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!
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