Wireless Network Interface - Dell Wireless 1450 Dual Band
The optional Dell Wireless 1450 Dual Band 802.11h mini-PCI card is not natively supported in Linux.
The manufacturer, Broadcom, do not provide any info that they will make a linux driver.
However, the Windows drivers can be used using ndiswrapper, there are Debian packages for it.
ndiswrapper is actually very easy.
You need the windows drivers for your device, the .inf and .sys
(If you already have an internet connection with your linux system you can open synaptic, make sure you have the universe repository enabled, then search for ndisgtk. After installing open a terminal and type "sudo ndisgtk". Then you can use ndisgtk to browse to wherever you saved the .inf file and install.)
The stuff you need: ndiswrapper, ndiswrapper-source, wireless-tools.
Wireless support should be enabled in the kernel and you need to have the kernel source installed.
I initially had the 2.6.5 kernel. After installing the ndiswrapper-source (appearing in /usr/src/) you unpack it and change into modules/ndiswrapper.
I had to change the beginning of the Makefile to cat ./version instead of cat ../version.
Then run as root: make install. This installs the ndiswrapper as a kernel module and also driver loader.
The initial ndiswrapper version was 0.7.
I downloaded the WLAN driver from Dell (R76517rw.EXE). After unpacking it, there is a r76517 directory.
I installed the Windows 98 version - r76517/ar/bcmwl5a.inf. (This was trial and error)
ndiswrapper -i /winuser/r76517/ar/bcmwl5a.inf modprobe ndiswrapper dmesg //to show if it went OK.
When you're sure your .inf is working, add ndiswrapper to /etc/modules.
On my Dell Inspiron 9100, the Optional Wireless card 1450 has the following PCI ID: lspci: 0000:02:03.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation: Unknown device 4324 (rev 03) lspci -n: 0000:02:03.0 Class 0280: 14e4:4324 (rev 03) I guess it should be labeled: Dell Wireless 1450 Dual Band 802.11h mini-PCI network card, manufactured by Broadcom Corporation.
(I added a mapping in /etc/network/interfaces such that I can have a prioritized list of ESSIDs to select from, which makes it work both at work and at home).
Using ndiswrapper 1.3rc1 and DELLNIC.inf (from the 1450 drivers and utilities disk) I got as far as seeing "wlan0" but don't know how to make Redhat's Network Device Control (a.k.a. /usr/bin/system-control-network) to recognize the device as a networking device: If I try to add wlan0, Network Device Control asks me to choose a driver, but none ofthem are the dellnic driver that I installed under ndiswrapper.
the installation sequence was: $ ndiswrapper -i DELLNIC.inf $ ndiswrapper -l $ modprobe ndiswrapper $ dmesg $ iwlist wlan0 scan $ iwconfig wlan0 essid MYESSID (the essid returned by scan) $ iwconfig wlan0 mode Managed (scan showed Managed mode) $ ifconfig wlan0 up
$ ifconfig wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:90:4B:CD:E2:8D inet6 addr: fe80::290:4bff:fecd:e28d/64 Scope:Link UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1 RX packets:384 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:23 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 RX bytes:52335 (51.1 KiB) TX bytes:1750 (1.7 KiB)
Doesn't show a inet addr:, Bcast:, or mask: the way that I would expect it to if actually connected to the local wireless network.
$iwconfig shows an Access point address, so the connection is there,
As mentioned above: Network Device Control wants to assign a driver from a list that doesn't include the right driver...