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By coindood at 2004-09-25 15:30
If you're tired of working on getting any wireless card based on the RTL8180 chipset, and don't want to downgrade to use the official linux drivers from Realtek or paying money for the LinuxAnt DriverLoader, then use Ndiswrapper. Getting Ndiswrapper to work is so much easier than the Realtek drivers! This is how I got my setup working on distros ranging from Debian, Knoppix, Slackware, and Gentoo:

Note: These are all console commands (for those VERY new to this!)

First you must download the newest version at

If you want to be on the edge, you can download the CVS by using:
cvs login
cvs -z3 co ndiswrapper
Untar the ndiswrapper file and go to
and downloaded the latest Windows XP drivers.

I unzipped the drivers into my ndiswrapper directory (/home/user_name/ndiswrapper/), and per the INSTALL text, I typed
make install
ndiswrapper -i NET8180.INF
to install the driver. Typing
ndiswrapper -l
will tell you if the driver is present, and for good measure I typed
dmesg | grep "wlan0"
and looked at the last line to see if it mentioned wlan0.

After all that I did
modprobe ndiswrapper
to install the module, then proceeded to setup my card using iwconfig:
iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed
iwconfig wlan0 key YOUR_KEY  //if you use a key use this!
iwconfig wlan0 essid YOUR_ESSID
iwconfig wlan0 channel YOUR_CHANNEL
/sbin/ifconfig wlan0  up  //an unused ip within your network!

/sbin/route add default gw wlan0  //once again this is the AP ip
dhcpcd wlan0
Test out the connection by doing a quick 'ping' to make sure you are connected and the DHCP settings are all correct. If everything works, then congratulations and have fun with your new wireless setup!

To save the "modprobe" settings, use:
ndiswrapper -m
Knoppix (and other Knoppix-based distros, or those with netcardconfig):
You can omit the last three lines (only configure with iwconfig up to setting the essid) and run "netcardconfig", either from the Knoppix menu under Network, where it is called "Network Card Configuration", and select "yes" in the "Use DHCP broadcast" window. Now you are all set!

by Dataforce on Mon, 2005-01-24 14:02

This worked flawlessly on Slack 10 to get a Mercury KOB 445W PCMCIA card working.

by scrosley on Fri, 2005-02-25 19:30
My system (Fedora 3) hangs after I enter:

/sbin/ifconfig wlan0 up

Works fine prior to that,...I set the ESSID, the channel, and the WEP key.

I am connecting through a Linksys wireless router B from a cable modem.

Thanks for any advice.

by bsammon on Fri, 2005-04-22 16:24


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