A couple of weeks ago I acquired a new USB WLAN stick for use in my laptop and/or media center PC. Since it was cheap and I couldn't find any negative comments about its Linux compatibility (I just browsed the first couple of google pages -- mistake), I decided to go for Netgear's WG111v2 stick. As I found out here, the stick comes in different flavors, either with a Prism chip, or a Realtek 8187 chip. Luckily, mine had the Realtek chip in it (0846:6a00), so basically everything should work under Linux.
Driver setup went smoothly on my W2K partition, but I had real trouble after booting Linux. First I tried it with Fedora Core 6 which has been a brand new release back then, but couldn't get it to run. Then, after I had installed Ubuntu 6.10 on my trusty ASUS L3500 laptop, I went through it all again, but to no avail.
Just yesterday, I got it to work at last (right after deciding that I sell it on eBay finally -- sweet irony). This blog entry got me on the right track. So, because I searched about every forum on the topic in the past weeks and I found that a lot of people had (or still have) the same problem, here's what I did:
First of all, I need to mention that my attempts followed quite an erratic route, but I hope I can sum it all up correctly. Not each and every step might be necessary, but I guess they won't do any harm either.
- ndiswrapper: I installed each and every ndiswrapper package that Synaptic offered me, i.e. two different versions of ndiswrapper, ndiswrapper-utils, and ndisgtk which is a graphical interface for ndiswrapper. Installation guides: de, en.
- wpa_supplicant: installed also via Synaptic. Installation guide: de
- network-manager: Might not be necessary, but most helpful nevertheless.
- Win98 driver from Netgear CD: This is the most important step! No luck with XP/2K/ME versions. I've never tried the Win98 driver until yesterday ...! Add it via ndisgtk, or enter [geshi]sudo ndiswrapper -i /path/to/w98/driver.inf[/geshi]
- now, ndiswrapper -l should tell you that the driver and the hardware are present
- sudo dempod -a; sudo modprobe ndiswrapper --> At once, the Gnome network manager recognizes the stick and starts connecting to my router. Woohoo!
- load ndiswrapper at startup: sudo cp /etc/modules /etc/modules.bak; echo ndiswrapper | sudo tee -a /etc/modules
That's about all it takes. I fiddled around with a lot of files, /etc/network/interfaces, /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf, and so on, but now I'm quite sure that this is not needed. There is also a Linux driver from Realtek that I tried out on my Fedora box, but I had no luck with it.