Wireless Networking

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Belkin 802.11b 11Mbps PCMCIA card F5D6020

This 802.11b pcmcia card (pc card) was detected by Knoppix 3.7 (maybe by prior versions too), but I could not get it to operate properly. Starting with Knoppix 3.8.1 it was detected and worked perfectly. ndiswrapper is not needed. My card is marked ver. 2101 on the box. If your card is not ver. 2101 it may or may not use a different chip set.


Here is a link to a D-link page that claims to tell you which D-link cards have "open source" drivers and which do not.


However, it is worth mentioning that in most or all of these cases the drivers are not really "open source", they are precompiled modules that the source code is not available for. And in some cases they are insanely bloated, the "driver" for my card is about 2 megs in size just for a driver! Note that not all of these cards are supported by Knoppix and it is extremely unlikely that even if the license permits it that a sepcific card driver will ever be included in Knoppix if it is several megs in size.

D-Link DWL-650

This is a very common and inexpensive 801.11b pcmcai card offered by D-link. Unfortunately, D-Link has actually released a number of different versions of this card that use completely different chipsets from different intigrated circuit manufacturers all under the same model number. The D-Link website can be used to identify which version you have, but the version number may not be marked on the outside of the box when you buy this card, so it may be a problem to find one that works under Knoppix.

There are reports that some versions of this card are detected and work under Knoppix. See this thread in the forums: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19759&highlight=dwl650 However, I have two DWL-650 cards and so far they have not been detected by Knoppix.

D-Link DWL-G650

This section detais how to get this card working with WPA-PSK enabled. All you need to do is follow three easy steps.

1. Configure wpa_supplicant by creating a configuration file. The configuration file should like something like this


The psk variable value is obtained by running the command:

  wpa_passphrase <ssid> <passphrase>

2. Next start wpa_supplicant by invoking the following command:

  wpa_supplicant -D madwifi -c wpa_supplicant.conf -i ath0 

By runnning this command you are able to authenticate with your wireless router.

3. After you have authenticated the final step is to obtain an IP address via DHCP. The command to use is:

  pump -i ath0

At this point you can type ifconfig to verify your IP address assignment.

Orinoco Gold

This was one of the first and best supported wireless 802.11b pcmcia cards under Linux. It is still one of the best cards for compatability, not just with Linux, but with several networking programs that work under Linux like NETstumbler and airsnort. Unfortunately, it tends to be very overpriced and can usually not be found at major retailers, but must be obtained mail order, if available at all.


Linksys WPC55AG

Here is a link to a forum discussion about this card: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12351


Netgear WG111

Configuring the WG111 to use WPA-PSK on a wireless network

This card works very well in Knoppix 3.9 using ndiswrapper, but is as of yet untested in other versions of Knoppix (to my knowledge).

  • Commands:

Assuming that the drivers are on the cd in /dev/cdrom, then

mount /dev/cdrom/ /mnt/cdrom/

Find ndiswrapper configuration under Knoppix->Network/Internet and select netwg111.inf from /mnt/cdrom. After that finishes, create the configuration file that you will need shortly using the following command:

wpa_passphrase MySSIDHere MyPassphraseHere > /home/knoppix/wpa_supplicant.conf 

Now, use your favorite text editor (if you don't have one, try Kate under the menu item Editors) and edit the /home/knoppix/wpa_supplicant.conf you just created (see sample below).

With that completed, run the following command. Warning: As it is, the command will monopolize your current command window with potentially useful debugging output, including your encryption key; add -B if you would rather run it in the background (useful when you know it works already), remove -K to hide your key.

sudo wpa_supplicant -ddKt -i wlan0 -c /home/knoppix/wpa_supplicant.conf -Dndiswrapper

The following grabs an IP address if you use DHCP from your router.

sudo pump -i wlan0

And finally, tell Knoppix where to go to find the internet.

sudo route add default gw <Gateway/Router IP address here> 
  • wpa_supplicant.conf

Note: the bold lines were added in the editing steps for my Linksys WRT54G Router to accept the card. See the Useful Links at the end for a full explanation of all options that can be put in here.

psk=hex representation of the passphrase
  • Useful Links:

Wireless card success story (where I located the pump command)

Example wpa_supplicant.conf with full explanations and various configurations


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