File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Linux / UNIX and the fly likes Has anyone set up linux on a wireless network? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Engineering » Linux / UNIX
Bookmark "Has anyone set up linux on a wireless network?" Watch "Has anyone set up linux on a wireless network?" New topic

Has anyone set up linux on a wireless network?

George Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
Hi there,
Has anyone successfully set up a linux desktop box (not laptop) on a wireless network?
If so, what distribution, card and/or drivers did you use? There seem to be precious few wireless PCI card drivers available. I know there are some linux PCMCIA wireless card drivers available, but has anyone set up a desktop with linux, a PCI-PCMCIA bridge and a PCMCIA wireless card?
I have been trying with a PCI wireless card, but so far with no luck, so I am considering getting a PCMCIA card for the desktop.
Any ideas welcome.
Michael Burke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 29, 2000
Posts: 103
I've set one up using the belkin pci card and the belkin router. Off the top of my head I don't remember the details except to say that it does work. I tried a linksys card before reading that their cards no longer work under linux. The typical no driver available for the hardware problem under linux. I think I used the wlan driver. This site has a bunch of links:
[ April 06, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Burke ]
James O'Dell

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 16
I wrestled with this one awhile back. I have had great success with the Linksys products (WAP and cards). Here's a link to the thread. I put a list of "10 easy steps", just bypass the sarcasm.
Wireless networking thread
James O'Dell

Joined: Apr 29, 2002
Posts: 16
Of course, I should have mentioned the steps are practically the same using the PCI adapter in your desktop box.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 17417

If all else fails, go to The Jacksonville Linux Users Group website and join their mailing list.
For all that I depair that my city of residence will never get past a "blue-collar" level of technology, one thing that's really popular around here is wireless networking.
I may, in fact, be the only one in town still using wires!

An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.
George Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
I would keep on using wires but am about to move house (next week) and the cable access (now with added linksys wireless switch/router) will be in a different room to the computers.
And according to my significant other trailing wires around is out of the question.
I think my mistake was to buy a wireless PCI card without finding out whether the linux drivers were available. It turns out that Netgear only support Win 98/Me/NT/2000/XP with the MA311. Next stop the eBay items offered section...
George Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
One week on since my last post in this thread...
I bought the Linksys WPC11 (Wireless PC card) and WDT11 (Wireless PCI adaptor). I'm running Mandrake 9 with the default kernel and it was surprisingly straightforward to get the card up and running. The following were the steps taken, in case anyone else tries this and needs help:
1. Installed gcc package and the kernel source package
2. downloaded linux-wlan-ng-0.2.0.tar.gz from, unzipped and unpacked it, and changed to that directory.
3. ran the configure script, and only said yes to the plx option, no to everything else.
4. ran 'make all' and then logged in as root and ran 'make install'. Smooth compile and install.
5. cd to /etc/wlan, change the scripts for your particular wireless setup
6. For the plx (pci adaptor) version of events you need to set up an alias in the /etc/modules.conf file:
alias wlan0 prism2_plx
(if you use pcmcia without the adaptor you should not do this)
7. added a script in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts as I am using dhcp on my wireless router:
8. linked the wlan script in /etc/init.d to the rc3.d area, to come up between iptables and network. It's important that it should come up before network.
9. No kernel builds were required...
Frank Carver

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
Glad to know you got it working.
From time to time I toy with adding my Linux machines to my wireless network, but have never quite made the jump yet

Read about me at ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
George Brown
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
Glad to know you got it working
Cheers, me too
It's update time though, I've abandoned the linux-wlan-ng drivers in favour of the orinoco_plx driver, which seems to be better integrated with the distribution (for example, you can use the wireless-tools package with the latter but not the former).
The OS had trouble dealing with both ethernet and post-installation addition of the wireless gear, so I dumped the ethernet card into my surplus cards box and performed a fresh minimal install of mandrake 9.0 with only the wireless gear. The setup was all done automatically.
It worked fine until I started trying to transfer really large files, at which point the wireless interface and connection dropped in a heap, with error messages galore (that's the supposedly stable version 0.11 release). A quick driver update (to version 0.13d) and now everything is working swimmingly, even with large files.
I'd recommend the orinoco drivers now, they're much less hassle overall (despite my need to update the drivers) especially since the card was recognised and the system autoconfigured itself.
You can get more info about the orinoco drivers here.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Has anyone set up linux on a wireless network?
It's not a secret anymore!