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Wireless Networking -- RFC 802.11b

San Francisco FreeLAN
Bay Area Wireless User's Group.
Seattle Wireless
PDX Wireless
Guerilla Network
Linux Wireless HOW-TO
Low-Cost Wireless Networking HowTo.
This is for the Proxim Symphony which is NOT 802.11. But it's also full of excellent general advice and clues.

"Parasitic Wireless Networking" has gotten a big boost with the new lower-cost "Wireless Bridges". Please see O Reilly's Example Network. See also the excellent Linksys Wireless Bridge and Access Point

The SMC PCMCIA wireless adapter works quite well with the PCMCIA drivers for Linux. You will also want to get Wireless Tools for Linux. These files are also available from other sources, and may be available in more-recent versions. These are known to work.

First, acquire recent Linux kernel sources. These drivers are known to work with kernel versions 2.2.17 and 2.4.2.

Compile a new kernel, with whatever options you need or prefer. You will need to enable PCMCIA and you will also want to enable (non-ham radio) wireless. Build these as modules. If you don't know how to build a Linux kernel, you may find some good advice by looking around at Kernel.Org, or you might just want to download the kernel sources from there, into the directory /usr/src, and decompress with something like:

tar -zvxf linux-2.xx.xx.tar.gz cd linux ; joe README

Read the README.

Once you have built and installed and have rebooted to the new kernel, build the PCMCIA package. You should have downloaded it into /usr/src or wherever you keep kernel-related sourcecode.

tar -zvxf /usr/src/pcmcia-cs-3.1.22.tar.gz ( cd pcmcia-cs-3.1.22 ; ./Configure )

should unpack it, change to the directory and run the configuration program. It will ask you some questions. If you are feeling brave, you may want to choose "trusting version" and/or the 32-bit CardBus options, but probably the defaults will be good. I suggest that you compile for the running kernel, unless you have reasons to do otherwise. Make with 'make all' and then you will have to specifically 'cd wireless ; make' to build the wireless modules. Then change back to the top directory with 'cd ../' and do a 'make install'.

You will want to change to the "modules" top directory (probably something like "/lib/modules/2.4.2" and run 'depmod -a'. This will build module dependencies for you.


cd /usr/src tar -zvxf wireless_tools.20.tar.gz cd wireless_tools.20 make

You will have three small applications. The most useful one is 'iwconfig'. Copy it to /sbin since it's a network config app. It will give you lots of information and can set things for you.

Get a copy of my Initialization Script. It's no big deal but it will give you some ideas on how you activate the interface. I personally call this from /etc/rc.d/rc.M on a Slackware7 Linux system. This brings the card up at boot time, with the wireless interface set to on intreface wvlan0.

Note that this works just fine for the Lucent/Orinoco WaveLAN PCMCIA card for which it was originally intended.

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