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Whatever name you want to give the problem, ndiswrapper, wireless, networking... this seems to be the final straw for me with Linux. What good is a computer in today's "eWorld" ...
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  1. #1
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    ndiswrapper, wireless, networking


    Whatever name you want to give the problem, ndiswrapper, wireless, networking... this seems to be the final straw for me with Linux. What good is a computer in today's "eWorld" if you can't get it to connect to the internet? I don't expect it to see my Windows machines but an internet connection, web browsing and emails would be a nice start.

    I've searched this forum and it seems questions regarding ndiswrapper often go unanswered. Now, whether that is because it's notoriously difficult to fix or whether nobody actually knows how to fix it, I don't know - but it's one problem too far for me.

    I really wanted to make the switch to Linux. I really wanted to progress from noob to guru. Sadly it seems you need to be fluent in "command-line speak" to overcome many Linux problems. It just isn't as friendly as GUI applications are expected to be (at least to the generation of computer users raised on a diet of MS Windows).

    People helpfully suggest things like "issue the command"
    Code:
    ndiswrapper -i 'path of the driver'
    Then they suggest using the command...
    Code:
    modprobe ndiswrapper
    Yeah right... but I'm a noob... where would I point and click to do that?

    The best piece of advice I saw was...

    "as root, just do a
    Code:
    urpmi ndiswrapper
    and it will be downloaded and installed for you."

    Ok explain to this noob how it can download anything when the object of this is to create an internet connection? Oh, while you're at it... how does this "as root" thing work? I click what? I type what, where?

    Please try to understand that to new users all of this is a foreign language!

    I don't want to sound critical or insulting of anybody but it's little wonder that many Windows users see Linux as "strictly for geeks". Myself? I'm a Linux-user wannabe but that's as far as I'm likely to get.

    Linux will probably always be the best OS I never got to try out.

  2. #2
    Linux User martinfromdublin's Avatar
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    Hi Rocksoft, welcome to the forum,

    There are 2 special areas in this forum may be of interest to you.

    First visit the GNU Linux Zone and click on Linux Newbie, this is the place to start when you are just begining Linux. Second, there is a wireless section in that same area.

    Bear in mind that wireless devices are only difficult to set up in Linux because the manufactures will not create Linux drivers forcing us to use cross-over software like 'ndiswrapper' to try an incorporate Windows software drivers, which are only meant for Windows, into Linux. Having said all that, if this is your first venture into Linux, leave the wireless for now as it can be difficult, even for gurus (I'm a newbie by the way, have been for 2 and a half years) and explore the Linux desktop using ethernet for the internet connection.

    To your other question, 'root' is equal to 'administrator' in Windows, except you don't have to log out to use it, just open a terminal window.

    When posting a question, please list what distribution (or 'distro') you are using, your PC/laptop specs (processor speed, RAM and anything else you might think relevant) and in the case of USB devices, name it in full so we know what you are working with.

    You'll see, Linux has a lot to offer over Windows.

    Martin
    LINUX: Where do you want to go.......Tomorrow!

    Registered Linux user 396633

  3. #3
    Linux User tech_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocksoft
    "as root, just do a
    Code:
    urpmi ndiswrapper
    and it will be downloaded and installed for you."

    Ok explain to this noob how it can download anything when the object of this is to create an internet connection? Oh, while you're at it... how does this "as root" thing work? I click what? I type what, where?
    I thought the object of this was to create a wireless internet connection? Correct me if I am wrong, can't you go to your wireless router and plug the ethernet cord from the router into the laptop?
    'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.'
    --Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_man
    I thought the object of this was to create a wireless internet connection? Correct me if I am wrong, can't you go to your wireless router and plug the ethernet cord from the router into the laptop?
    Erm... if I plugged any cords in, by definition, it wouldn't be wireless. Oh, and no laptops are involved either

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin from Dublin
    Hi Rocksoft, welcome to the forum,

    There are 2 special areas in this forum may be of interest to you.

    First visit the GNU Linux Zone and click on Linux Newbie, this is the place to start when you are just begining Linux. Second, there is a wireless section in that same area.

    Bear in mind that wireless devices are only difficult to set up in Linux because the manufactures will not create Linux drivers forcing us to use cross-over software like 'ndiswrapper' to try an incorporate Windows software drivers, which are only meant for Windows, into Linux. Having said all that, if this is your first venture into Linux, leave the wireless for now as it can be difficult, even for gurus (I'm a newbie by the way, have been for 2 and a half years) and explore the Linux desktop using ethernet for the internet connection.

    To your other question, 'root' is equal to 'administrator' in Windows, except you don't have to log out to use it, just open a terminal window.

    When posting a question, please list what distribution (or 'distro') you are using, your PC/laptop specs (processor speed, RAM and anything else you might think relevant) and in the case of USB devices, name it in full so we know what you are working with.

