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Installing a Wireless Driver with NDISwrapper

6 February 2011 No Comment
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Installing a Wireless Driver with NDISwrapperOne of the many benefits of using a laptop is that you can take it anywhere with you and connect to the Internet. As long as you have a wireless network adapter on your laptop and a broadband connection, you can surf the Internet. However, this might be a little bit challenging to set up. Depending on your Linux distribution, it may or may not work automatically the first time you have Linux loaded on your laptop.

If you are not able to find a Linux driver for your wireless network adapter, then you can use NDISwrapper. NDISwrapper uses the Windows kernel API and NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) API within the Linux kernel. As such, the same Windows driver can work on Linux x86 to interface with the PCI, PCMCIA or USB wireless network cards.

To get the driver to work in Linux, download the NDISwrapper source. The latest version is 1.51.

You should also download the Windows driver for your wireless network adapter. Most likely, it should come with the adapter or you can download it from the company website.

1. Copy the NDISwrapper source to your Linux machine and uncompress it.

tar zxvf ndiswrapper-version.tar.gz

where ndiswrapper-version can be something like ndiswrapper-1.51.tar.gz

2. Change to that directory and run

sudo make uninstall
sudo make
sudo make install

3. Copy the Windows driver and uncompress it on your Linux machine.

4. Locate the .inf and .sys files and run

sudo ndiswrapper -i driver.inf

where driver is the name of driver such as rt73.inf.

5. Verify the Windows driver is installed correctly by running

sudo ndiswrapper -l

6. Load the NDISwrapper module by running

sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

7. Write the configuration of modprobe by running

sudo ndiswrapper -m
sudo ndiswrapper -ma

8. Restart your Linux machine. You should have Internet connection if everything works correctly.

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