Configure Wireless Adapter with Ndiswrapper

By: Dustin Macheske

Have you searched all over the internet looking for a way to allow you to use your wireless network card with your pc. Well lucky for you there is a program called ndiswrapper. Ndiswrapper is a program that will allow you to use a Windows driver for your wireless device under linux. I can't promise you that all wireless adapters will be supported with your linux distro, so if you’re about to buy a new wireless card, please check the list of known wifi cards to work below.

The first thing that you are going to want to do to get your wireless network card to work on your Mandriva linux distro is to download a windows driver from the list of cards supported. If you can't find a driver that is in the list, you can also try searching at the manufacturing web site, yahoo or Google. If you are searching at a search engine try typing in the model number of the wireless card + driver, for example "F5D9050 driver".

For the best results, try using a windows Xp driver for your wireless device. For my example I am using a Belkin Wireless G Plus MIMO ver. 3001, with a model number of F5D9050. After you have downloaded the driver for you wireless adapter, you might need to extract or unzip the file. What you will be looking for is a file with the extensions of .INF. More than likely your file will end with the file extensions of .EXE, so this means you must extract this file somehow. In my example I have unzipped my driver to /home/administrator/Drivers. To extract a file named setup.exe, open a terminal and log in as su, then type:
cabextract setup.exe
unzip setup.exe

After you have unzipped your windows driver install program, you now need to associate this windows driver with your wireless device. To configure you wireless device in Mandriva linux go to:

Menu Button
System Tools
Configure your Computer
Then click the Network and Internet tab on the left
Finally click set up a new network interface (LAN, ISDN, ADSL, ...)

First click on wireless. Choose the selection for a windows driver with ndiswrapper. Now select the .inf file that you extracted or unzipped earlier and select ok. If everything has gone ok so far, then you should have a screen that resembles the one below. All you have to do now is select the wireless network that you are trying to connect to and type in your security key for your wireless router. For security reasons always use some sort of security key on your wireless router(s), I recommend WPA2, but WPA will work. WEP keys are really weak and can be broken within minutes, with the right software.

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