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Revision 36 as of 2013-12-20 01:16:16
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Editor: GeoffSimmons
Comment: Install to /lib/firmware: Debian's udev firmware loading agent (firmware.agent) was replaced by systemd's upstream builtin (50-firmware.rules) post-Wheezy, which does not search /usr.
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# mkdir -p /usr/local/lib/firmware
# mv symbol_sp24t_prim_fw symbol_sp24t_sec_fw /usr/local/lib/firmware
# mv symbol_sp24t_prim_fw symbol_sp24t_sec_fw /lib/firmware

Translation(s): English - Français

Hermes I and Spectrum24 Trilogy devices (orinoco)

This page describes how to enable support for WiFi devices based on the Hermes I (Lucent/Agere) and Spectrum24 Trilogy (Symbol) chipsets; using the Orinoco driver on Debian systems.

This page is about the Orinoco driver. See Wikipedia for information about the ORiNOCO brand.


The Orinoco driver is a collection of modules providing support for various 802.11b devices, based on the Hermes I and Spectrum24 Trilogy chipsets:

  • airport (supported devices)

  • orinoco_cs (supported devices)

    • Supports Hermes I (Lucent/Agere) PCMCIA/PC Card devices.
  • orinoco_nortel (supported devices)

    • Supports Hermes I (Lucent/Agere) PC Card devices using the Nortel PCI bridge.
  • orinoco_plx (supported devices)

    • Supports Hermes I (Lucent/Agere) PC Card devices using the PLX9052 PCI bridge.
  • orinoco_tmd (supported devices)

    • Supports Hermes I (Lucent/Agere) PC Card devices using the TMD7160 PCI bridge.
  • orinoco_usb (supported devices)

    • Supports Hermes I (Lucent/Agere) based USB devices.
    • Introduced in Linux 2.6.35.
  • spectrum_cs (supported devices)

    • Supports Symbol Spectrum24 Trilogy-based PC Card and Compact Flash devices.
    • Introduced in Linux 2.6.14.

Previous support for Prism 2/2.5/3 chipsets (orinoco_pci module) is disabled by default since Linux 2.6.351, see hostap for device support. For support of Prism-based USB 802.11b devices, see linux-wlan-ng.

As of Linux 2.6.28, downloading of firmware to volatile memory (RAM) and WPA support is available for Hermes I-based devices. For WPA support, firmware version 9.42 (or later) is required. The Orinoco driver will attempt to download firmware from userspace during device initialization.

Firmware is required to be provided for Spectrum24 Trilogy-based devices without flash memory (e.g. Intel WPC2011BWW, Socket Communications WL6000-320).


The Orinoco driver was introduced in Linux 2.4.3 and consists of modules in Debian Linux kernel images.

WPA (Hermes I only)

You can skip this section if WPA support is not required, or if your device has a Spectrum24 Trilogy chipset.

Firmware version 9.42 or later is required for WPA support:

  1. Add a "non-free" component to /etc/apt/sources.list, for example:

    # Debian 7 "Wheezy"
    deb http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
  2. Update the list of available packages and install the firmware-linux-nonfree package:

    # apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree
  3. Continue with the procedure below.


  1. For users with Spectrum24 Trilogy-based devices only: firmware is required for devices without flash memory. This can be downloaded and extracted using the get_symbol_fw script available from orinoco-fwutils:

    $ su
    # apt-get install unzip
    # exit
    $ wget 'http://downloads.sourceforge.net/orinoco/orinoco-fwutils-0.3.tar.gz?download'
    $ tar xvf orinoco-fwutils-0.3.tar.gz
    $ cd orinoco-fwutils-0.3
    $ ./get_symbol_fw
    $ su
    # mv symbol_sp24t_prim_fw symbol_sp24t_sec_fw /lib/firmware
  2. Connect the device to your system. The necessary kernel module is automatically loaded for supported devices.

  3. Configure your interface as appropriate. See also troubleshooting and known issues.


  • For WPA support on Hermes I-based devices, firmware version 9.42 or later is required to be downloaded to the card.

    • Ensure the Lucent/Agere station firmware (agere_sta_fw.bin) is available when requested, check the kernel ring buffer (dmesg(1)).

    • Ensure the firmware-linux-nonfree package is installed.

