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Old 06-08-2007, 06:02 PM   #1
stu_mueller
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Registered: Aug 2006
Location: England
Distribution: Slackware, Zenwalk
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Wireless Card seems to be loaded but is not showing interface


Hi,

I have just installed Slack 11.

I have got widescreen working and am now trying to get my Wireless card working. doing an lspci it shows I have
Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100 3B Mini PCI

doing an lsmod shows

ipw2100
ieee80211
ieee80211_crypt

are loaded, but I get no wireless interface when I do iwconfig

doing a dmesg | grep iw2100 results in:

ipw2100: Copyright(c) 2003-2004 Intel Corporation
ipw2100: Detected Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 Network Connection
ipw2100: eth1: Firmware 'ipw2100-1.3.fw' not available or load failed.
ipw2100: eth1: ipw2100_get_firmware failed: -2
ipw2100: eth1: Failed to power on the adapter.
ipw2100: eth1: Failed to start the firmware.
ipw2100Error calling regiser_netdev.
ipw2100: probe of 0000:02:02.0 failed with error -5

ipw2100.sourceforge.net/ says to try the following
echo 100 > /sys/class/firmware/timeout and then reload the ipw2100 module but when I do that I get the following error

WARNING: Error inserting firmware_class (/lib/modules/2.6.17.13/kernel/drivers/base/firmware_class.ko): invalid module format

Does this mean I need to recompile the firmware?

I'm running slaxk11 with the huge26.s kernel
 
Old 06-08-2007, 06:20 PM   #2
eddyvp
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Download the libfirmware here http://ipw2100.sourceforge.net/firmware.php
Extract the .tgz file in /lib/firmware
 
Old 06-09-2007, 06:01 AM   #3
stu_mueller
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Registered: Aug 2006
Location: England
Distribution: Slackware, Zenwalk
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Thanks a lot iwconfig picks up the interface now. Not had chance to connect it to my router yet though!

May I just ask why I need those firmware files? Is huge26.s is coompiled with the ieee80211 and ipw2100 as modules why is the firmware files not included?
 
Old 06-09-2007, 07:28 AM   #4
Hangdog42
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It is a licensing thing, and something you'll see a lot of with wireless cards from all manufacturers. Wireless chipset makers have moved a lot of the device functionality and control out of hardware and into firmware. The good news is that it makes it cheaper and easier to fix bugs and upgrade cards, since you need to change the firmware rather than the hardware. The downside is that it puts all sorts of things, like operating frequency and transmission power, under software control and the manufacturers are afraid that if they release it as open source code, people will do all sorts of nasty things with it. At least here in the US, the FCC would probably take a pretty dim view of this.

So the firmware is considered proprietary, and usually has pretty restrictive licensing. So rather than get into trouble, firmware isn't included. The real downside to this is that new Linux users rarely recognie that firmware is required, and because there appears to be a functional driver, they think it simply doesn't work. I'm not sure how this eventually gets resolved, but at the moment it is a real problem.
 
  


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