26 Mar

installing a wg511v2 in gentoo

I lost my system drive during the week so thought I’d take the time to install gentoo, as I tend to prefer installing things from source, and… …and… you know – I’m not going to attempt to justify it – I just felt like it.

So anyway – everything installed fine, even if it took forever to install the system in the first place. Everything, that is, except the Netgear WG511v2 that I use for my wireless network.

As mentioned in an earlier post, where I installed the card in Fedora, the version I’m using is the Chinese one, with the Marvell chipset.

Check the version of ndiswrapper that Gentoo will install:

emerge -p ndiswrapper

If the version is greater than, or equal to 1.1 (as of today, the version installed by portage is 0.12-r3 – not good enough), then do this:

emerge ndiswrapper

Otherwise, you’ll have to go to the ndiswrapper site, download the newset version, unzip it, enter the directory, then sudo -c "make && make install" to install it.

If you go ahead with the emerge anyway (yeah – ignore me… I’m just the person trying to give help here 🙂 ), then you will get weird errors like “unknown symbol ntoskernel” in the log when you try to install the module.

So, ndiswrapper is installed; time to install the card driver. Type the following into the console.

wget http://opencurve.org/~sunny/linux/files/WG511v2.tar.gz
tar xzf WG511v2.tar.gz
cd "Windows XP"
sudo -c "ndiswrapper -i WG511v2.INF && ndiswrapper -l"

The last line installs the driver, and then displays all installed ndiswrapper drivers:

wg511v2 driver present, hardware present

If your console doesn’t say “hardware present”, then plug your card in and type sudo -c "ndiswrapper -l" to check again. If it fails again, or the wg511v2 bit doesn’t appear at all, then go join the ndiswrapper mailinglist and help out.

So now, type su to gain root rights (too many commands to bother with su -c), and type the following:

modprobe ndiswrapper

If your wlan0 interface rears its pretty little face, then all is well. If not, see above about the mailing list.

iwlist wlan0 scan

this gives me the following output:

wlan0     Scan completed :
          Cell 01 - Address: 00:0F:B5:0F:D0:91
                    Protocol:IEEE 802.11b
                    Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
                    Quality:0/100  Signal level:-41 dBm  Noise level:-256 dBm
                    Encryption key:off
                    Bit Rate:1 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:2 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:5.5 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:11 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:6 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:9 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:12 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:18 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:24 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:36 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:48 Mb/s
                    Bit Rate:54 Mb/s

That gives us info such as the AP‘s ESSID, the channel it broadcasts on, and its MAC address (the address that looks like an IPv6 number).

IMPORTANT My system had a kernel panic a moments after the following step. Make sure to save whatever work you’re doing before proceeding. The panic only happened once, so it may be related to something different (I have a naughty habit of massively multi-tasking).

iwconfig wlan0 channel 11 essid "NETGEAR" ap "00:0f:b5:0f:d0:91"

We’re almost there. Now you need to bring the card up. Change the numbers below as appropriate:

ifconfig wlan0
ifconfig wlan0 up
route add default gw dev wlan0

I’m not sure what the Gentoo equivalent of rc.local is yet, but when I find it, the two code blocks above will be going into it, so the network interface is brought up immediately upon boot. (I don’t know how to do it any other way 🙂 )

5 thoughts on “installing a wg511v2 in gentoo

  1. Great stuff man, I’ve been struggling for about a week now, getting this thing of mine sorted out, after reinstalling my linux software I’ve found this site, and yeah well, did not really need to reinstall, should just have found this earlier, thanks.

  2. im not getting this to work, my card starts and i run an command with the card ex, iwconfig wlan0 and then the whole system hangs up and this happen every time. ive tryed win 2k drivers and xp driver nothing work ive probed the ndiswrapper correctly and done ndiswrapper -m and when i reboot after the hung up the system works until i start the card with iwconfig wlan0…

  3. prone, I’m afraid I don’t have a Gentoo system at the moment, so cannot help with this, but there may be more uptodate at the ndiswrapper site now. If not, then get onto the mailing list there and bring up the problem.

  4. Great howto !!

    Although i don’t use gentoo, it also worked for me ( currently i’m using a modified version of SLAX )

    I followed the directions (changed them a little to work on my system) and now i can use my wireless on my laptop.

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