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  1. #11
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    It's really not that complicated. It either works straight away or you use ndiswrapper. And with ndisgtk it's no more difficult than Windows, maybe even easier.

  2. #12
    Linux Enthusiast gruven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Or how about this:

    I have a wireless network card that will not work in Vista at all. I put it in the computer, and Vista says that it is too old and does not have drivers for it. It is a D-Link Wireless G 54 Mb card, not old by any means.

    It works great in Linux, and is even easy to set up. So please tell me why, if wireless works so great in Windows (Vista now because XP is end-of-life as of last month), why do drivers for this card not exist? It is only about 2 years old.

    I boot into linux and the card just works. It is supported by the madwifi driver because it has an Atheros chipset. Of course, most Windows users won't know the chipset, but they will know that it does not work, and drivers are not available anywhere for it for Vista.

    When I boot an Ubuntu livecd in any of my computers it automatically picks up my wireless cards and all I have to do is input my WPA key and I am connected. I have 3 desktops and 2 laptops, and all of them are wireless. They all work flawlessly in Linux, but at least 2 of them won't work at all in Vista (let alone even run the OS).

    I am only commenting on Vista, because as I said before, XP is end-of-life as of June 08. I have had about the same luck with XP if it makes any difference. Third party programs made to manage the drivers usually suck for Windows, and some wifi cards only work with those third party programs.

    But, you really aren't listening to what we are telling you, because you have already decided that Windows is easier and better. You may need to ask for your money back since you didn't like your Linux experience, oh wait....

    Code is Poetry

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kopete View Post
    ...Yet, when I learn of someone having wireless, in most cases, it is a Windows machine. People are not configuring firmware or extracting files into a folder to get wireless to work. They are not going through an elaborate and complicated process. They don't have to know which chipset is in the device, then configure for it and then force firmware or drivers to load. In Windows, they use a CD or download a file and either an installer extracts it or installs the drivers and then it probably works. I don't agree with your comments or your theories that Linux is no different. A user who has never used Windows nor Linux would still have a Windows machine running wireless way quicker.
    In Windows, the .exe installer file will do the chipset checking (if needed), install the driver and "force" the firmware to load. You don't know this because it is done in secret, as everything in Windows is a big secret.

    Yes, Linux requires a more knowledgeable user. In Windows, most things are done for you, and if they work, great. But if they don't work, try troubleshooting it. You can't, because everything is a big secret.

    I have two Broadcom wireless cards. When I first set them up, a few years ago, it WAS an agonizing ordeal. But with the help of other users, I was able to succeed. I like to think Linux wireless has improved since then, and I am a more knowledgeable Linux user too. It now only takes a few minutes to set up the exact same cards.

    I recently acquired a Linksys PCMCIA wireless card. When I inserted it, all I had to do was configure the IP address of the card. IT JUST WORKED. The reason? It has a Broadcom chipset, and it used everything that my on-board Broadcom wireless uses.

    Yes, even the "troublesome" Broadcom cards can be very easy to get working. The difference is knowledge. This is why I have elected to help people get their cards working. Because when new users try Linux, wireless usually is a make or break situation. If they are to continue to use Linux, the wireless must work. I understand this, and offer my assistance.

    I also understand your frustration, and hope you try Linux again when your attitude has improved a little.

    We'll be here to help you, again.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #14
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Greece, Athens
    The big difference is that in Linux you can see logs,configuration files,etc from every program and find solutions with the help of others. In Windows you do the following in this order:reboot, reinstall,format! Or you start little "rituals" such as decreasing screen resolution if sound doesn't work, or disabling the screensaver to connect to Internet... What i try to explain is that with every problem you solve in Linux you become better, while with every problem you solve in Windows you become dumber!

  6. #15

    my 2 cents.

    Linux and wireless. ( no diff. than windoz really )

    avoid the USB wireless like the plague. (yes, some work ,most don't)
    Wifi on top of USB sticks.

    decide now:
    do i and must i have wpa working? wpa2 ? with AES too !

    if yes, pick your card and distro before hand by reading the distro pages to find out which chips are supported.
    Some distro's only support RT2500 chips with plan jane wifi, no security. or little. so get a AR5212 many support Prism, bcm43xx, atmel,zd1201,zd1211, raylink and many more,with full support of advanced modes.

    1: boot to a live Linx distro. (Suse /Ubanto are good) go to console and type lspci
    see the pic cards, see yours.
    hope for Ralink,Atheros or atmel chips.
    no matter write it down and do google seaches to find the real chip #.s

    next download the suse drivers for your card , just in case.
    us another system to do that, like a friends, or at the public library. (duh)


    buy a real PCI card that has a Atheros chip.
    install it and
    then install Suse 11 (with the DVD iso)

    this gets harder but , first , please find out what chip you have.
    keep in mind if it is the Intel chip, then you must get the firmware files.
    Intel is NOT a linux friendly co. GPL, opens source .

    do the live linux bit above with lspci to find your chips.
    many new laptops use Atheros, which is a blessing.

    what if you can get your laptop minipci card to work?
    there is only one real way, pcmcia , buy one with a Ar5212 chip.