    • WPA capability can be verified by the presence of "WPA-PSK supported" in the buffer:

      [ 2598.821904] eth1: Program end returned 0
      [ 2598.821913] eth1: hermes_present returned 1
      [ 2598.822731] eth1: Hardware identity 0001:0002:0003:0004
      [ 2598.822854] eth1: Station identity  0005:0006:0007:0008
      [ 2598.822868] eth1: Firmware determined as Lucent/Agere 9.48
      [ 2598.822877] eth1: Ad-hoc demo mode supported
      [ 2598.822885] eth1: IEEE standard IBSS ad-hoc mode supported
      [ 2598.822892] eth1: WEP supported, 104-bit key
      [ 2598.822901] eth1: WPA-PSK supported
      [ 2599.051164] eth1: MAC address 00:11:22:33:44:55
      [ 2599.051265] eth1: Station name "HERMES I"
      [ 2599.051828] eth1: ready

    • See also known issues.

  • Spectrum24 Trilogy-based devices without flash memory: Examine the kernel ring buffer (dmesg(1)) to verify required firmware files are being loaded by the driver. If requested firmware is not available, no wireless interface will be created.

    • Ensure the firmware files produced by the get_symbol_fw script (symbol_sp24t_prim_fw, symbol_sp24t_sec_fw) were moved to /usr/local/lib/firmware.

Known Issues


  • Supported with Hermes I-based (Lucent/Agere) devices only.
  • Only WPA-PSK TKIP is supported.

    • You may need to prevent wpa_supplicant from initially using CCMP, for example in /etc/network/interfaces:

      iface eth1 inet dhcp
          wpa-ssid foo
          wpa-psk barbazquxquuxcorgegraultgarplywaldofredplughxyzzythud
          # force WPA-PSK TKIP
          wpa-key_mgmt WPA-PSK
          wpa-proto WPA
          wpa-pairwise TKIP
          wpa-group TKIP

Monitor Mode

For Hermes I-based devices, Lucent/Agere firmware versions 7.xx and 8.xx are buggy with respect to monitor mode operation; the Orinoco driver will refuse to change to monitor mode if requested. Firmware versions <= 6.16 are required for this feature, see Other Notes regarding firmware flashing.

Monitor mode operation can be forced on buggy firmware versions by supplying force_monitor=1 as an option to the orinoco module:

echo options orinoco force_monitor=1 >> /etc/modprobe.d/local.conf

Other Notes

The station firmware on Hermes I-based devices can only be permanently upgraded/downgraded (flashed) through utilities available for the Microsoft Windows operating system. With respect to the AirPort card, its firmware can be indirectly flashed during installation of some Mac OS X operating system versions.

Installation of the hostap-utils package will blacklist the Orinoco driver modules. This package should be purged from your system if not required.

Supported Devices


The AirPort card (not AirPort Extreme) is supported. This is an optional networking accessory for the following Apple systems:

  • iBook G3 ("Clamshell", "Dual USB / Snow")

  • PowerBook G3 ("Firewire")

  • Early-model PowerBook G4 ("Titanium")

  • Other compatible systems (e.g. slot-loading iMacs with an AirPort card adapter)


The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PC_Card explains how to identify a PC Card device.


The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI explains how to identify a PCI device.

The following list is based on the alias fields of orinoco_nortel in Debian 3.2.0 (3.2.46-1) kernel images.

  • PCI: 126C:8030 Northern Telecom (Device name unknown)
    PCI: 1562:0001 Symbol Technologies (Device name unknown)


The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI explains how to identify a PCI device.

The following list is based on the alias fields of orinoco_plx in Debian 3.2.0 (3.2.46-1) kernel images.

  • PCI: 10B7:7770 3Com Corporation 3CRWE777 PCI Wireless Adapter [Airconnect]
    PCI: 111A:1023 Efficient Networks, Inc (Device name unknown)
    PCI: 1385:4100 Netgear MA301 802.11b Wireless PCI Adapter
    PCI: 15E8:0130 National Datacomm Corp Wireless PCI Card
    PCI: 1638:1100 Standard Microsystems Corp [SMC] SMC2602W EZConnect / Addtron AWA-100 / Eumitcom PCI WL11000
    PCI: 16AB:1100 Global Sun Technology Inc GL24110P
    PCI: 16AB:1101 Global Sun Technology Inc PLX9052 PCMCIA-to-PCI Wireless LAN
    PCI: 16AB:1102 Global Sun Technology Inc PCMCIA-to-PCI Wireless Network Bridge
    PCI: 16EC:3685 U.S. Robotics Wireless Access PCI Adapter Model 022415
    PCI: EC80:EC00 Belkin Corporation F5D6000


The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI explains how to identify a PCI device.

The following list is based on the alias fields of orinoco_tmd in Debian 3.2.0 (3.2.46-1) kernel images.

  • PCI: 15E8:0131 National Datacomm Corp NCP130A2 Wireless NIC


The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PC_Card explains how to identify a PC Card device.

See Also

CategoryHardware | CategoryWireless