Saturday, December 8, 2007

DLink Wireless card on Linux

I just bought a wireless PCI card and installed it on my desktop.

It is a "DLink DWL-G510 Revision C " card. "lspci -v" shows
00:06.0 Network controller: RaLink RT2561/RT61 rev B 802.11g
Subsystem: D-Link System Inc DWL-G510 Rev C
Flags: bus master, slow devsel, latency 32, IRQ 21
Memory at db000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=32K]
Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 2

A little search showed me that there are no native Linux drivers for this card, however, installing and using this card is very easy with the help of ndiswrapper.

Installation procedure.
  1. I popped in the Windows driver CD and went to the Drivers directory (/media/hdd/Drivers/Drivers/Win2KXP).
  2. Installed the driver using "ndiswrapper -i NetRt61G.INF"
  3. Confirmed the installation using [root@localhost ~]# ndiswrapper -l
    netrt61g : driver installed
    device (1814:0302) present (alternate driver: rt61pci)
  4. Added ndiswrapper to /etc/modules, to auto start at boot.
  5. Refresh the network configuration using "dhclient" and get a IPAddress using DHCP.

I dual boot between OpenSUSE 10.3 and Granular Linux ( a remaster of PCLinuxOS ).
Below I have summarized my experiences with both.

  1. OpenSUSE.
    1. ndiswrapper is installed by default.
    2. OpenSUSE hardware wizzard detected that a new device is found and gave the option to configure it.
    3. Due to some reasons "dhclient" is not able to find a wireless lan (send packet failed).
    4. Cannot establish connection with wireless router.
  2. Granular.
    1. ndiswrapper is installed by default.
    2. ndiswrapper is not loaded at boot, despite it being in /etc/modules.
    3. A manual "modprobe ndiswrapper" followed by "dhclient" results in good connection.
    4. I have tried it for continuous 7 hours ( was running Synaptic updates) and there was no disconnection.
End result:
Despite similar procedures on the same hardware, OpenSUSE fails to connect to my router; whereas Granular Linux connects flawlessly ( though some manual intervention is require). Posting from Granular Linux using the wireless connection.




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