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Old 23-Dec-2004, 09:27
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[HOWTO] Belkin 54G Wireless card in linux (Broadcom chip)


BELKIN Wireless 54G card in Linux

INTRODUCTION
I just got a new system and I am currently in the process of "perfecting" the installation. One of the fun things of linux for me is the thrill of getting something to work (sick...I know). Well in this case, I bought a Belkin 54G Wireless PCI card. Other than no native support under Linux, this card is fantastic. It has a continually strong signal and works great! Therefore, I was dissappointed to find that there was no native support or drivers for it under linux! As is the case in most things for linux there is a workaround. In this case there are two.

The Belkin wireless 54G card uses the Broadcom chip. This is a pretty popular 54G chip. Unfortunately Broadcom is somewhat notorious for being difficult to work with the linux community. Both of the solutions below should work for a plethora of wireless cards, but the only one that I can attest to is the Broadcom chip.

The following is how this particular chip is described in an lspci listing
Code:
Broadcom Corporation BCM94306 802.11g (rev 03)


The "non-free" workaround
Linuxant has develeoped a nice utility that will allow you to use the windows drivers under linux. This can be found here. This is very easy to use and has a web interface. It installs all scripts so that the driver is loaded at boot time.

The drawback is that you need to buy a license from linuxant to get this card to work. I think this is a great service, but I was a little put off by the fact that they were not upfront about it. I downloaded and installed the utility without a hitch. Then I was presented with a screen that basically said that the driver was installed, the hardware was found, now give us some dough and we will make it work.

If you want an easy to use and easy to setup utility, I encourage you to used Linuxant. Just keep in mind that you will have to fork out $20.00 to get it to work.


The "free" workaround
I was about ready to pay for the license from Linuxant, but I decided to look a bit further to see if I could find something else. That is when I found ndiswrapper. As far as I can tell this does the exact same thing, although with a bit more work than the Linuxant driver. However, this is far from difficult to set up.

Installation
  • Download the driver from here.
  • Install the driver using the hopefully familiar commands (substituting version numbers as necessary)
    Code:
    tar zxvf ndiswrapper-0.12.tar.gz cd ndiswrapper-0.12 make make install
  • That will install the driver as well as a utility to set up your driver. The utility and driver are both called ndiswrapper. Use the utility to "wrap" your windows driver for use in linux. Using the windows installation CD, you need to point ndiswrapper to the applicable .inf file. Here is a sample:
    Code:
    ndiswrapper -i /mnt/cdrom/Driver/bcmwl5.inf
    Just use the location of your driver.
  • Once that runs, verify that it worked
    Code:
    ndiswrapper -l
    Not only does this tell you if the driver is present, but it also tells you if the applicable hardware is there. In my case this returned the following:
    Code:
    Installed ndis drivers: bcmwl5 driver present, hardware present
    Very cool indeed!
  • Now the ndiswrapper driver needs to be loaded. This is extremely straight forward using modprobe:
    Code:
    modprobe ndiswrapper
  • Now you need to configure your ethernet settings. Most of the WAPS and routers are using dhcp, so again this is very easy:
    Code:
    dhcpcd wlan0
    Note that my card was installed under wlan0 instead of ethx. If you are unsure of where your card is, type dmesg immediately after loading the ndiswrapper driver.
  • Finally, we want to make sure that this is loaded every time at boot up. There is quite a few ways to do this, but what it boils down to is that you need to load the ndiswrapper driver and then configure the card. Under slackware, I chose to use the rc.local script. This is the last script to run on boot up. I added these lines to my /etc/rc.d/rc.local script:
    Code:
    echo "Set up wireless lan" modprobe ndiswrapper dhcpcd wlan0


That's it. What a cool utility!
  #2  
Old 23-Dec-2004, 11:28
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Wow, thanks! I haven't been able to get my wifi card working on my laptop (maybe they'll include it on the next round). The card's tech support people told me to try the CVS files for MADWIFI; I haven't yet because the group at SourceForge hasn't even released alpha files yet, only the pre-alpha files are available via daily CVS. And I don't want to fight w/ drivers that unstable.

I'll have to give this a try though. It appears that my PC Card is a supported card so maybe I'll have success.
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Old 23-Dec-2004, 12:51
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Well, found a couple of things. I dl'ed the file but when I tried to make it, I got an error telling me I don't have the kernel source files installed. I'm using Suse 9.1 on my laptop and can't seem to figure out where to get the kernel source from (I've done it on my debian-based tower but I haven't messed w/ Suse very much).

