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## Auto-converted by kwiki2moinmoin v2005-10-07
["WiFi"]
#language en
''This page describes how to install [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/ NDISwrapper] on Debian systems.''
[[TableOfContents(3)]]
= NDISwrapper =
Some vendors do not release specifications of the hardware, and don't provide a Linux driver for their wireless network cards. The [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/ NDISwrapper] project provides a Linux kernel module that loads and runs Windows kernel API and NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) API drivers supplied by the vendors within the Linux kernel. A Windows driver for wireless network card is then linked to this implementation so that the driver runs natively, as though it is in Windows, without binary emulation.

NDISwrapper uses the Windows *.inf driver files that came with your hardware to operate your wireless card on Linux. Most likely you will need to uncompress a *.cab file which contains your drivers.

== Module Installation ==
To install the NDISwrapper module for use with the Debian stock kernel, enter the following commands (as root):
## Note: m-a will download 'ndiswrapper-source' and install the relevant 'ndiswrapper-utils-*' package (during apt's installation of 'ndiswrapper-modules-*', to fulfil package dependencies). You don't need to explicitly install these packages prior to invoking m-a a-i!
 . {{{
# aptitude install module-assistant wireless-tools
# m-a prepare && m-a update
# m-a a-i ndiswrapper
# modprobe ndiswrapper
# echo ndiswrapper >> /etc/modules
}}}
## need to determine exact README locations on Etch and Lenny systems
## You find more instruction in /usr/share/doc/ndiswrapper*/README*
NDISwrapper is now inserted into the Linux kernel. It will again be inserted during system startup.
== NDIS Drivers ==
You need to have the appropriate Windows driver for your card. The first place you should check is the [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/index.php?/component/option,com_openwiki/Itemid,33/id,list/ NDISwrapper compatiblity list]. It lists many models of wireless cards that are usable with NDISwrapper and the driver that works best.

If you can't find it there, the [http://www.linuxant.com/driverloader/drivers.php Linuxant Windows Driver] page has many drivers that work with NDISwrapper. It also has drivers for some 64 bit cards that don't offer native 64 bit drivers on the manufacturer's web page.

The final place you should go is your CD or the manufacturer's web page. These often work, but sometimes they're broken or don't offer you full functionality. It's best to go with the ones listed on the NDISwrapper web page.

=== Installation ===
The drivers you find may be packaged as ZIP, or an executable file. Some of the EXE files are just ["zip"] files, so you can run ["unzip"] and obtain driver files. Some EXE files are CAB files, so run DebPkg:cabextract and/or unshield on CAB file, typically named data2.cab

Assuming you have downloaded the Windows driver in ~/Desktop/Downloads/V11.1.1.0_XP_DRIVERS.ZIP :

 . {{{
$mkdir /usr/local/i4965/
$cd /usr/local/i4965/
$unzip -q ~/Desktop/Downloads/V11.1.1.0_XP_DRIVERS.ZIP
$ndiswrapper -i /usr/local/i4965/NETw4x32.INF
}}}
Alternatively, you might refer directly to any Windows-owned folder. If the way to this folder (the pathname) contains white spaces, e.g. "Program Files", it is recommended first to move with ["cd"] to the folder containing the required ''*.inf'' file:

 . {{{
cd '/windows/where the inf file is'
ndiswrapper -i this_and_that.inf
}}}
Let's make sure it's configured :

 . {{{
$ndiswrapper -l
installed drivers:
netw4x32 driver installed, hardware (8086:4233) present
}}}

This should be it.

You can alternatively use DebPkg:ndisgtk to install drivers to the system.

=== Uninstallation ===
To uninstall a driver, you need to type:

 . {{{
ndiswrapper -e <then the name of the driver to uninstall>
}}}
An additional check can be to look at

 . {{{
/etc/ndiswrapper
}}}
if a directory named as the installed driver is there available.

You can alternatively use DebPkg:ndisgtk to uninstall drivers from the system.

== Interface Configuration ==
See [:WiFi/HowToUse:How To use Wifi network adapter].