    You'll see, Linux has a lot to offer over Windows.

    Martin
    You see Martin... "open a terminal window". More geekspeak to me I'm afraid

    In this particular case ethernet isn't an option because we're talking of a PC in an upstairs room. The wireless router is downstairs, which is why I wanted a wireless connection via a pathetic little Netgear USB WG111T dongle.

    I'll certainly try (again) to make head or tail of the newbie and wireless sections.

    Thank you both for your replies.

  6. #6
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Like anything in this world it will take a little bit of time and learning for you to get the best of Linux. Linux is not neccessarily difficult, but it is different.

    The point of plugging in your PC to your router would be to download the driver for your wireless card. This is no different to Windows if you didn't have a driver disk or needed a newer version. The other thing to bear in mind is you haven't given us much information on your hardware and what you have tried. Indeed it may be that your wifi card is already installed but you don't know how to configure it. Prism, Atheros, Intel and some broadcom cards will work out of the box. Given that there are only a handful of these chipset manufacturers producing for all of the brands available there is already a large percentage ready to go.

    The commands you were given to run can be run in a virtual terminal like Konsole, Gnome-terminal, xterm or vterm. It's similar to a DOS prompt, only it's more Unix than DOS. There may be better ways to fix this than using ndiswrapper so the best thing to do is open one of the terminal programs I mentioned and run each of these commands -
    Code:
    /sbin/lspci |grep -ir 802.11 >> ~/linuxforums.txt
    /sbin/lspci |grep -ir ethernet >> ~/linuxforums.txt
    /sbin/lspci |grep -ir wireless >> ~/linuxforums.txt
    /sbin/ifconfig >> ~linuxforums.txt
    This will provide some of the information we need. You will find a file called linuxforums.txt in your home directory. Please post its contents back here and we will try to help.

    It's often said that the difference between Windows and Linux is that Windows is easy to setup, but a pain to keep it running well whereas Linux is a pain to setup but takes no effort to keep running well. The hard setup argument becomes less true all of the time with more and more hardware support but believe me this trouble is only at the setup stage. It gets a lot better.
    Last edited by bigtomrodney; 04-08-2007 at 11:04 PM.

  7. #7
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    I see you beat me to it....

    The wireless dongle you're using is Atheros based meaning that it actually has builtin Linux drivers. Try going to the Mandriva Control Centre and to Install Software. Look for a package called 'madwifi' and if it is not already installed then install it. Post back the results of running
    Code:
    /sbin/ifconfig
    in konsole/gnome-terminal

  8. #8
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    Well the PC is, as stated, in another part of the house far from the reach of any ethernet-to-router cable. It's the oldest machine in the house and so was designated the "Linux Experimental", it has an AMD64 +3000 processor. I installed Mandriva One (free-kde version).

    I read how you can get the ndiswrapper driver(?) for your device from sourceforge so I downloaded it (via a Windows machine) and transferred it to the Linux machine via a databar.

    I attempted to create a (wireless) network connection but, after several errors ("ndiswrapper device not found" - or something like that) I would be told Linux was loading drivers... and then the machine would hang.

    As for opening "a virtual terminal like Konsole, Gnome-terminal, xterm or vterm", how, where do I find them?

    I'm really not trying to disrespect Linux - I would like to master it - but you all seem to have either forgotten what a minefield of jargon the OS is.

    Us newbies haven't a clue what all this means and we need to be spoken to like a five year old - I wouldn't be offended!

  9. #9
    Linux Newbie danvds3's Avatar
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    Well, now you come to mention it, I'm pretty new to linux and to be honest, at one point I felt like you but now I'm streaming into linux and getting to know how to use it. I'll help you out in the next reply...

  10. #10
    Linux Newbie danvds3's Avatar
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    OK, well first off, I myself haven't actually got a wireless connection up, and gave up (i'm now using ethernet cable). Now the code you've been given is actually somewhat new to me (nobody helped me out). OK, well first of all, i'll help you to FIND the terminal:

    1. at the top menu bar, click Applications > System > Terminal.

    "as root, just do a
    Code:
    urpmi ndiswrapper
    and it will be downloaded and installed for you."

    2. to log in as root, run 'Terminal' and type su (which basically stands for super user). Type your root password (the one you set when you installed mandriva one). - you will notice that there are no filled in o's or *'s like in XP, this is for security reasons, so try not to make a mistake. You are now logged in as root on terminal. Now just type
    Code:
    urpmi ndiswrapper
    and well, as i've never tried, I don't know what will come up, but it will probably do whatever the guy said it would do lol.

    OK, well good luck, if you ever need newbie help, private message (PM) me - i was once in your posistion.

    [EDIT] - I use gnome-mandriva-one so I think your's is not "Terminal" but "Konsole"

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