Category Archives: Networking

Solution: Dell XPS M1530 Ubuntu 8.10 System Freeze Issue

When using Ubuntu 8.10 and connecting to a Wireless-n (802.11n) network, the system freezes with kernel panic (as indicated by blinking scroll and numlock). The system gets unusable and you would have to reboot. I have had this issue with my Dell XPS M1530, when connecting to Apple Extreme router.

The issue with the intel wireless module driver, and will get fixed by installing the compat-wireless driver.

Try compiling this iwlagn module, http://www.orbit-lab.org/kernel/compat-wireless-2.6/2008/10/compat-wireless-2008-10-01.tar.bz2 .
Extract the archive and then follow these steps:

sudo apt-get install build-essential
cd compat*
make
sudo make install

Reboot the system, and you will not longer face kernel panic or system freeze.

UPDATE:

When installing 9.04, I figured out that 802.11N drivers for Ubuntu are totally broken. Since I did not want to fiddle around much, I added the following lines to /etc/modprobe.d/options(and restart the system):

options iwlagn 11n_disable=1

This would prevent Wireless-N mode, but it will get your Dell M1530 (and M1330) working on Wireless with Ubuntu

HP DV2610US & Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10)

GUI Installation

DO NOT use the GUI installation method. It does not work. It will make you feel really bad for buying this laptop. Worry not. Use the text based installation. Once the installation is complete, it will come up with the GUI with restricted resolution.

Make sure you are connected to the LAN (and of course, you should be connected to the net). (Wifi does not work at this point). It will prompt you to install/use the restricted drivers for nVidia. Say Yes ! It will install the drivers. Reboot. You should have a proper display/resolution now. (It will prompt you to install the “drivers” for broadcom wireless. Do not proceed. They don’t work and you won’t need them).

Networking

In order to use the Broadcom Wireless card in HP DV2610US (and I think it also works on the recent AMD/Nvidia based laptops), you need to do the following:

  1. Disable the restricted drivers. You dont need them. The only way it all works is with ndiswrapper
  2. Install ndiswrapper (apt-get install ndiswrapper-common or ndiswrapper)
  3. Disable any Competing Drivers
    Ubuntu has a kernel driver for this device that is called bcm43xx. In order to use ndiswrapper you must put the bcm43xx in the black list file.

    echo 'blacklist bcm43xx' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
    

    The blacklisted module will not be loaded on reboot from now on.

  4. Download the “windows” driver from HP support
    user@ubuntu:~ $ sudo wget ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp33001-33500/sp33008.exe
    

    If the above driver does not work, try

    wget ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/softpaq/sp34001-34500/sp34152.exe
    
  5. Install Cabextract. Cabextract will be used to “extract” the windows drivers from the exe file.
    user@ubuntu:~ $ sudo apt-get update
    user@ubuntu:~ $ sudo apt-get install cabextract unzip
    user@ubuntu:~ $ cabextract sp33008.exe
    
  6. Install the drivers:
    user@ubuntu:~$ sudo ndiswrapper -i bcmwl5.inf
    

    You should notice something like this (and it is normal)

    installing bcmwl5 ...
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    forcing parameter IBSSGMode from 0 to 2
    
  7. We can list the drivers, to make sure we have it installed properly
    user@ubuntu:~$ ndiswrapper -l
    installed drivers:
    bcmwl5          driver installed, hardware (14E4:4324) present (alternate driver: bcm43xx)
    
  8. Bring up the driver:
    user@ubuntu:~$ sudo depmod -a
    user@ubuntu:~$ sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
    
  9. This should bring up the driver. Reboot. Once you are back in the GUI mode, you should see that Wifi is up and you are shown the nearby networks

ASUS WL-138G Wifi and Linux

ASUS WL-138G is a 802.11G WLAN Card. It uses Marvell W8300 chipset.ASUS WL-138G is not supported in Linux. There are no native drivers available for WL-138G in linux.

After trying in vain to find any driver that could make it work under linux, I found ndiswrapper. It implements Windows kernel API and NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) API within Linux kernel. A Windows driver for wireless network card is then linked to this implementation so that the driver runs natively, as though it is in Windows, without binary emulation.

Download ndis and install it. Details on installing ndiswrapper are available here

Also, The driver that comes along with the card, from ASUS, it not all that good. In windows, I found that the signal strength was quite less when it should not be. Since D-Link DWL-G510 uses the same chipset, I downloaded the drivers from here.

The driver file, dwlg510_driver_100.zip, contains two cab files. The files we require are inside “data2.cab” file. Since these cabfiles were created using installshield, we would need the utility “unshield“. Install unsheild to extract the files from the cab file.


root@localhost /usr/local/src> unshield x *.cab
Cabinet: data1.cab
[…]
extracting: ./InfXP/mrv8k51.inf
extracting: ./DrvXP/MRV8K51.sys
extracting: ./Inf98/mrv8k51.inf
extracting: ./Inf2K/mrv8k51.inf
extracting: ./Drv98/MRV8K51.sys
extracting: ./Drv2K/MRV8K51.sys
[…]

Like in Windows, we would need the .inf (driver info) and the .sys (driver) files. Copy them to /usr/local/ndis (or any directory. Both files should remain under the same tree).


root@localhost /usr/local/ndis> ndiswrapper -i mrv8k51.inf

root@localhost /usr/local/ndis> ndiswrapper -l
Installed ndis drivers:
mrv8k51 driver present, hardware present

The last step is to load this driver into kernel…

root@localhost /usr/local/ndis> ndiswrapper -m

You should then see a message along the lines of: Adding “alias wlan0 ndiswrapper” to /etc/modprobe.conf


root@localhost /usr/local/ndis> modprobe ndiswrapper

Now, the driver has been installed and the card should be active. Use the/any network-setup utility to install the card. (should be visible as wlan0).