When I looked at getting the source from my disc, I found out that the ndiswrapper files are already located on the disc, I think as kernel modules. I went ahead and installed those but I don't know where to go from here. I currently have the lights on the card blinking in an "not connected" fashion.

Do I have to manually load the pc card modules or does linux do it automatically now? Assuming that the software is loaded correctly, is it now just a matter of configuring my wifi card correctly? (I did a hardware detection and that's when I was able to get the lights on the card to blink so maybe all I have to do is reconfigure it).
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Old 23-Dec-2004, 14:38
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If you are working on a /proc system, do a cat of /proc/modules and see if the ndiswrapper module shows up. Also do you have the ndiswrapper utility program? Can you type ndiswrapper -l and get any output?
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Old 23-Dec-2004, 15:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith
If you are working on a /proc system, do a cat of /proc/modules and see if the ndiswrapper module shows up. Also do you have the ndiswrapper utility program? Can you type ndiswrapper -l and get any output?
When you say "cat", do you mean the command "cat" (which I think is concatenation)? Because when I typed "cat /proc/modules" nothing happened.

I did open the modules file but ndiswrapper isn't shown and when I did type in "ndiswrapper -l", I got "command not found". Does this mean it's not installed or I'm just not in the right location?

I did find a ndiswrapper module in /usr/src/kernel-modules and I got the kernel source installed to /usr/src/linux-2.6.4-52.
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Old 24-Dec-2004, 06:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalattice
When you say "cat", do you mean the command "cat" (which I think is concatenation)? Because when I typed "cat /proc/modules" nothing happened.

I did open the modules file but ndiswrapper isn't shown and when I did type in "ndiswrapper -l", I got "command not found". Does this mean it's not installed or I'm just not in the right location?

I did find a ndiswrapper module in /usr/src/kernel-modules and I got the kernel source installed to /usr/src/linux-2.6.4-52.

If you can Cody, you should try to compile the ndiswrapper from scratch so that you get the utility. Do you have a soft link from your kernel source location to /usr/src/linux? If not try to set a soft link, as I believe that is the default location in which apps look for your kernel sources.
Code:
ln -s /usr/src/linux-2.6.4-52 /usr/src/linux

If you recompile you should get the neat little ndiswrapper utility program which should really make everything else a lot easier. Let me know if you have any success. Out of curiosity, what chipset is your wireless card?
  #7  
Old 24-Dec-2004, 12:27
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It's a D-Link DWL-G650 w/ Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01) (according to the supported cards list).
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Old 26-Dec-2004, 15:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith
If you can Cody, you should try to compile the ndiswrapper from scratch so that you get the utility. Do you have a soft link from your kernel source location to /usr/src/linux? If not try to set a soft link, as I believe that is the default location in which apps look for your kernel sources.
Code:
ln -s /usr/src/linux-2.6.4-52 /usr/src/linux

If you recompile you should get the neat little ndiswrapper utility program which should really make everything else a lot easier. Let me know if you have any success. Out of curiosity, what chipset is your wireless card?
I made the soft link but it doesn't appear to do anything. When I run make I get the following:
Code:
Entering directory '/home/cody/ndiswrapper-0.12/driver' Can't find kernel sources in /lib/modules/2.6.5-7.111.19-default/build; give the path to the kernel sources with KSRC=<path> argument to make
I then tried "make KSRC=</usr/src/linux>" and get
Code:
syntax error near unexpected token 'newline'
So what does the whole KSRC thing mean? And is there something else I should be doing to get this to work?

(On a side note, this is why Linux will never beat Windows. Many things work w/ linux on bootup, but the things that don't aren't easily fixed. Installing software is so much easier on Linux than Windows, but dealing w/ hardware is a nightmare.)
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  #9  
Old 26-Dec-2004, 22:35
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Well, I'm not sure how I did it, but I got it working. Thanks for all the info; I'm sure something you gave me made it work finally.
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Old 05-Jan-2005, 17:21
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Running Fedora Core 3 trying to install a Belkin wireless G card.

Ok, I got to the point after the ndiswrapper -i ...bcmw15.inf part. I got the command not found for the ndiswrapper utility like the above poster as well, and ended up having to use the full path to ndiswrapper. Any ideas where to put it or to make it?

Anyways now when I try to modprobe I get the same command not found. Does Fedora Core 3 not use it or something? Do I need to use the full path to it as well.

Any help getting those listed as commands would be a big help. Thanks
 


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