Another USB wireless driver for Linux: ndiswrapper

* Dr. Internet columnist Steve Blass talks about ndiswrapper

Why didn't you mention ndiswrapper in your recent column on obtaining Linux drivers for USB wireless network devices?

We learned about this from readers after the column ran.

Ndiswrapper lets Linux users employ the Windows drivers provided by the device manufacturer with a Linux system. The package is available in source code and as a Debian package that can be installed using apt-get.

The software implements a Windows kernel API and NDIS API inside the Linux kernel, so the device runs natively, as it would in a Windows system.

This native Windows API implementation allows ndiswrapper to support a number of devices in addition to the wireless network devices for which it was designed. A list of devices known to work with the ndiswrapper driver is available.

To install from the source code, you need the Linux kernel source code that matches your system and the wireless-tools package. RedHat, Mandrake and Debian provide wireless-tools packages you can install with their respective package-management tools.

How to install ndiswrapper is well documented. Pay particular attention to the section on installing the appropriate Windows driver for your device. Once ndiswrapper is built and the Windows driver is installed, follow the instructions in the configuration section of the wiki to load the kernel module and configure the network interface.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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