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Old 11-09-2003, 11:59 PM   #1
davebot 0.9
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Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Tumbolia
Distribution: Red Hat 7.3
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Unhappy Stumped by Proxim Orinoco Silver / Red Hat 7.3 on IBM ThinkPad i1410

I've installed Red Hat 7.3 on my old ThinkPad, but am stumped trying to get my wireless card to work. The wireless card was previously working in this machine under Winblows 98, which I've wiped. I've downloaded kernel and security updates and installed them, and have downloaded and installed a driver for my card, and have gotten to the point where the machine gives me two high beeps at boot. But I can't quite get this to work. I'm stumped.


Machine is an IBM ThinkPad i1410: 266 MHz Pentium, 256 MB RAM, 3 GB drive, 12.1" Neomagic video. The wireless card is a new Proxim Orinoco Silver with the Agere chip, model 8421-wd. I thought I'd install the latest Red Hat and get the best supported wireless card. Ha ha, silly me. Red Hat 9 starts to install, but after formatting and starting to install the boot partition, the installer quits with the message "Error: you are trying to install to a machine that's not supported by this version of Red Hat linux." So I've installed 7.3, successfully. (Previous successful installs on this machine included RH 6.0 and 7.1, but I didn't have the wireless card then). And the new Orinoco card turns out to require the wavelan2_cs driver, which required me to install the kernel and driver sources and build the driver.

What I did:

As directed, unpacked the wavelan2_cs tarball in the kernel source:
(I tried a later kernel source, but had a dependency problem, so I stuck with this because my system seemed to already have a 3.1.27 pcmcia). The driver build failed initially with an error message about deprecated malloc.h. I fixed this by changing the offending malloc.h to slab.h, as the error message suggested. Okay. Built wavelan2_cs.o and installed it.

In /etc/pcmcia, I changed the name of wireless.opts, since the man page for wavelan2_cs said to remove it. In this directory I found wavelan2_cs.conf, and added a second manfid line to give the actual addresses reported by cardctl. The resulting file looks like this (/etc/pcmcia/wavelan2_cs.conf):

device "wavelan2_cs"
class "network" module "wavelan2_cs"

card "Agere Systems Wireless Adapter"
manfid 0x0156, 0x0002
manfid 0x0156, 0x0003
bind "wavelan2_cs"

I added the following line to config.opts (again in /etc/pcmcia):
module "wavelan2_cs" opts "channel=11"

I turned off WEP at my router (a D-Link DI-614+).

I have ifcfg-eth0 in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts
ifcfg-eth0 is as follows:

(I initially created ifcfg-eth0 via the graphical Network Configuration tool. But that tool has no knowledge of my new wavelan2_cs driver for the Agere card, so I removed the entry from the graphical tool and put in ifcfg-eth0 by hand). I've tried a few other things here, including 'Wireless' instead of 'Ethernet'. No difference.

I went to /etc/rc.d/rc5.d and did "mv S24pcmcia S9pcmcia". This was based on advice from other sites, although I don't really understand why this is needed.

What happens:

Boot: two high beeps!
cardctl ident:
Socket 1:
product info: "Agere Systems", "Wireless PC Card Model 0110", "", ""
manfid: 0x0156, 0x0003
function: 6 (network)

cardctl status:
Socket 1:
5V 16-bit PC Card
function 0: [ready]

Pops up GUI Network Configuration
message in terminal:
Copying ifcfg-eth0 to devices and putting it into the default profile
Attempt to activate card in GUI results in "Cannot activate network device eth0"
In terminal:
Determining IP information for eth0. . . failed

Removing card results in wavelan2_cs module disappearing from output of lsmod
Insert card, then "insmod wavelan2_cs channel=11"
Then /usr/bin/neat
Result: Still cannot activate the card. But I did get a message like
loaded /lib/modules/2.4.20-20.7/pcmcia/wavelan2_cs
(along with a complaint that the kernel is tainted because of the lack of a license)

Interesting lines from dmesg:

wavelan2_cs.c 6.20 05/06/2002 15:00:000 (Agere Systems) (Nov 8 2003-18:41:48)
Agere Systems Wireless driver, Variant 1, Version 6.20
divert: allocating divert_blk for eth0
eth0: Wireless, HCF failure: "Primary functions are not compatible"

