomm chipsets on Linux are spotty. I don't know why the Intel is better, but for whatever reason, it is (I'm sure there is a reason - I just don't follow those drivers very closely).

    You may run into trouble when you are in a situation where there's more than one network. NetworkManager should take care of that, but it's bleeding edge right now. You can select networks from the command line, and there are widgets for selecting the network in Kde and Gtk which do seem to work, but the UI isn't very easy to use yet. NM should be easier; stay tuned.
  • Atheros / MADWIFI (Score:3, Informative)

    by ThatComputerGuy ( 123712 ) <amrit AT transamrit DOT net> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @05:11AM (#14069636) Homepage
    The Atheros based cards are great. D-Link sells a DWL-G650 PCMCIA card and a DWL-G520 PCI card, both using Atheros chipsets, for around $45 ($30-35 on sale usually). The Madwifi project supports these at http://madwifi.sf.net/ [sf.net], and the driver supports the use of wpa_supplicant for WPA.

    I use these cards myself and have recommended them to many people, and almost all of them are happy with the results. (The one that isn't apparently got a bad card and is too lazy to exchange it.)

    The other thing that helps here is the fact that D-Link doesn't change chipsets in the middle of a product line like other crappy brands (at least, not in _this_ line).

    If you're biased against D-Link for some reason, Atheros also has a great list [atheros.com] of manufacturers/products that use their chipsets - this is something every chipset manufacturer should have on their page.
    • Also, the Atheros chipsets are extremely nice in that you can have TriBand adapters (ie. a, b and g on the same card). Plus, Atheros have just released a new driver version that allows you to create multiple cirtual access points on the same card, and at least one station mode connection (I'm not sure); all at the same time.
      I would say this is distinctly more featureful than their Windows drivers.
    • I think that the chipset/driver availablity is only half the battle. While many cards have the problem of the vendor not supporting Linux (rather than the other way around,) there are still issues with Linux's wireless support.

      One thing I've noticed is that each driver package (Prism, Atheros, etc.) seems to have their own API. Case in point: wpa_supplicant. When you compile it, you have to specifiy which chipset you want it to use, and have the driver source for that available, which demonstrates (in m
      • Check out Free/NetBSD. They have a standard net80211 layer that nearly all of the drivers interface with -- the only ones that don't are the old prism driver and anything closed source. wpa_supplicant on those platform doesn't require any knowledge of the particular driver you're using, and plain old ifconfig can set any of the wireless parameters (try "ifconfig [nic] scan" for a list of APs).

        IIRC, the only time you have to do anything special with wpa_supplicant is if you're using Project Evil (this NDIS
      • If you check the beginning ofthe 2.6.14 changelog [kernel.org] you will find mention of a "ieee80211 subsystem" being merged. So hopefully all drivers will be ported to the generic in kernel 802.11 stack. This will hopefully take over WPA crypto duties from drivers. This also goes hand in hand with version 28 of Wireless Tools [hp.com] which will provide a basic (but standard) interface for WPA.

        Yes the *BSDs are further down this track as pointed out in another comment buy it's nice to see Linux catching up and I believe HostAP
    • I am not entirely sure, but I think DWL-G510 is also Atheros. It works 100% out of the box on Ubuntu. (Well, OK, I had to go to the networking control panel and click "enable.")


    • The other thing that helps here is the fact that D-Link doesn't change chipsets in the middle of a product line like other crappy brands (at least, not in _this_ line).

      Bullshit.
      There are 4 completely different versions of the DWL-650, each with a totally different and incompatible chipset.
      http://www.wifi.com.ar/doc/wifi/wlan_adapters.html [wifi.com.ar]
      http://users.linpro.no/janl/hardware/wifi.html [linpro.no]

      They do the same with all of their adaptors, including multiple versions of the DWL-G650 and plus models.
      You have to be very
  • Ralink [ralinktech.com] manufactures chipsets for wireless cards and supplies GPL source code for drivers under Linux. I have an A-Link [a-link.com] 802.11g card and it has pretty good support with newer distributions.
  • Whatever you do... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Metasquares ( 555685 ) <slashdot&metasquared,com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @10:03AM (#14070233) Homepage
    Don't buy a card with a broadcom chipset.
  • I've set up two computers with two different wireless NICs using ndiswrapper, and have had success with both. One was a laptop using D-Link's DWL-G630 802.11g card, and the other was a desktop using the Linksys WMP54G 802.11g PCI card. Using ndiswrapper isn't as perfect as a native driver, but it works well, so I'm not complaining. For the D-Link card, I documented my process here [leedberg.com], and the same general process works for the Linksys card as well. The process is for Fedora Core 3 because at the time I wro
  • by Sits ( 117492 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @02:19PM (#14071274) Homepage Journal
    I'm amazed you haven't come across the linux wlan chipset list [linux-wlan.org]. Although it hasn't been updated for nearly two years it's about the most exhaustive list of what is in each card that I've seen. If 802.11b is fine then there are still Prism 2.5/3 based cards out there that work very well. I also recently tested a Atheros [madwifi.org] based PCMCIA card (I'm purposely not naming manufacturers) which also worked well but required a small binary lump.

