Outdated documentation

This page is out of date. Please use the main navigation to find the latest documentation.

This page describes the way to make your wireless network card work. You will only find information on free as in freedom drivers. The Free Software Foundation maintains a page listing wireless network cards supported by free drivers.

Introduction

If your card is in the list of wireless network cards supported by free drivers, you should be able to make your wireless connection work with gNewSense. The procedure to make your wireless connection work depends on the driver your card works with.

Drivers

To know the driver you need to install, you have to know the hardware you have. To do this, open a terminal and type:

 lspci -v | grep -i wireless

or if it is an USB-device (case for Lemote Yeeloong):

 lsusb | grep -i wireless

Does this command work with PCMCIA devices? This will display something like:

 02:0b.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR5416 802.11abgn Wireless PCI Adapter (rev 01)

Hence, you know your chipset is Atheros AR5416. If you look at the FSF page on wireless cards, you then know the driver you have to use is ath9k.

Here is a list of free drivers. Just follow driver installation procedure to make your wireless card recognized by your system.

Known chipset/driver associations:

More information can be found on http://linux-wless.passys.nl/query_chipset.php?chipset=Atheros&zoek=chipset.

ath5k

As of gNewSense deltah 2.3, linux kernel version (2.6.24.*) doesn't include ath5k. You have to install a newer version of linux kernel, at least version 2.6.25. You can find more recent versions of linux-libre kernel, precompiled for gNewSense on Ali Gunduz' website. Download it from a terminal:

 wget http://www.aligunduz.org/gNewSense/freedomshoppe/linux-image-2.6.30.7-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb

Install the package you just downloaded (as root):

 sudo dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.30.7-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb

Once done, your GRUB's menu.lst file should have been updated to boot from this new kernel. Reboot your computer.

ath9k

As of gNewSense deltah 2.2, linux kernel version (2.6.24.*) doesn't include ath9k. So if you bought a wireless card supported by this driver, you have to install a newer version of linux kernel, at least version 2.6.27. You can find more recent versions of linux-libre kernel, precompiled for gNewSense on Ali Gunduz' website. Download it from a terminal:

 wget http://www.aligunduz.org/gNewSense/freedomshoppe/linux-image-2.6.30.7-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb
 wget http://www.aligunduz.org/gNewSense/freedomshoppe/linux-headers-2.6.30.7-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb

Install the two packages you just downloaded (as root):

 sudo dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.30.7-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb
 sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.30.7-libre-fshoppe1_i386.deb

Once done, your GRUB's menu.lst file should have been updated to boot from this new kernel. Reboot your computer.

b43

This driver was until recently not able to operate using only Free Software. But now you can use the free firmware OpenFWWF. We recommended that you use a release of Linux newer than 2.6.28 for this driver firmware combination.

To install this firmware, you need to download the latest version of the firmware source code:

 wget http://www.ing.unibs.it/openfwwf/firmware/openfwwf-5.2.tar.gz

And also a snapshot of b43-tools from:

 http://bu3sch.de/gitweb?p=b43-tools.git;a=summary

The reason for this is that for compiling the assembly code of openfwwf, you will need an assembler and that is exactly what is in this package. There are some other tools that you won't need at all "for this"(?) in that package.

When you have both files, untar the b43-tools first:

  tar -zxvf b43-tools.git-*.tar.gz

and then build it:

  cd b43-tools.git/assembler
  make

You should now be able to find two files in that folder called b43-asm and b43-asm.bin, we will need them soon.

Now unpack the firmware source:

  tar -zxvf openfwwf-5.2.tar.gz

and copy b43-asm and b43-asm.bin to the newly created folder:

  cp b43-tools.git/assembler/b43-asm* openfwwf-5.2/

You will now have to edit the Makefile for openfwwf (openfwwf-5.2/Makefile):

  BCMASM = b43-asm

must be replaced by:

  BCMASM = ./b43-asm

Then build the firmware:

  make

and install it:

  sudo make install

in /etc/modprobe.d/arch/i386 add the following:

  options b43 qos=0 nohwcrypt=1

You should now be able to use your broadcom wireless card. Check with ifconfig -a if you can see it. You might have to unload and load the module again (or restart your computer).

rtl8187b

As of gNewSense metad, rtl8187b driver is provided with linux-libre (at least with 2.6.32.9 lemote version). By default, wlan0 interface is not activated, issuing sudo iwlist wlan0 scan then gives the following error message:

 wlan0     Failed to read scan data : Operation not permitted

To activate wlan0 interface, open a terminal and run:

 sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Test

Once your driver has been installed, you should check if your hardware is working.

Sometimes, you need to activate your wireless interface. In case the wireless interface is wlan0, you have to type in the terminal:

 ifconfig wlan0 up

or

 sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Then, in the terminal:

 ifconfig

or

 sudo ifconfig

Something like wlan0 should appear. That shows your card is recognized and activated.

Connect

You now need to connect to your network. To know which networks are available from your wireless card, just click on the double screen icon on the top right of your screen. If you prefer the command-line, open a terminal and type:

 iwlist wlan0 scan | less

Choose the network you want to connect to, a new window will appear asking for your passphrase if your network is encrypted. Clicking on the Connect button should result in a "rotating" icon on the top right of your screen, and finally an icon showing the intensity of the wireless signal lets you know you're connected. In the terminal:

 iwconfig

or

 sudo iwconfig

will show you if your wireless card is connected to a network.

Final tweak

If you want the network manager to directly connect to your wireless network, without even trying to connect to wired connection, left click on the network-manager icon on the top right and select Manual configuration.... Click on the Unlock button, type your root password, and select Wired connection, then click on Properties button. Unselect Enable roaming mode and chose dhcp. Confirm and unselect Wired connection, save configuration where you want and close.

See also


CategoryOutdated

Documentation/Wireless (last edited 2013-09-05 18:58:58 by samgee2)