Linux and Wireless cards.

Recently I was looking for an inexpensive wireless card for a cheap computer
running Linux (PCMCIA). I found out that there are basicly 4 major companies
making wireless cards. All of these wireless cards either don't support Linux
or require a proprietary driver, or proprietary BLOB, to run under Linux!
I won't even talk about those cards that can be only used under ndisdriver
which means that basicly, you are using a WINBLOWS driver! Uck.

For example, if you look at the wireless cards supported by OpenSuSE
you will find that almost all of them require one of:

2)a proprietary driver to taint your kernel.
3)a proprietary binary blob.

There is one exception: the ralink cards.

I was able to buy a Ralink RT2500. These cards have a completely Free
software driver. They are supported by the FSF!

The driver is completely free software.

Unfortunately, the driver has not been integrated into Linux
yet. It has not been put into the kernel sources and is
not well supported by the major distros.

You can make it work by compiling your own driver. For example,
there is a web page that describes how to make it work with OpenSuSE.

There are indications that both OpenSuSE and Fedora will fully support
the RT2500 in the next Release!

Ubuntu, comes with a working driver. However, to actully make it
work requires additional effort especially if you use WPAPSK

Let's hope that all distros fully support the rt2500 out of the
box soon!

Locking Post

This particular page is the victim of 100% of the incoming spam on the site, so I'm going to lock the comments to read-only for now to see if it helps.

17th meeting - will bring card

I posted this to the mailing list:

-- Someone at the meeting was looking for a WiFi card that worked with
an older laptop (PCMICA not CardBus) - I said I would give him an
older one I have no use for. Anyway, I was supposed to come next
meeting and haven't shown up since. I'm going to bring it on 17h - so
if you are interested - please see me. It is a rebranded (Dell
Truemobile 1150) of the Lucent Orinoco card, and my experience is it
drivers work great with any OS out there (Mac, OpenBSD, Linux). It
even has an antenna jack for external antenna. I keep a few of them
around for older equipment and they have very sensitive radios.
802.11b only, but hey - that's what is most common for web surfing.

I'll bring two cards if I can dig up an extra spare.

Stephen Gutknecht


I recommend madwifi-ng cards (atheros). I have a Ubquiti SRC (300mW) and a Netgear 511T that both work great with madwifi (and lorcon, kismet, metasploit, etc).

Powered by Drupal - Modified by Danger4k