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Old 10-18-2005, 12:08 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: Mandrake Linux
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Question Mandriva Wireless Road Warrior

Ok, what I have is a Dell Inspiron 4100 which is currently running Windows 2000. I would like to switch it (and eventually my wife's Inspiron 4000) over to some distribution of Linux, preferably Mandriva because that's where I have the most experience and am most comfortable. The laptop has a built-in ethernet connection and a mini-pci Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 card. I have had success getting everything to work with Linux.

The issue is that I take to laptop between home, work, business trips, etc. It needs the capability to connect to whatever network is available, be it wireless or ethernet. What I would like is something similar to what I have now under windows. The Intel software has mulitple profiles saved for various wireless networks that I frequent. When it detects one that matches a profile, it connects to it. Likewise, when I plug a cable in to the ethernet port, it connects to the available network. The only manual network configuration is if I have both a wireless connection and wired connection sometimes I must disable one.

The last distribution I tried was Mandriva 2005 LE. The wireless card would connect fine. The ethernet card would connect fine. I was able to figure out how to disable the ethernet card when I wanted wireless and to disable the wireless when I wanted the ethernet connection. The problem was with switching to a different wireless network. I was unable to figure out an easy way to do this. Using the default tools available, I had to reconfigure it everytime I switched wireless networks.

Is there any software for linux for automatically switching wireless profiles? Intel provides drivers for their cards, but not the management software. If there's not something that will do it automatically, is there a way to make manually switching fairly simple? My laptop will be a prototype for my wife's laptop which connects wireless at home and school and occasionally via ethernet if wireless is unavailable. She's the typical user in that she just doesn't want to mess with it - it has to work everytime when she wants it to work - otherwise it's useless junk...

Well, there it is. That's the only obstacle from me having Linux on every machine that I own. I've left out technical details because I've tried various other distributions lately and it has mostly blurred in my mind. My next try is Mandriva 2006 when the iso's are available via ftp.

Thanks in advance.


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