I'd be happy to post exactly what I did.
I used ndiswrapper to install the windows drivers under linux. Since there are no native linux drivers for most wireless cards, ndiswrapper was developed to use the windows drivers with linux. So, first you have to find a way to get the windows drivers. I went to dell's support site, put in my service tag and downloaded them. The only problem was that the drivers were only available as a self-extracting windows executable (which can't be run under linux). Since my laptop is a dual boot of Fedora/WinXP this wasn't a problem for me. You'll have to find a way to get the extracted files onto your linux filesystem.
After getting the driver, download the ndiswrapper source code. Here is a download link
. If that link doesn't work, try going to http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net
and scouring around for the source file.
Download it to your home folder, fire up a terminal, and run the following command:
tar -xzvf ndiswrapper-0.8.tar.gz
That command will untar/unzip the archive into a directory. Type
to get into the new directory.
Next, read through the INSTALL file in the ndiswrapper-0.8 directory. This file will explain how to compile ndiswrapper and configure the driver files you extracted, using ndiswrapper. Do everything in this INSTALL file down to (but not including) step 4. Step two walks you though installing the driver file, but I can't tell you which driver to use, because I'm using the 1450 Dual Band card, and not the 1400 TruMobile. Just keep going through step 2 until there is a "present" beside one of the driver files.
Step 4 actually configures the interface. But it's really specific to your wireless setup. After a lot of trial and error, I issued the following commands:
iwconfig mode Auto
iwconfig wlan0 key open <wep key>
iwconfig wlan0 essid <my-essid>
If you have WEP enabled on your AP, then the second command should work for you. If not, you may not even need to enter the second command. However, in my setup, the third command didn't work until I issued the second one.
Issue 'iwconfig wlan0' and you should see something similar to the following:
wlan0 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:"<your essid>" Nickname:"<your computer name>"
Mode:Auto Frequency:2.442GHz Access Point: <your AP mac address>
RTS thr=2347 B Fragment thr=2346 B
Encryption key:<your encryption key> Security mode:restricted
Link Quality:100/100 Signal level:-74 dBm Noise level:-256 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:80 Invalid misc:412 Missed beacon:0
If all looks ok here, then issue:
Open up the file /etc/modprobe.conf and make sure the following line is in there:
alias wlan0 ndiswrapper
If it's not, then add it to the end of the file.
There's one last thing you have to do in order to up the interface. Configure the IP options by manually creating a file in the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts folder. Name the file ifcfg-wlan0. If you're using the DHCP capabilities of your wireless router, then you'll want to put the following in this file:
If all is well, then at this point, you should be able to issue
It might tell you that it can't find the device, but if it gets the IP information, it should dump you back to a prompt in a matter of about 5 seconds.
The only problem I'm still having is getting this thing to come up on reboot. I've tried editing my startup scripts, but for some reason, they just won't work. Every time I boot up, I have to fire up a terminal and issue the 3 iwconfig commands, and the ifup command.
Anyway, I hope this helped. I know I could have used this kinda support when I first started with linux. Have fun with linux, and don't let this kinda crap discourage you. It makes it all worth it when you can throw your arms in the air and scream "IT WORKED!!!!"