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Ubuntu Wireless Setup

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Wireless Setup for Ubuntu Hardy Heron

There have been a lot of changes in wireless and a great deal of work has gone into Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon to aid wireless connections.  This is even more true in Hardy Heron. This tutorial will help you with a few of the wireless issues with Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon and Hardy Heron. We will attempt to install 3 different network cards on a Lenovo T60p.

The wireless cards that are supposed to work right out of the box, have a few issues, like you will need to restart your network connections. Ndiswrapper requires some skills at the command line as well as a manual install. So, if you are new to Linux or are afraid of the command line, stick with the cards that work the easiest.

Here are several links to help you understand wireless in Linux.
Configure a Wireless Router
Wireless Basics

D-Link 650 Air Plus

This network card was chosen as it it listed as installable right out of the box. I mean, really isn't that what you are looking for is the easiest install. In addition, it uses the faster connection.

Step #1: Insert the Card
Open the Administration/Network option and check to see if your wireless card was detected. Click on the Wireless connection and then choose properties.

Adjust the Network name or ESSID for your network and select DHCP for the network settings if you want them automatically assigned.


Click OK and you should see the blue wireless tower indicating that your wireless networking is up and running. However, you may have to restart your network to get it to recognize the changes.

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

That should do it for sure.


Ubuntu 8.04 Training CD


If you make changes to the properties, save the changes and then you will see the card updating the interface changes. Again, if that does not work, restart the network.



Some cards work right out of the box, more or less. Other cards you will need to use ndiswrapper and the Windows drivers for the card. Here are the steps for ndiswrapper.


Step #1: Installation
Download the current ndiswrapper from Here is the file in the home directory.


Copy the file to the /usr directory where as root you can expand it.

sudo cp ndiswrapper* /usr

sudo cd /usr

sudo tar zxvf ndiswrapper*

cd ndiswrapper-1.49

# ls
AUTHORS driver loadndisdriver.8 ndiswrapper.8 README
ChangeLog INSTALL Makefile ndiswrapper.spec utils

sudo cd utils

This will move you into the utils directory.

sudo ./ndiswrapper -i /home/user/LSBCMNDS.inf
installing lsbcmnds ...

Now in this command note that the ndiswrapper command is preceded with a ./ and followed by the -i option to install a Windows driver. Put your the installation CD for the wireless card in the cdrom and look for drivers. You are looking for a .inf file like the one you see here. Copy these files into your home directory and then point the command that you see above to the .inf file.


sudo ./ndiswrapper -l
lsbcmnds : driver installed
device (14E4:4318) present (alternate driver: bcm43xx)

This will verify that the driver was installed. The next thing to do is to add ndiswrapper so it will load at startup with modprobe.

sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

sudo ./ndiswrapper -m
adding "alias wlan0 ndiswrapper" to /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper ...

That should do it for cards that can use Ndsiwrapper.


Manual Card Install: Cisco 350 Series

There is another group of cards that can be is installed manually.

Step #1: Verify Card Detection

As root it was first necessary to see exactly what the system was detecting.

sudo pccardctl ident

Socket 0:
product info: "Cisco Systems", "350 Series Wireless LAN Adapter", "", ""
manfid: 0x015f, 0x000a
function: 6 (network)

Step#2: Save Detected Information
Edit this file to add the configuration changes. Note that it is not a simple copy and paste, there are a few differences like the bind statement so look closely.

vi /etc/pcmcia/config.opts

Card ""Cisco Systems", "350 Series Wireless LAN Adapter", "", ""
manfid: 0x015f, 0x000a
function: 6 (network)
bind "ath_pci"

Step #3: Stop the Card
sudo kill -HUP `cat /var/run/`

Step #4: Check Configuration

Use this command to see if the changes are detected.

sudo lshw

description: Wireless interface
physical id: 2
logical name: eth1
serial: 00:0b:fd:63:b2:7d
capabilities: ethernet physical wireless
configuration: broadcast=yes ip= multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11-DS

It shows that it is now up and running.


Problems:Linksys Wireless-G with SpeedBooster

This sounded good...after all don't you want more speed. The card was detected by the system the lights indicated that it was trying to talk to the wireless network, but it failed to get on the network.

Click Here for a list of Wireless Cards
This should help in determining which card to purchase or how to install.

Step #1: Verify Card Detection

As root it was first necessary to see exactly what the system was detecting.

sudo pccardctl ident

Socket 0:
no product info available

If you see this output this is bad...this means the memory card cannot be read.

This means that it knows a wireless card is available but it does not even know what kind of wireless card. For this particular card I installed the drivers with ndiswrapper and went through every step but it still failed to work. The point- some cards are not work the continual effort, get one that is easy to install.







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