The problem with this is that I am NOT completely sure it will work all the time (and I don't know how someone OUTSIDE of Mandriva would pull this off).
Essentially, you need a version of ndiswrapper, which you can see by going to a root konsole and then typing 'ndiswrapper'. That should give you several commands. If you DON'T have ndiswrapper, you will have to get a tar.gz or whatever your distro uses (RPM, right?) from ANOTHER computer, and then use a USB key or floppy to get it on.
I think the way to install ndiswrapper is:
tar zxvf '//
ath/to/ndiswrapper-1.xx.tar.gz' (you can copy this location and then paste it into the konsole.). Press enter, and then it should make several directories.
Use 'cd ndiswrapper-1.xx' to change directortories, and then I'm not quite sure if this is EXACTLY RIGHT what to do next.
It should give no errors (otherwise, you need to get a copy of the kernel code, which you would have to go to a computer with WORKING internet to get.
This might not be necessary, because next you'll type...
There should be no errors. You now SHOULD be able to use the ndiswrapper command in the root konsole (and if you use a different command line interface, I THINK you can go to root with the command -sudo, but I've never done that.)
Put in your linksys cd, and go to Drivers, and go to WUSBG4.0 (IF you have a 4.0 wireless adaptor...they CHANGED the main driver from 2.0 to 4.0.
You should see rt2500usb.inf and rt2500usb.sys. You might as well copy/paste this to a memorable spot on the harddrive.
In ndiswrapper, WHILE the Linksys adaptor is plugged in (you can check this by typing 'lsusb', and it should give you a USB address and maker of all deviced recognized...I forget what the Linksys adaptor is, but it MIGHT begin with 13b7...maybe....I've not done this in a while).
ANYWAY. go to 'ndiswrapper'
There should be a few commands.
ndiswrapper -i '//path/to/rt2500usb.inf'
You CAN have single quotations around the path to the inf, but if I remember correctly, double quotations and no quotations give you errors.
ANYWAY, it should say 'installing' OR nothing at all, depending on your version of ndiswrapper. Use 'ndiswrapper -l'.
It should say something like 'linksys drivers present; hardware present' OR 'rt2500usb drivers present; hardware present'.
IF AT THIS TIME!!!! it only says the drivers are present, OR it says the drivers are incorrect (or something bad like that), OR it freezes, THEN, you will have to do a little more.
Cases 1, 3 are the worst--your computer doesn't recognize the adaptor. Case 2 is relatively easy to solve. Go to root (or, AT LEAST, you need to use a graphical browser AS root to do this, because there's NO way I'm going to 'drag and drop' in a CLI, sorry).
In root, go to Konqueror (or browser of choice). Find the place of you .inf and .sys files. Copy them.
Go to etc/ndiswrapper. INSIDE here, there should be a .conf file (maybe, maybe not), and a folder that either says 'rt2500usb' OR 'linksys'. Go inside. There should be a file with NUMBERS, but your inf file and sys file may NOT have automatically installed.
In that case, paste into that folder (the linksys/rt2500usb folder).
You can TECHNICALLY do this konsole stuff while in root (you WILL need a root konsole, but when I'm in root for longer than five minutes, things die....quickly, so I HAVE to log into a normal account!).
As root (or just as a root konsole), go to ndiswrapper, and use 'ndiswrapper -l'. It should tell you the correct response, which is 'linksys drivers present; hardware present' OR 'rt2500usb drivers present; hardware present'.
If it DOES do this, then use ndiswrapper -m. IT should say, "Creating wlan.conf in modprobe description," OR SOMETHING jazzy like that. If you have 'wlan', then you've almost won. But you're NOT done.
Use 'modprobe ndiswrapper'.
It SHOULD give you no problem. If it freezes, then you will find that it will UNFREEZE as soon as you take out the Linksys adaptor...This means you WILL have to repeat all the steps (delete etc/ndiswrapper/linksys), and install again. If you had to copy/paste the first time, you will have to do it again.
HOWEVER, if it doesn't give you a problem, then you should be able to use 'dmesg'. I DON'T KNOW IF THIS is a Mandriva specific command (but, if dmesg gives you nothing, I guess you know...).
At the end SOMEWHERE, it should talk about wlan0.
The next part is INTERESTING. Mandriva has an automated drake at this point, and I just set up my network from here. HOWEVER, from the command line, I am not sure how you set up the specific network.
iwconfig is involved...I think. dhclient is involved...but that IS distro specific.
If that helps, mazel tov, eh?