For those of you, like me, who bought at the woot sale on Linksys WPC11 v.4 pcmcia wireless 802.11b network cards last week. You can rejoice in knowing that they do work with DSL. At least with version 1.5 of DSL. The deal was three cards for US$ 15. That included shipping. You had to buy in lots of 3 cards. I know, it's old technology, 802.11b, but at $5/card I thought it was a good deal. They came individually boxed in their sealed, blue Linksys boxes, with instructions and software CD... But I digress...
The windows install was a snap, but that's always been a big plus for Bill's software. The DSL install took a little while for me to figure out. I'm sure someone with more experience would have done it in minutes but at my house adding new hardware to a linux box still seems to be a 'two steps forward, one step backwards' type of thing. This was the first encounter with Linux and pcmcia cards for me.
A little background. I'm running version 1.5 of DSL as a frugal install with a persistent home and opt directory. I'm using it on an older Toshiba Satellite laptop (model 2805-s202). My gurb entry after getting this card working is:
title DSL Linux pcmcia
kernel /boot/linux24 root=/dev/hda5 vga=normal quiet pci=noacpi apm frugal dma toram mydsl=hda6 restore=hda5 home=hda5 opt=hda5 host=DSL150
Here's what I had to do:
1. The drivers on the CD work fine for windows but for DSL I had to use the Realtek drivers at www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/downloads1-3.aspx?Keyword=rtl8180 I only know this because I searched the DSL Forum and other people were good enough to document this finding ("Use the power of the Forum Search, Luke"). Download the Windows XP driver. It was version 1.73 when I went there. We're going to use it with NDISWRAPPER. Unzip it and get the modules somewhere that DSL can read them when it boots. I used the windows xp side of the laptop to download and expand the drivers and then mounted the windows partition when I had dsl booted. I then copied the drivers (net8180.inf and rtl8180.sys files) to a directory called /opt/wpc11v4 on the DSL side of the laptop.
2. I use grub to boot variations of DSL and windows XP. After a while you don't even think about your boot settings. You just select the one you want and hit enter. One of the first stumbling blocks I had to overcome was the fact that all my DSL boots in grub had the 'nopcmcia' parm in them. The Toshiba locks up in the boot process if you try to search for pcmcia cards and one isn't installed. So, remember to REVMOVE THE NOPCMCIA PARM from your boot string. I'm embarrassed to tell you how much time this little oversite cost me.
3. With the computer off, put the pcmcia card into the slot. It should fit snugly.
4. Once DSL has booted (you should have seen messages about finding the pcmcia card during the boot) open a terminal (or shell or DOS box or whatever you call it) and enter the command ifconfig. I'm not sure what you'll see but I'm betting you don't see an entry for wlan0. If you do, then check your network access, if it's working, have a merry day and stop reading this dribble. If you don't have a wlan0 entry then open the Control Panel GUI. There you'll see a button for NDISWRAPPER. Click on it.
5. Enter the information needed by NDISWRAPPER:
a. Location of .inf file. In my case it's /opt/wpc11v4/net8180.inf Like most things Linux, it's case sensitive. It's the path to wherever you put those net8180 files you downloaded and unzipped.
b. Device: just use the default wlan0
c. SSID: Enter your wireless network ID. It's the name you broadcast as your wireless network. It's case sensitive also.
d. WEP key: I use 64 bit encryption so I entered the 10 character code here.
e. Cross your fingers and click the OK button.
6. If you've been really, really good all year then your network card just might be working. Enter the 'ifconfig' command in a terminal window again. This time you should see the wlan0 setting. If you don't then go back and retrace your steps. One thing I did notice is that it seems like rebooting your machine between changes helps. Also from the terminal window try doing the ndiswrapper -l command ( that's, dash L, after 'ndiswrapper'). It will tell you what driver it thinks is installed and if the hardware for that driver is present. Try using the forum for help.
7. Once you get the card working you may want to have it automatically start up on boot. The NDISWRAPPER GUI creates a script in the /opt directory. With version 1.5 of DSL it creates a script called myndis.sh You need to execute this script during bootup. The best way to do this is in the /opt/bootlocal.sh that comes with DSL. So startup Emelfm, navigate to the /opt directory, select bootlocal.sh and edit it. You'll probably already see an entry for 'loadkey'. Right after the 'loadkey' entry add: sudo /opt/myndis.sh I've read where some people say you may not need the 'sudo'. I can tell you, that for me, it works. OK, save bootlocal.sh and exit. Before you're done you need to CHANGE THE PERMISSIONS FOR BOOTLOCAL.SH SO EVERYONE CAN EXECUTE IT. I forget to do that all the time.. In emelfm, right click the bootlocal.sh file and left click the properties then permissions menu entry. Click the three buttons on the right under exec. Click OK and your done.
My intention was to document this to help others. If I've made an error or you see some glaring mistake please feel free to comment.