Interesting lines from /var/log/messages:

cardmgr[963]: config error, file './wavelan2_cs.conf' line 1: no function bindings
cardmgr[963]: initializing socket 1
socket 1: Agere Systems Wireless Adapter
executing: 'modprobe wavelan2_cs channel=11'

kernel: Agere Systems Wireless Driver Variant 1, Version 6.20
cardmgr[963]: + Module wavelan2_cs loaded, with warnings
kernel: eth0: Wireless, HCF failure: "Primary functions are not compatible"
cardmgr[963]: executing: './network start eth0'
/etc/hotplug/net.agent: invoke ifup eth0
dhcpcd[1035]: dhcpStart: ioctl SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such device

Since there's an HCF failure reported, I looked for the version of HCF in use (what is it, by the way?)

"locate libhcf-i386.a" only finds /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES/pcmcia-cs-3.1.27/lib/libhcf-i386.a --- shouldn't this be installed somewhere in my system?

I do find /lib/modules/2.4.20-20.7/pcmcia/wavelan2_cs.o, and when I pipe the output of "strings" on that module and grep for "Revision" I get HCF$Revision: 4.6

Compared to this, everything else is working well (although I wish I knew why the RH9 installer decided to stop in the middle of the install--a friend had no problem installing RH9 on his very similar ThinkPad i1411).

Thanks for any tips, advice, insight, commiseration. I really hope I don't have to reinstall Windoze to get wireless networking!

Old 11-13-2003, 03:42 PM   #2
davebot 0.9
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Tumbolia
Distribution: Red Hat 7.3
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Do I have the wrong driver?

Me again. Has anyone gotten this wireless card working? If you have it working, what driver are you using?

I'm beginning to suspect that I may have grabbed the wrong driver. The card has the model number 8421-wd on the label, but cardctl identifies it as

cardctl ident:
Socket 1:
product info: "Agere Systems", "Wireless PC Card Model 0110", "", ""
manfid: 0x0156, 0x0003
function: 6 (network)

I grabbed the following driver--is this correct?

ORiNOCO (Classic) 802.11b Gold/Silver Rel 6.20 for Linux

That was available from's downloads area. There also was an earlier driver, Rel 6.16. What I noticed after building and installing Rel 6.20 was that the readme file did *not* include "Wireless PC Card Model 0110" in its list of supported models.

So I'm wondering if this driver / card combo even works. Anyone know?

Looking further, I found a link to another driver from Agere (who make the chip in the model 0110 card). This one isn't listed on Proxim's site, but on Agere Systems' page for drivers: (look for: wl_lkm_714_release.tar.gz). I'm thinking of grabbing this, since it appears to be a later version of one that worked for Frederik Questier (see His version was wl_lkm_708_beta.tar.gz, and his notes say explicitly that his driver supports Wireless PC Card Model 0110.

It would be really helpful to hear from anyone who's gotten this to work, and to hear what driver they're using.

I'm wondering if my HCF problems may simply indicate that I have the wrong driver. (See dmesg and /var/log/messages in my original post, above). Does that make sense?


Old 11-19-2003, 07:59 PM   #3
davebot 0.9
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Tumbolia
Distribution: Red Hat 7.3
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Talking Success with Agere's driver

I retraced my steps, this time using the newer Agere driver. Success! My card works, my ThinkPad now connects to my D-Link wireless access point, and it can ssh to my iMac (and vice versa).

Agere's site strongly advises users to get a driver from their vendor: Proxim, in my case. But Proxim's 6.20 driver didn't work for me. I suspect that it doesn't support my card, since the driver conf file it installs had the wrong manfid for my card. Agere's tarball gave me a conf file with separate sections for Hermes-I and Hermes-II chips, and the Hermes-II section did have the correct manfid for my card.

To summarize: this is a successful wireless installation with the following components:

- IBM ThinkPad i1410 (266 MHz), D-Link DI-614+

- Proxim Orinoco Silver with the Agere chip, model 8421-wd

- Red Hat 7.3 with pcmcia-cs 3.2.1

- Agere's driver: wl_lkm_714_release.tar.gz, found on The driver I'm using is known to my system as wlags49_h2_cs

Another reference for this wireless card, with a beta version of the Agere driver:


David Finton


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