Wow, I've been dicking around with my laptop wireless network connection for some time. I bought a USB network card using the Zydas Z1211b network chipset because the Broadcom one didn't work too well from my 64 bit FC5 install using ndiswrapper.

Building the Zydas drivers was a p-i-t-a too, but I got it done - but never managed to get the thing to connect because the wpa_supplicant available in yum didn't support the Zydas driver...

So I was playing again at the weekend, and went back to look at the Broadcom lan after being utterly frustrated by the Zydas one. And I was utterly flabbergasted! The latest set of yum updates had brought down a native Broadcom driver for my Broadcom BCM4306 chipset, one that worked reliably.

The purpose of this post is, therefore, three fold:

1. To make sure everyone knows about this new driver - I've uninstalled the ndiswrapper package and any windows drivers that went with it. My wireless is up, and I'm using the wpa_supplicant from the main repos.

2. To thank, as publically as possible, the guys who have produced this driver as an open-source development. This rocks, big time.

3. To ask for a little help.

You see, the lan connection occasionally fails.

I tried two configurations, first using wpa_supplicant, which works most of the time but works as a proper service, i.e. it runs from boot time, I dont have to log on, it just comes up. The second config was trying to use the gnome tool NetworkManager, which seems even more reliable, but doesn't connect until after I log on through X, and the system tray widget loads (which makes it completely useless for any serious computer activity).

So does anyone have any thoughts about why the wpa_supplicant works only part of the time? Or how I can make NetworkManager work all the time not only just after a log-on?