=== Configure on insert / hotplug ===
According to a DebianEtch entry on the ndiswrapper wiki, an 'allow-hotplug wlan0' entry in /etc/network/interfaces is about all it takes to get the card to be automatically configured and brought up when inserted (beyond the required steps to configure the card for manually bringing the interface up.)

http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/InstallDebianEtch

On Sarge this does not appear to be the case. Adding that line does not make hotplug 'just work'. This is most likely due to the lack of an entry for NDISwrapper in /lib/modules/<kernel version>/modules.pcimap. According to the hotplug overview when new hardware is detected the MODULE_DEVICE_TABLE map is consulted to determine which module is responsible for the device. Without that entry or some other help hotplug will not 'just work' for the device.

The easiest workaround is to require the NDISwrapper module at boot so that it is always loaded and ready to claim the hardware. Just add it to the list in /etc/modules.

The most difficult workaround (for many) may be to edit the NDISwrapper source and recompile so that it will make MODULE_DEVICE_TABLE entries for your hardware.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?t=360483 http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=6713442

An inbetween workaround may be to modifiy /etc/hotplug/pci.agent to parse an /etc/hotplug/pci.handmap and have it include the hardware details necessary to load ndiswrapper when your card is inserted, like you can do with usb.handmap. This step and the re-coding are probably best left to the developers which leaves us with /etc/modules.

There seems to be a couple different ways documented to enable hotplugging on interfaces (once hotplugging is working for ndiswrapper). Mentioned in the DebianEtch page on the NDISwrapper wiki is the line allow-hotplug wlan0. The man page for the interfaces file confirms that this is the intended way to enable hotplug. In /etc/hotplug/net.agent, you are directed to include mapping hotplug stanzas in /etc/network/interfaces.

On a Debian 3.1 / Dell Inspiron 1200 system the allow-hotplug entry did not seem to be necessary. The map stanza seemed to be enough, once NDISwrapper was already loaded. YMMV.

== Cabinet Archives ==
You can try unpacking *.cab files with any of the following:

 * DebPkg:cabextract - a program to extract Microsoft Cabinet files
 * DebPkg:unshield - extracts CAB files from InstallShield installers (If it doesn't succeed, you might want to try using i5comp or i6comp under Windows. search it in google)
== See Also ==
 * NDISwrapper
  * [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/ Homepage]
  * [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/index.php?/component/option,com_openwiki/Itemid,33/ Wiki]
  * [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/index.php?/component/option,com_openwiki/Itemid,33/id,list/ ndiswrapper compatiblity list]
 * WiFi
Line 4: Line 107:
Some vendors do not release specifications of the hardware or provide a linux driver for their wireless network cards. This project provides a linux kernel module that loads and runs Ndis (Windows network driver API) drivers supplied by the vendors.


See :

 * http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/
 * http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/phpwiki/index.php/ Wiki
 * [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/phpwiki/index.php/List?PHPSESSID=b28b87ff0aec7df96a15472b24b07901 Before you buy: card list].
 . CategoryHardware

This page describes how to install [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/ NDISwrapper] on Debian systems. ?TableOfContents(3)

NDISwrapper

Some vendors do not release specifications of the hardware, and don't provide a Linux driver for their wireless network cards. The [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/ NDISwrapper] project provides a Linux kernel module that loads and runs Windows kernel API and NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) API drivers supplied by the vendors within the Linux kernel. A Windows driver for wireless network card is then linked to this implementation so that the driver runs natively, as though it is in Windows, without binary emulation.

NDISwrapper uses the Windows *.inf driver files that came with your hardware to operate your wireless card on Linux. Most likely you will need to uncompress a *.cab file which contains your drivers.

Module Installation

To install the NDISwrapper module for use with the Debian stock kernel, enter the following commands (as root):

  • # aptitude install module-assistant wireless-tools
    # m-a prepare && m-a update
    # m-a a-i ndiswrapper
    # modprobe ndiswrapper
    # echo ndiswrapper >> /etc/modules

NDISwrapper is now inserted into the Linux kernel. It will again be inserted during system startup.

NDIS Drivers

You need to have the appropriate Windows driver for your card. The first place you should check is the [http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/joomla/index.php?/component/option,com_openwiki/Itemid,33/id,list/ NDISwrapper compatiblity list]. It lists many models of wireless cards that are usable with NDISwrapper and the driver that works best.