    As mentioned elsewhere, support for wifi isn't spotty - it's support for certain chipsets that is (alas this is also extends to various USB wifi devices too). If you buy (for example) a Broadcom based card I'm afraid you're in for a rough ride because Broadcom don't want to release open source drivers. There's no point getting upset - Broadcom are within their rights to do so and Linux isn't binary only friendly. It's the way things are.

    The best advice I can give is get a peek inside the box so you know which chipset you are buying. Manufacturers are lazy and try to avoid changing model numbers significantly even if they swap chipsets because it means all the other materials can stay exactly the same. If you are going on someone else's information be extremly weary of ANY deviation to the model name/number/revison. Things like a +, extra letters or revision increase of any amount can mean chipset changes.
  • This was one of my biggest gripes for a long time. It isn't completely fixed, but it is pretty darn good.

    Though others may have mentioned NDISWrapper, which is a neat little hack which recreates the windows environment for the wireless card. So you can use Windows drivers with it. This is a little tricky to implement, unless you use a distro that does it automatically. I know Mepis and Ubuntu do it, and I've heard SuSE does too. Give one of those a shot. If you want to do it with a different distr
  • by eddy ( 18759 )

    Any comments on the CNET CWP-854 [cnet.com.tw] which I've seen sold as a "linux solution [ralink.com.tw]"?

    I want something native (no ndiswrapper), and stable... with WPA.

  • by Eil ( 82413 )
    I have a Netgear WG511T that works great on all Linux distributions that I've tried it with. Some, like Ubuntu, even detect it and set it up automatically upon plugging it in. For all other distros, you'll have to install the madwifi drivers. These drivers support b and g, but not the speedboost mode or whatever its called that only works with other similarly-enabled Netgear cards and routers.
  • Take a look at the madwifi drivers http://www.madwifi.org/>, The've been stable for months, and they allow running to act as an Access Point.
  • Hey, I've got a Prism chipset and it works like a charm, right out of the box, it's one of Linksys's WPC's, version three to be exact, which runs either Prism2.5 or Prism3 chipset, and that's the wireless card that I use when I want something to work out of the box. Other than that, ndiswrapper is relatively simple to use, and supports the widely-used Broadcom chipset under most platforms. But if you're looking for something that'll "just work" I suggest looking for a card with an older Prism chipset, it
  • go to http://www.netgate.com/ [netgate.com] select a miniPCI card (i like the 5004 MP Atheros 4G: 802.11a/b/g miniPCI Card), a PCI Adapter: miniPCI in a PCI Slot and finally the correct antenna and you will have a working solution for Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD. the solution will cost over $100 but WORK!!!
  • I've been using the Linksys WMP54g PCI card on Debian Unstable with no problems. You need to make sure to get revision 4; apparently older revisions used a completely different chipset without free drivers. I believe that most stores would only stock rev 4 though. This card uses the rt2500 driver, which apparently isn't in the main kernel tree (at least as of 2.6.12; maybe it's been integrated in newer kernels?), so I had to use the module-assistant tool to add it to my installation. This isn't difficult,
  • I am currenlty using an Compaq/HP NC4000 for work and built in Atheros WiFi adapter works fine. Speed and reliablity are as good, if not better than Windows. Configuration was handled very nicely by YaST. Works fine with Kismet and a few other similar utilities and is compable the our VPN requirements.

    Additional techincal crap:
    lscpi -v
    0000:00:09.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)
    Subsystem: Compaq Compu
  • Given no support from the vendor, you'd have a lot more trouble getting a WiFi card working under Windows than under Linux. So go pester your favorite vendor for Linux drivers. Or get a supported card; my Cisco Aironet 350 has worked beautifully from day 1, so much so that I haven't had the need to upgrade it
  • I have tried to run both my Netgear cards WG511v1 and WG511v2 on Suse 9.3. Version one works pretty well as Suse has in built support for the prism chipset. Earlier, It wasnt working properly as i was using some other driver. I have used prism54s driver( http://prism54.org/ [prism54.org] but failed. However, for the version 2 card having Marvel chipset i used ndiswrapper to get it working. Not to mention I tried using every other possibilites as well. Using Ndiswprapper was easy and no special configurations were requir

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