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127 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 6125 29-Dec-2005 06:08
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Hi,

running FC2 and FC3 at the moment on different PCs.

In general they seem fine but they are a pain in the but when you want to go wireless.

The most common method of using e.g. a wireless USB adapter such an this Belkin F5D7050 I have connected to my portable (Win2k) at the moment is to use the windows drivers via an intermediate piece of software.

All well and good - but you seem to have to edit everything by hand.

Given that under Windows you can just elect to install or update a driver, then go to a disc and select the driver you want, it shouldn't be that hard for a dedicated software type to automate the selection and configuration of Windows device drivers for Linux.

Until that happens the average non-technical user is going to be driven to use Windows because the 'plug and play' and addition of device drivers is so much simpler.

Or have I missed something?

Cheers
Dave R

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Reply # 25434 29-Dec-2005 08:32
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The problem is lack of native Linux drivers for wireless cards. I have found that quite a few devices such as printers or Memory sticks are installed simply by clicking yes on the 'New hardware found, install?' dialog (OpenSuSE).

You haven't missed anything persay - On most of the wireless cards I have used, I have had to use NDISwrapper but have had the luxury of having the program as a distro installable option. Just drop the drivers, install, load ndiswrapper, run wireless config and add it to boot (SuSE makes it quite easy by using Graphical YaST on SuSE for the last bits).




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127 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 25442 29-Dec-2005 09:38
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Yeah.

Not totally stone age, but wouldn't it be nice if you could select the device (which does show up in Hardware Browser) and elect to load a driver for it.
You could then select to load a Windows driver with NDISwrapper.
Select to load the driver from CD (comes with the product).
Bob is getting quite close to being your Uncle.

Presumably at this point it is identifiable as a wireless network device and you can then do the specific wireless network configuration; SSID, encryption etc.

Given that the lack of native Linux drivers is a big problem, automating the installation of Windows drivers in conjunction with NDISwrapper would make life a whole lot easier.

Cheers
Dave R

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Reply # 25443 29-Dec-2005 09:46
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Its getting better though. I expect better support in the future as it matures.

Older versions of Windows (heck even pre SP2) were quite ugly with wireless. I always had problems with the drivers program.




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42 posts

Geek


  Reply # 25453 29-Dec-2005 10:47
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Whats really interesting is that XP (even with SP2) doesn't actuall natively support 802.11 Wireless networks - theres an inserted module in NDIS that converts frames from 802.3 to 802.11 to present it to the WiFi NIC, and convert it back again when it comes from the NIC!!

I looked into the lower level driver architecture of both Windows and Linux just over a year ago, and the problem won't be fixed by MS until the next version of NDIS which is due out with Vista. (not sure about Server2003 though). If you do actually use a WiFi card that has natvie drivers, you can do some really cool stuff, as there's lots of hidden features in the 802.11 standard that are implemented in hardware, but need native OS support to play with them.

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