Wireless Networking

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General Information On Wireless Card Setup Under Knoppix

This is a stub for this section, to be added shortly NdisWrapper: This seems to be a way many people are useing windows drivers to run their wireless equipment. This is done to allow Linux to talk through a wrapper that emulates windows calls to the windows driver. It asks for the driver X.inf and maby X.sys Then 2 other things ...id and wep key.

If instructions of what to enter into these fileds and where to find it and what version of knoppix the GUI interface being used is found and maby a genaric BA shell interface for doing this.

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Short and sweet (but incomplete)

ndiswrapper -l (lists all the present drivers)

ndiswrapper -e (do for each driver)

modprobe -r ndiswrapper (unload old module)

nsidwrapper -i mywindowswirelessdriver.inf

ndiswrapper -l (my.. is there only one there? :)

modprobe ndiswrapper

dmesg | grep ndis

iwconfig (Gottcha!!! wlan0)

ifconfig wlan0 etcetc

iwconfig wlan0 etcetc

dhclient wlan0

ping google.com

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My two bits of information added here could be edited for readability but I definitely believe it will help people (it helped me!)...

Here's one example of how to use ndiswrapper (http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net[1]) READ the Install directions (at least twice) until all the commands and the REASON you're typing these things in makes sense because you may have to modify it for your particular situation (as I had to do) AND read Troubleshooting if you have troubles.

Note: My wireless usb hardware was listed under List of cards known to work, this may make redundant the section below.

Copy the whole folder (you definitely need the .inf and the .sys file but maybe .cat or .dll helps too) with the windows drivers (e.g. DRIVERS containing DELLNIC.inf and PRISMA02.sys)

UHHH... check that, you actually first need the drivers for the Motherboard USB Controller (ah Knoppix how could you let me down? :) in this case: Silicon Integrated Systems Winxp/2k drivers for usb 2.0

Go into root shell (not just terminal console)

Type 'lspci' at the prompt to see a listing of USB bridges (the way usb devices get to the motherboard). Look for your USB controller (e.g. 00:03.0 USB Controller: Silicon Integrated Systems [SiS] uSB 1.0 Controller (rev 0f) etc.

type: ndiswrapper -i filename.inf

Hint you might have to type

ndiswrapper -i /home/knoppix/tmp/DRIVER/DELLNIC.inf

or first I learned I had to install

ndiswrapper -i /home/knoppix/tmp/SiS/SISUSB2X.INF


ndiswrapper -i /home/knoppix/tmp/SiS/USB2X.INF

I then tested it:

ndiswrapper -l

which showed me 'driver invalid' (But the USB was finally ok) so I had to remove the old one (which also included browsing with root privileges to /etc/ndiswrapper and deleting the dellnic folder)

ndiswrapper -r /home/knoppix/tmp/DRIVER/DELLNIC.inf

then again type (actually for insurance I rename DELLNIC.INF to dellnic.inf):

ndiswrapper -i /home/knoppix/tmp/DRIVER/dellnic.inf

then finally:

ndiswrapper -l

showed me dellnic: driver installed device (413C:8104) present

I tested it and

modprobe ndiswrapper

came up without any response (before it gave me some crappy error) but futher investigation

dmesg | grep ndis

gives me ndiswrapper version 1.32 loaded... ndiswrapper: driver dellnic (...) loaded usbcore: registered new interface driver ndiswrapper

Now that we've installed the hardware we've got to get the software working...


shows me wlan0 is already setup! Notice the interface name is wlan0, so you should issue the following command to associate to your

nearest (unprotected, unencrypted) access point:

dhclient wlan0

BUT in my case I need to start WPA Supplicant (necessary to use WirelessEncryptionProtocol)? At least Knoppix button -> KNOPPIX menu -> Network/Internet -> Wireless LAN Kwlan does a lot of the work but is incomplete - it doesn't have a quick gui to configure the WEP and everything so...


shows me how my wireless is working (IEEE, ESSID, Mode, Freq, AccessPoint, etc.) but it doesn't configure anything by itself... instead:


starts a set of gui prompts which will configure my wireless: ESSID (network name/id) type in name NWID (cell identifier?) left blank Mode left blank (defaults to Managed) channel number left blank (defaults to auto) frequency left blank encryption key . . . . . .

additional paramaters? iwspy iwpriv

Which is close - but now I need an IP (since my AccessPoint does DHCP),

pump -i wlan0

gives me an ip address! All finished.

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The below sections are specific information on specific make and models of Wireless Networking Adapters and information we currently have on if they are supported in Knoppix or not. Please add your results with your card to the list, and please try to keep the list in alphabetical order. Please do not post questions about wireless adapters here, those should be submitted in the Networking Forum.


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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