Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Slackware and wireless networking

This is something I've been afraid of for a long time. The thought of setting up wireless in Slackware used to make me shudder. Well, on Black Friday I decided to peruse the internet for a cheap PCMCIA wireless network card that "Works in Linux" and I found one on for just under 9 bucks. Yes, you read that right. Nine bucks. I also picked up a Belken wireless G universal range extender and my card is a D-Link G650 card.

I had troubles at first. I tried the madwifi drivers and for some reason I could not get it to work.
Madwifi wanted ath0 as the net name, and would for some reason add wifi0 which is a virtual device to my ifconfig list. That didn't work at all. The software compiled fine, installed ok, loaded up the drivers like it was supposed to, but for some reason, must have been something I was putting in the config files in /etc/rc.d that made it not work right.

So I popped in the CD with the net drivers and copied over the net5211.inf and the two .sys files from /Drivers on the CD. I ran ndiswrapper:
ndisrapper -i net5211.inf
ndiswrapper -l
ndiswrapper -ma
ndiswrapper -mi
and did an insmod ndiswrapper to load the module.
The tricky part was figuring out the config files in /etc/rc.d/
I finally figured out, after hours of screwing with it, that these lines:

## Pick up any Access Point, should work on most 802.11 cards
## ---------- END SECTION TO REMOVE ------------

Need to remain uncommented just like above in rc.wireless.conf

I added wlan0 into rc.inet1.conf and it worked! Now my network is a little strange. I have everything wired, running into my DSL modem except for my Mom's laptop in her house (same property, seperate houses). She has a net cable running into a wireless hub, and my repeater just connected to the hub at her place with no troubles at all. I'm typing this on my laptop using wireless! I can now take my laptop anywhere in the house or yard and use my computer.

Viva Slackware!!!!

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