By munstah at 2005-10-10 05:58
* Compaq Evo N400c, PIII850M, 256MB
* Suse 10.0 - 2.6.13-8-default
* KDE 3.4.2 level 'b', standard Workstation installation
* Netgear WG511 v1 PC card (Important: for version description see www.netgear.com!!!)
* wireless router completely set up and tested under Windows with WPA, acting as DHCP server (NAT).
===What I wanted===
Wireless networking with WPA-PSK security under Linux
===What I needed===
* ndiswrapper and wpa_supplicant packets
** either select packages during SuSE installation or
** install afterwards via K-menu -> System -> YAST -> Software -> Software Management
*** filter by "Selections"
**** wpa_supplicant can be found under "Laptop"
**** ndiswrapper can be found under "Mobile Computing"
* a hard-wired and working Internet connection
* the WG511 card plugged into the computer
* firmware for WG511
* netwg511.inf from Windows installation
1) disable KInternet
2) install firmware
3) install driver
4) configure network card
Make sure both network cable and wireless card are plugged in before starting!
NOTE 1: I will use "eth1" as device ID for the wireless card as set by SuSE. If in doubt, check your Network Devices in YAST first before starting the setup procedure!
NOTE 2: Linux is CASE-SENSITIVE!!! A capital "G" is a "G" and not a "g"!
NOTE 3: the lights on the WG511 may come on, blink, turn off or become stable during configuration. I recommend resisting the urge to try connecting to the internet until the final restart...
KInternet starts with KDE by default but it does not support WPA and can cause quite a lot of confusion. Right-click the tray-icon and select "Quit". Choose "Do not start at next start-up" to avoid future problems.
Open console and switch to super user mode (type "su", press enter and the type the root password)
Tip: if you do not like typing, highlight the commands between quotes, right-click and select "copy". Inside the console right-click the blinking cursor and select "paste" (imagine Linux purists crying in agony :))
In the console:
* type "mkdir -p /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware" and press Enter to create a directory for the firmware
* type "cd /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware" and press Enter to switch into this directory
* type "wget http://prism54.org/~mcgrof/firmware/isl3890" and press enter
- This downloads the firmware file directly into the newly crated directory. It may take several minutes depending on your network speed. The original file name is 126.96.36.199.arm and should also be found in a complete Windows installation....
* "ifconfig eth1" will show if the firmware is installed correctly
Here we will point ndiswrapper to the driver file. Make a note of the exact path_to_the_netwg511.inf_file (Example: /windows/C/Program Files/NETGEAR/WG511/Driver/netwg511.inf)
* type "ndiswrapper -i path_to_the_netwg511.inf_file"
* type "ndiswrapper -l" to get this output:
- Installed ndis drivers:
- netwg511 driver present, hardware present
* type "ndiswrapper -e eth1 netwg511" to bind the driver to the device
* type "ndiswrapper -m"
* type "ndiswrapper -hotplug"
* type "exit", hit Enter, type "exit" and hit Enter again to close the console
====Configure Network Card and WPA====
SuSE detected the WG511 and applied the prism54 driver by default, but this driver does not yet fully support WPA-PSK.
Go to K-Menu -> System -> Control Center (YAST) -> Network devices -> Network cards -> Netgear WG511 wireless card -> Edit
* on main screen:
** provide static IP address (WHY? see summary)
* click "Host Name and Name Server
** supply host- and domain names
** leave Name server and Search set to be changed by DHCP server
* click "Routing"
** enter the IP address of router/ gateway
* click "Advanced - Hardware details"
** in the field 'Module Name' replace the string "prism54" with the word "ndiswrapper"
* click "Next"
** field 'Operating Mode': managed
** field 'Network Name (ESSID)': your network name
** field 'Authentication Mode': WPA-PSK
** field 'Key Input Type - Passphrase': enter the passphrase
** click "Next"
* click "Next" on the summary screen
* close all open windows and SHUT DOWN the system
* disconnect the network cable
* unplug the WG511 and plug it back in
* restart the machine, use the "ESC" key to suppress the SuSe splash screen, watch out for eth devices being loaded...
* the green light should come on and become stable after a few seconds...
* after login open a console and type "ifstatus wlan0" to check the status of the device
NOTE: ndiswrapper uses "wlan0" instead of "eth1"
When using DHCP the wireless connection using seemed to randomly block off access to the Internet while local browsing still was working fine. I switched to a static IP address instead and the issue disappeared completely, Internet access is stable and running perfectly fine since then.