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I'm trying to get my Netgear MA101 wireless USB adapter (in conjunction with a Netgear MR814 router) to work on my newly installed 10.1 Community machine. The Control Center could ...
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  1. #1
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    Newbie with Wireless Adapter


    I'm trying to get my Netgear MA101 wireless USB adapter (in conjunction with a Netgear MR814 router) to work on my newly installed 10.1 Community machine. The Control Center could not automatically or manually detect the device, so I downloaded the atmelwlan 3.4.1.0 driver and installed the 2.6 kernel source RPM in preparation for doing it the hard way. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about managing a network from the command line (and only slightly more when doing it through a GUI). Furthermore, I've never compiled a kernel or driver, and even if I got through that in one piece I wouldn't know what to do afterwards.

    I don't know if this kind of hardware in particular is more difficult to work with in Linux or if it's just Mandrake, but if anyone can point me in the right direction I'd really appreciate it.

    I also have a new MA111 usb adapter that I can toy with, but I'd prefer to save it for my laptop since it's easier to carry around, and just use the 101 for the Mandrake machine. And for the moment, the computer is physically close enough to the router to be wired by ethernet, which I'll probably test tomorrow.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

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    A direct ethernet connection works fine - Mandrake had it auto-detected within seconds and I got the internet without any hassel. This is only a temporary setup though.

    I read up a bit about ifconfig, and got the following connections listed with the -a argument: eth0 - working ethernet connection; lo - local loopback; sit0 - I have no idea what this is but I don't think it's my adapter. Does the presence or absence of the driver affect whether or not it's displayed here, or is that a kernel thing?

    The Control Center says that it is using the at76c503-rfdm module, but I haven't the slightest clue what this means. Also, it says that I'm using usb-uhci in the USB Controller section, and I remember reading that this could cause some sort of conflict - how would I go about disabling this, and would it negatively affect my system to do so?
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Workaphobia
    sit0 - I have no idea what this is but I don't think it's my adapter
    I think that has to do with IPv6 and secure tunneling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Workaphobia
    how would I go about disabling this, and would it negatively affect my system to do so?
    I think its ok to leave it there. It might be necessary for USB to work. I found a few people on google that have both (the usb controller module and the at76c503-rfdm module) loaded at the same time.

    What does 'iwconfig' return (as root)?

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    iwconfig simply gives me "No wireless extensions" on each of those three devices. I'm really lost here - what part of the system controls visibility in ifconfig? Has anyone had success with this sort of adapter and mandrake?


    I've also got another issue that's simpler, but so long as I have a thread dedicated to my own personal networking needs... I can't ping my linux box from the windows machines on the network, but I can go the other way and connect to windows from linux. If anyone knows a quick fix, great, if not, I'll continue my research.


    [progress edit] I tried following the directions in the README with the atmel driver download, but they didn't work - I'd elaborate, but there's too many things that went wrong. That's what I hate about compiling, there's thousands of lines of code and hundreds of files and thousands of configuration options, and if just one of them screws up you may never find out where it went wrong. I haven't the slightest clue how the make utility works, but I can't follow the instructions provided to me either, because they were written for a slightly different machine. All I have succeeded in is wasting 40 minutes of my time building a kernel with incorrect options and a patch that couldn't be applied. Sigh.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

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    I'm a bit closer now. I ditched the atmel driver after reading up on the berlios driver. The make seemed to go fine, and I don't think I need to recompile my kernel since it probably supports the options the readme mentions, but it still doesn't click.

    I finally found my syslog, here's a snippet from when I plug the MA101 in:
    Code:
    Dec 26 19:06:53 localhost kernel: usb 1-2: USB disconnect, address 7
    Dec 26 19:07:00 localhost kernel: usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using address 8
    Dec 26 19:07:00 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503-fw_skel.c: using compiled-in firmware
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: usb 1-1: reset full speed USB device using address 8
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: usb 1-1: device firmware changed
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503.c: unable to get descriptor
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503.c: unexpected opmode 185
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: usb 1-1: USB disconnect, address 8
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503-fw_skel.c: wlan%%d disconnecting
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503-fw_skel.c: at76c503-rfmd disconnected
    Dec 26 19:07:03 localhost kernel: usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using address 9
    Dec 26 19:07:04 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503-fw_skel.c: using compiled-in firmware
    Dec 26 19:07:04 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503.c: getting firmware failed with -32, or version is 0
    Dec 26 19:07:04 localhost kernel: 3rdparty/at76c503a/at76c503.c: this probably means that the ext. fw was not loaded correctly
    So now I guess I need to figure out how to put the firmware on it.

    Can someone just clarify: if the firmware is loaded successfully, will that allow me to see "wlan0"? I'd really hate to spend another few hours on getting one task accomplished that does nothing relevant to my situation.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  7. #6
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    well here's how firmware based cards generally work:
    you install the driver, and linux will let you see the device when you do an "ifconfig -a", even if you haven't installed the firmware. but when you do "ifconfig <device> up", it will spit back the error caused by the missing firmware.
    now you have three options:
    1)try again to recompile your kernel
    2)use a solution such as "ndiswrapper" to use the native windows drivers
    3)buy a new card (heh)

    if nothing works and you decide to give up and buy a new card, then ask me, cos i have several suggestions for usb wireless adaptors, one of which is the dlink dwl-122, which is the usb card i use myself on my desktop.
    -lakerdonald

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    Woohoo! It works!

    Yesterday I realized I missed a shell script that configured the firmware. That didn't do anything at first, but I booted up this morning to find that it configured wlan0 in startup. Contrary to what I've heard about Linux, it does help to reboot. I ran into some trouble with the (shorewall) firewall but managed to disable it. Since I'm connected to the internet through a router, I don't need it do I?

    Thanks for all the help.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  9. #8
    Linux Guru lakerdonald's Avatar
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    theoretically, no, but some people feel more secure behind two layers of protection.

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    Additional follow-up question: For some reason, when it boots up it automatically connects to a different router that must belong to one of my neighbors. I can correct it by taking the interface down, then using iwconfig to set the channel and essid, then bringing it up again, but where would I configure this to occur automatically upon boot? Oh, and I suppose I also want to disable shorewall automatically too.
    \"Nifty News Fifty: When news breaks, we give you the pieces.\" - Sluggy Freelance

  11. #10
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    shell script

    Workaphobia,

    What shell script did you have to activate and how did you do it. My WUSB11 is giving me the exact same problem!

    Thanks

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