    Keep in mind:
    there are hundreds of named PCI cards and Pcmcia cards and are chaining monthly , but the have this same 5212 chip.

    Desktop are easy, just buy the correct card and plug it in.
    Laptops can and do have chips made by companies that hate linux open source and open drivers and at the least open documentation.

    It is (mostly) impossible for anyone to writes software without the hardware spec. Try it? see ? Reverse engineering is not a simple task.
    Mostly USA chip makers are bad at this and Over seas , no.

    Ralink is good.

    Suse 10.3 OOB does not support my AR5212 chip.

    at the wifi router set the unit to just basic open wifi no encryption.
    see?, walk then run. K.I.S.S.

    Atheros madwifi - openSUSE

    here is the solution to suze 10.3 , it is not Out of the box but it has good
    support as this page suggests.
    i am testing now.


    List : ( this is an old short list , it is HUGE in 2008 )
    The following cards are among those supported by the ath driver:

    Card Chip Bus Standard
    3Com 3CRPAG175 AR5212 CardBus a/b/g
    Cisco AIR-CB21AG AR5212 CardBus a/b/g
    D-Link DWL-A650 AR5210 CardBus a
    D-Link DWL-AB650 AR5211 CardBus a/b
    D-Link DWL-A520 AR5210 PCI a
    Elecom LD-WL54 AR5211 CardBus a
    IBM 11ABG WL LAN AR5212 Mini PCI a/b/g
    Linksys WPC51AB AR5211 CardBus a/b
    Netgear WAB501 AR5211 CardBus a/b
    Planet WL-3560 AR5211 CardBus a/b/g
    Proxim Skyline 4030 AR5210 CardBus a
    Proxim Skyline 4032 AR5210 PCI a
    Senao NL-5354MP AR5212 Mini PCI a/b/g
    SMC SMC2735W AR5210 CardBus a
    Sony PCWA-C500 AR5210 CardBus a
    Wistron CM9 AR5212 Mini PCI a/b/g

    I have a TP-link (sold even at amazon ,and newegg)
    108m rated.

  7. #16
    Hi, modprobe.

    I'd like to point out that openSUSE 10.3 is not the latest version of SUSE. It will not contain any driver updates of any type. SUSE doesn't seem to release newer kernels for it's distros, you have to install a newer version of SUSE for that.

    There also is a way that you can install the latest versions of all the wireless drivers. This means that you would have to compile the drivers, and I know that you are trying not to do that.
    Download - Linux Wireless

    If you want a version of Linux where most things are done for you (like Windows does), I recommend any of the Ubuntu based distros. There really is no reason to try all of the Linux distros, as Ubuntu is the best for this purpose.

    I currently am trying Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu. The setup of my Broadcom b43 wireless driver was the easiest that it has ever been!
    Last edited by waterhead; 09-21-2008 at 11:47 AM. Reason: wireless card name
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  8. #17
    thanks ! I need tips, on better distro's for wifi.

    yes, im dual booted with 10.3 and 11 now.

    thanks, Ubantu is my next pick ,then openBds.

    evaluating them.
    i am trying to help customers run laptops on linux.
    (fire fox, and wifi , that is it )

    they will never be able to compile anything.
    outofthebox , then like Suse did with an excellent procedure.
    i just wiki edited it for nOObs.

    Atheros madwifi - openSUSE

    still needs work but it works.

  9. #18
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I just want to mention that I consider myself officially 'converted.' I still have Windows on my machine and I might need to go to it now and again but over 90% of the time, I use Linux. It's just a matter of which distro and what issue is causing me a problem. LOL!

    Okay, in response to your posts, I would use a wireless network card if I knew which one. I have some knowledge of what is best regarding a wireless USB dongle, but a different type of device for wireless, I wouldn't know. I would like something that doesn't need ndiswrapper. I don't want to get into that. There has to be something that works 'out of the box.'

    I think ralink and the zydas chipsets for usb adapters should be sufficient, though. They work. Unless, things change with Linux and the kernel, they should be candidates for working 'out of the box' or with minor tweaking. I perceive as one problem how the various respective developers of the wireless tools deal with their programs. As you might know, the current KDE wireless tools (specifically, KNetwork Manager) is broken or has been troublesome since day one. There have been issues on the Gnome desktop but currently, I think much of it is working (knock on wood) or isn't as bad. I prefer KDE but I don't care to work on a problematic issue in wireless. I just don't have the time. I also think it's a crucial element to an OS and computer and it should be a priority for developers.

    I would consider a usb wireless dongle, card or any hardware that would give a trouble-free connection that includes advanced options. So far, the distros I've perceived as offering the most hope or potential to offer this is Fedora and Ubuntu/Kubuntu. I know the rest are supposed to work the same but for e.g., Debian, I haven't been able to get wireless working without MAJOR tweaking and configuring. I just don't see why that should be required. But, I guess if one learns how to configure in one of the other distros, they could apply the 'fix' to whichever distro one wants to use. However, I think one should appreciate whoever is willing to devote time and effort to fixing the problem. Anyway, my point is, I'm using Linux almost all the time over Windows. I guess that's why I am getting so frustrated about some issues and problems. I'm not adept enough at solving it and no developers would listen to me anyway.

