Configuration Hell

2005-12-18T00:18:00

The last few days were spent trying to get a small wireless LAN up and running under Linux. I purchased a Netgear WG311 under the assumption that it used the `Atheros' chipset which was well supported; but guess what, the WG311 Version 2 uses a TI chip called the ACX111 support for which is still experimental. My Ubuntu system detected the chip during installation; but I was not able to get it up and running. What saved the day was the very detailed description presented here: Craig's ACX100/111 guide for Linux It was not all easy going - first, Ubuntu doesn't install the kernel headers by default, so you have to do an apt-get (OK, that's easy!): Compiling a module under Ubuntu Now, you have to compile the modules obtained from the link in Craig's document - Ubuntu comes with GCC 4.0, while the kernel seems to be compiled with gcc 3.4, so its again time for apt-getting gcc-3.4; somehow or other, everything worked in the end! I have not yet tested the link for speed and stability - I hope it's OK. I have a no-name wireless card (by DAX, uses the `Marvell' chipset) - I was able to get this working well with ndiswrapper 1.2 and kernel 2.6.5. So tried it on another machine with kernel 2.6.7 and ndiswrapper 1.7; the ndiswrapper module got compiled OK, but there was an undefined symbol usb_kill_urb - seems the kernel guys have changed usb_unlink_urb to usb_kill_urb in later versions - 2.6.7 still has usb_unlink_urb. A simple #define solved the problem - but the driver segfaulted on loading. It seems my card works well only with 2.6.5 and ndis 1.2. So had to compile a 2.6.5 kernel again. Everything works now - but the transfer speed is low (190 kilo bytes per second); good enough for me. But why is another machine with the same card/kernel/ndis version giving a speed of 1.3M bytes/second? I am a long time Red Hat user - tried Ubuntu once but didn't find it interesting. Tried it again the last few days and am beginning to like it ;-) Why don't these stupid card manufacturers give out the specs? It's 12:45 (night) - should get some sleep instead of writing Blog entries ...

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