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Old 05-22-2005, 08:40 AM   #1
dezza
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Registered: Nov 2004
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Debian netinst with Ralink rt2500 (not on CD)


I have a Ralink wireless network card, which we use at our school for our shared internet. I wish to reinstall Debian, but i can't think of any ways to install it with my ralink wlan card. Can i change CD trough the install and install a prebuilded rt2500 driver module?

Anyone who have tried the same or have any ideas how?

In Debian stable I seem to remember that you could choose your network card from a list or load it externally trough some media, CD-ROM, floppy, etc. but I can't find this menu on the official Debian "Sarge" netinstall ?

Thanks in advance!
 
Old 05-22-2005, 11:54 AM   #2
rarsa
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ndiswrapper is your solution

I'd recommend to use the ndiswrapper with this chipset.

I have tried in about 5 different distributions. The vendor's driver does not work correctly. ndiswrapper has worked every time. The only difference between the distros is the way you specify to start the card at start-up time. Unfortulatelly debian install did not identify my HDD correctly and I haven't been able to try it. but I have tried in other debian based distros (e.g. knoppix)

The compilation has always been clean and easy. The instructions on the ndiswrapper project installation page are clear. Just follow them step by stem regardless of your distribution:

Here is my entry in the Hardware compatibility list

RT2500 chipset

sometimes the link to the project page is slow, so here is it in a nutshell

Download the lates version of the ndiswrapper source .
Get the windows drivers for your card (you need the .inf and .sys files). You can find them in the cd provided by the vendor or on your vendor's web site. Make sure that both files use the same case (e.g. both RT2500 or both rt2500)

(If you need the source and the drivers let me know and I can upload them to a shared location. I am using the same card)

then do the following as root

Code:
tar -xvzf ndiswrapper-xxx.tar.gz   <--- xxx is whatever version you downloaded

cd ndiswrapper-xxx            <- xxx is whatever version you downloaded

make && make install

cp ~/rt2500.* ./              <-- assuming that you copied the drivers to your home folder

ndiswrapper -i rt2500.inf 

ndiswrapper -l              <--- it is a lower case L. this command will show you if the driver has installed correctly

modprobe ndiswrapper

iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed   <--- or whatever mode your network is using
iwconfig wlan0 key restricted XXXXXXXX  <-- the hexadecimal of your network key in case your network is restricted
iwconfig wlan0 essid aaaaaa  <--- the essid of your network
ifconfig wlan0 up
dhclient  wlan0        <-- different distros have different utilities for the dhcp discovery, use the one appropriate for your distro
ndiswrapper -m    <---- writes the configuration for modprobe
You should be able to use your network now.

The next step is to configure it to start-up at boot time. As I said before different distros do it differently. I' ve used system-config-network in some in some others I've had to edit some /etc files.


Last edited by rarsa; 05-22-2005 at 11:49 PM.
 
Old 05-22-2005, 11:58 AM   #3
dezza
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What I mean is how to install Debian with a netinstall CD with a wireless rt2500 based card.

But thanks for the information, i've had some problems with the rt2500 driver and I will try ndiswrapper after i've reinstalled Debian.
 
Old 05-22-2005, 12:07 PM   #4
rarsa
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Oh, sorry I missundesrtood

I have had that same question for all other distros.

My conclussion up to now has been that if the driver is not included in the installtion CD you cannot do it. Of course you could hack the installation CD to include the ndiswrapper, but I wonder if it's worth the time.

My impression is that distros do not include the ndiswrapper because

a) It is not the 'linux' way of doing things
b) You would need your windows drivers available at install time
c) They dispise vendors that don't provide linux drivers
c) all of the above

So, my alternative has been up to now.

a) Put the computer and the Router nearby so I can use a wired connection using the seccond Lan card
b) Do a full CD install

But you already know that. I am just adding it for other people that may come across this post
 
  


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