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Wireless NIC and Ndiswrapper

Before I start this guide, I need to point out that I'm a linux newbie myself, and I have very little experience with it. I have a passion for computers though, and learning new stuff is something I enjoy very much.

I made my Wireless Network Interface Card (Hereon NIC) work on a HP ZE2247EA laptop. I'm running Fedora Core 4, from a standard, out of the box, installation.


The following guide needs to be performed as root.


The first step, is to identify your NIC, and what chipset it is. When this is done, figure out what drivers WINDOWS would use to make it work. An easy way to do this, if you are running a dualboot, is to check the driver details in windows. When I did that on my computer, I found that my driver is called bcmwl5.inf.


My first attempt at using this driver turned out bad. I had downloaded a 64bit windows driver, but Fedora was kind enough to tell me that I needed a 32 bit, so my search for the correct driver continued. Finally stricking luck, at [/url] , I downloaded the correct file and proceeded installing ndiswrapper.


In Fedora, this was a simple task. Something as easy as typing yum install ndiswrapper would be sufficient *if you have a wired internet connection*. Allthough, the kernel needs to support ndiswrapper aswell, so to implement this in the same command, simply type:


yum install ndiswrapper kernel-module-ndiswrapper


Voila, ndiswrapper is installed, and ready to go.


Next step, unzip the driver you downloaded to a directory you can find it.


I used /lib/windrivers/ . After unzipping the files, I typed out: "ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf". The -i means to install the driver. Of course, bcmwl5.inf needs to be replaced with the name of your own file. To check if the installation and driverusage was successfull, type: "ndiswrapper -l". If this reports "bcmwl5 driver present, hardware present" you are ready for the next step. If it doesnt, make sure you have the correct driver, and that your NIC is active/plugged in.


Since you're still reading, I'm assuming you saw "xxxxxx driver present, hardware present" on the previous step. That means you're ready to write the configuration to modprobe. Type "ndiswrapper -m". This will add the hardware. If that works, type "modprobe ndiswrapper" and/or "ndiswrapper wlan0".

You should now be ready to go. If that doesn't work, you could try something as dramatical as rebooting your system, and that should most likely fix it.


After the reboot or modprobe is done, type "iwconfig". Hopefully, this will now display "wlan0", and not contain any network information.


Set your network SSID by typing "iwconfig wlan0 essid 'Your-Id-Here' [key 'Your key here']". (full details right [url=<___base_url___>/index.php?s=&showtopic=2098&view=findpost&p=7814]here,


Please note that the example here should look like this if your ACCESS POINT ssid=WIRELESS and wep key = aaaaa)


iwconfig wlan0 mode managed essid WIRELESS key 6161616161



You might also want to set Mode to "managed" (iwconfig wlan0 mode "managed").


Natually, if you're connecting to a static network, you will need to set up ip adress and the likes aswell. I myself connect to a wireless router, and get my IP dynamically adressed by a DHCP server. So, a simple "dhclient wlan0", and I was up and running!


Hope this helps you out. Good luck :-)


ace first post Milligan :) thanks version much I'm sure this will help out the other noobs and that is exactly what these forums are about..


welcome to the forums btw.. :)


Quote:ace first post Milligan :) thanks version much I'm sure this will help out the other noobs and that is exactly what these forums are about..  

welcome to the forums btw.. :)

Thanks :) Going to try to be a bit active on these forums, as there's loads of stuff to learn here :)Thanks to all the gurus on linux-noob for helping me out when I needed it :)


ok after trying ndiswrapper today i found the following issues after installing ndiswrapper itself


namely getting an ip for the wireless card, and getting internet access (it could ping the wireless router but not


so to solve it i did as follows



to set the wireless device up in ndiswrapper (as root)



iwconfig wlan0 mode managed essid wireloss key 62616d7365


the above example assumes that your ESSID (wireless ACCESS POINT) name =wireloss

it also assumes your wireless KEY (wep) is bamse notice it is in HEXADECIMAL ABOVE, otherwise iwconfig will error out (and the error is really dull and does not inform you about why your key isnt accepted),


to get the hexadecimal codes in windows click on start/all programs/accesories/system tools/character map then set your font to 'system' and choose the letters/numbers to see the corresponding hexadecimal codes...

i'm sure there's  a way to do this in linux as well, and no doubt someone will point it out to us here :-)




to set the IP address of the wireless card do as follows


ifconfig wlan0




to set the gateway (dns)= do as follows (as root)


route add default gw


the above assumes that your manually assigned ip address for the wireless card is

and finally it assumes your GATEWAY (dns nameserver) is







im having a little trouble with this. i have a netgear WG311T first and foremost. on my windows OS it says that im using wg311t13.sys for the driver, so i used that first when trying to install. it didnt work so i deleted it and i used wg311t13.inf instead. after i installed i did ndiswrapper -l and it said:


Installed ndis drivers:



and that was it. it didnt say anything about hardware being present. did i do something wrong? whenever i try modprobe ndiswrapper my compy freezes up.


Note: I found my NIC when I did lspci so i know my compy is reading the card


give us more details of the problem

and are you sure it's locking up when you modprobe ndiswrapper ?


for example, if you press CAPSLOCK does the LED respond ?





Well, I do all the steps you say, and we happen to use the same driver, and all I get when I type

ndiswrapper -l


linux:~ # ndiswrapper -l
Installed ndis drivers:
bcmwl5  invalid driver!
bcmwl5.sys      invalid driver!
linux:~ #


Dubya tay eff?

I am using a wmp54g and wow dclient wlan0 is an unrecognised command I am a nood with linux and know none of the commands yet plus when shutting down it cannot unmount wlan0 as it doesnt exist lost after modprobing it jus dhcp is all i need

Great post MilligaN! :) I too am a linux noob. I used your instructions above from the command line to get my Linksys WMP300N USB wireless-N adapter working in Suse 10.2 on my HP desktop after spending multiple days trying to do this with the yast 2 GUI.


I have a Dell d-620 laptop loaded also with 10.2 and I was able to configure a Linksys WMP300N PCMCIA wireless-N adapter to work with it a couple of months back using the yast2 GUI.


FYI, I am using ndiswrapper version 1.47 on both platforms with the standard windows drivers for each card downloaded from the Linksys web site.


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