If you can't find it there, the [http://www.linuxant.com/driverloader/drivers.php Linuxant Windows Driver] page has many drivers that work with NDISwrapper. It also has drivers for some 64 bit cards that don't offer native 64 bit drivers on the manufacturer's web page.

The final place you should go is your CD or the manufacturer's web page. These often work, but sometimes they're broken or don't offer you full functionality. It's best to go with the ones listed on the NDISwrapper web page.

Installation

The drivers you find may be packaged as ZIP, or an executable file. Some of the EXE files are just ["zip"] files, so you can run ["unzip"] and obtain driver files. Some EXE files are CAB files, so run cabextract and/or unshield on CAB file, typically named data2.cab

Assuming you have downloaded the Windows driver in ~/Desktop/Downloads/V11.1.1.0_XP_DRIVERS.ZIP :

  • $mkdir /usr/local/i4965/
    $cd /usr/local/i4965/
    $unzip -q ~/Desktop/Downloads/V11.1.1.0_XP_DRIVERS.ZIP
    $ndiswrapper -i /usr/local/i4965/NETw4x32.INF

Alternatively, you might refer directly to any Windows-owned folder. If the way to this folder (the pathname) contains white spaces, e.g. "Program Files", it is recommended first to move with ["cd"] to the folder containing the required *.inf file:

  • cd '/windows/where the inf file is'
    ndiswrapper -i this_and_that.inf

Let's make sure it's configured :

  • $ndiswrapper -l
    installed drivers:
    netw4x32                driver installed, hardware (8086:4233) present

This should be it.

You can alternatively use ndisgtk to install drivers to the system.

Uninstallation

To uninstall a driver, you need to type:

  • ndiswrapper -e <then the name of the driver to uninstall>

An additional check can be to look at

  • /etc/ndiswrapper

if a directory named as the installed driver is there available.

You can alternatively use ndisgtk to uninstall drivers from the system.

Interface Configuration

See [:WiFi/HowToUse:How To use Wifi network adapter].

Configure on insert / hotplug

According to a DebianEtch entry on the ndiswrapper wiki, an 'allow-hotplug wlan0' entry in /etc/network/interfaces is about all it takes to get the card to be automatically configured and brought up when inserted (beyond the required steps to configure the card for manually bringing the interface up.)

http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/index.php/InstallDebianEtch

On Sarge this does not appear to be the case. Adding that line does not make hotplug 'just work'. This is most likely due to the lack of an entry for NDISwrapper in /lib/modules/<kernel version>/modules.pcimap. According to the hotplug overview when new hardware is detected the MODULE_DEVICE_TABLE map is consulted to determine which module is responsible for the device. Without that entry or some other help hotplug will not 'just work' for the device.

The easiest workaround is to require the NDISwrapper module at boot so that it is always loaded and ready to claim the hardware. Just add it to the list in /etc/modules.

The most difficult workaround (for many) may be to edit the NDISwrapper source and recompile so that it will make MODULE_DEVICE_TABLE entries for your hardware.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?t=360483 http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=6713442

An inbetween workaround may be to modifiy /etc/hotplug/pci.agent to parse an /etc/hotplug/pci.handmap and have it include the hardware details necessary to load ndiswrapper when your card is inserted, like you can do with usb.handmap. This step and the re-coding are probably best left to the developers which leaves us with /etc/modules.

There seems to be a couple different ways documented to enable hotplugging on interfaces (once hotplugging is working for ndiswrapper). Mentioned in the DebianEtch page on the NDISwrapper wiki is the line allow-hotplug wlan0. The man page for the interfaces file confirms that this is the intended way to enable hotplug. In /etc/hotplug/net.agent, you are directed to include mapping hotplug stanzas in /etc/network/interfaces.

On a Debian 3.1 / Dell Inspiron 1200 system the allow-hotplug entry did not seem to be necessary. The map stanza seemed to be enough, once NDISwrapper was already loaded. YMMV.

Cabinet Archives

You can try unpacking *.cab files with any of the following:

  • cabextract - a program to extract Microsoft Cabinet files

  • unshield - extracts CAB files from ?InstallShield installers (If it doesn't succeed, you might want to try using i5comp or i6comp under Windows. search it in google)

See Also