  10. #19

    wifi issues.

    all distros have issues.

    best site everto read the sad stories at openbsd.
    they just lay out the whole experience , no glossing over the facts.
    many co.s do not support linux and if they do , extremely poorly.
    like 1 RH7 driver , old as the hills.

    the truth is the best hardware is PCI and mini/pci,
    using a USB wifi is possible but very limited . ( in general , yes there are exceptions.)

    many of the drivers from the oem are no good. ( reason , too many distro's)
    then we have the public drivers. many only support , non encrypted connections.
    the manufacture also does not allow you to redistribute their drivers.

    if you down load the drivers on Suse , it clearly states, this is a proprietary driver and makes you acknowledge , the that you read the EULA. etc.

    so we have this:
    out of the box ( ready to modprobe)
    Oem drivers load and work ( most likely not)
    Repository drivers, many work perfect.
    compile your own distro driver for your kernel.
    compile your kernel so the repository driver will work.

    My perception is a distro that has drivers that work for there latest distro release.. if they dont support the lastest cards (atheros, atmel, Ralink, and all the good ones) then time to find one, that does.

    there are exceptions to all this.
    finding one is hard.

    do a modprobe -l
    to see all the module wifi's supported. (oob)

    one other problem is that sometimes the supported driver, you cant find a card. (old chip sets not made anymore )
    that is why I stuck with atheros, it has a vast number of cards on the shelves. and is growing.

    The AR5212 cards work great.

    I will post my experience with Suse 11 next.
    10.3 worked with few hitches.

    wifi is not trivial , lots of things must be correct for it to work.

    more later.

  11. #20
    Strengths and weaknesses. [ my non expert take on this....]

    " I just don't see why that should be required. "
    Load and fiddle, repeat for 3 hours or more until joy.

    the kernel 2.6.22 or later . a must. uname -r
    are you going to run a,b,g, or n level wireless?
    only you know that.

    it all boils down to PNP: (hot plug in linux)
    what encryption you need.?
    does hardware support what you need, are there any drivers (modules in linux)that support what you need. is your kernel new enought to use these drivers.?

    The plug and play concept.

    for any kernel , there are only some many working modules.
    some are only working with out encryption!
    I'd say many are not ready for "Prime Time"

    some have direct support via the kernel.
    and to keep the kernel below bloatware, someone makes a judgement call for a release.

    Even though the ath5k , was born dead. (sorry)
    this module will not support the ubiquitous ar5210,11,12 series of chips ( very modern, digital and RF chip all in one !)

    on a lap top , you can use the mini/pci , inside.
    many only do the old 802.a and are slow.

    so get a nice new Atheros based pcmcia , pccard.
    I picked them because the company is 100% pro Linux.!

    but saidly the goofy card makers , (many , most?) do not put the chip on the box. " based based on atheros ar5212,etc"
    so you have to do your home work.
    go onto the forums and look for the names.

    saidly no one maintains the hardware compatibility list.
    but that is not surprising the card makers keep renaming the cards and using newer chips every few months.
    This fact, makes the lists, mostly worthless, except legacy cards.(chips)

    saidly the only way to identify a card is to :
    (at console) lspci , and look) [ list pci lower case l there]
    or disect the windoz driver intall package, and open and read the inf file (inside it may say so)
    or got to the mfg. web page and read the spec on the card.

    OOB ( out of the box means the drivers is good and loads automaticly or you do modprobe madwifi and it loads)
    there is no way for your computer to figure out how you have your router programmed.
    eg: WPA2 and hidden SIDD.
    your computers is not going to guess the password. see ?

    so , just like windows , you will and must configure your wifi.

    If you have a decktop I recommend the:
    Atheros SuperG 108 Mb/s based cards:
    Tp-link TL-WN651G PCI CARD , super G rated and supported by linux. Amazon and 100's of vendors have this card on the shelf.

    read this:

    here is the history of some of the first wifi chips:

    The devices, the drivers

    best of the best, a good read. | Feature - Working with Wireless in Linux

    before doing all this above:
    Buy a card that uses a chip that is made by a linux friendly company, why send money to the others?
    if everyone did that,we'd see more linux drivers!

    Keep in mind the card you buy , may have the wrong chip when you get home. ( too new, or they changed chips )

    do you want to compile your kernel?
    are you willing to compile your wireless card module.?
    both those solutions opens up a 1000's other issues.

    and please , do not run ndiswrapper, all you are doing is telling the vendors to no support linux. ( why are you running windoz on a linux box, why?) [desperation , excepted]

    vote with your pocket book.

    BTW: stay away from suse 11 and the KDE4, its DOA.
    i am running 11 with KDE3 now.

    the KDE 4 , cant even produce a desk top without having
    all the icons show as Question marks.
    and the networkmanager tray icon is grayed out and is doa.

    but that is my next post.

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