(Updated 20 Jan 2008–added “sudo ndiswrapper -m” step, and added a note about manual configuration)
(Updated again on 5 Mar 2008–clarified some steps in the instructions)
You can probably figure this out for yourself if you search the web diligently. In fact, here’s a nice overview. Here’s my method for getting my WPC54G wireless PC card working with WPA wireless security under Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10). The computer I’m installing on is an old IBM T23.
It’s worth noting a few things up front. First, My WPC54G is labeled “Ver. 2” on the back. Many Linksys adapters come in multiple versions, and different versions tend to use different chipsets internally, so instructions for getting one version to work may not work for a different version.
Second, in my case the WPC54G worked out of the box with Ubuntu 7.10, until I tried to use WPA for my wireless encryption. Once I turned that on, the notebook basically turned into a brick. The solution, it turns out, is to use the WPC54G via ndiswrapper. It’s not as hard as it sounds or looks.
Here’s what you need:
- The Ubuntu 7.10 live CD (we’ll install ndiswrapper from it)
- The Linksys setup CD that came with your wireless adapter (they appear to be in the root directory of my CD, anyway). I’ll list the individual files needed later.
You do not need an active internet connection in order to get this working, but hopefully you’ll have one after you finish!
Okay, here are the steps.
1) Remove the adapter from its slot.
2) Install ndiswrapper using the Synaptic Package Manager (it’ll install it from the Ubuntu Live CD, so make sure your CD is in the drive). You can start the Synaptic Package Manager from the main menubar (System/Administration/Synaptic Package Manager). You need to install two packages: ndiswrapper-common and ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 (you can use the Search button in the Synaptic Package Manager to find these–search on “ndis”).
3) Next, we need a place to put the driver files, so create a folder named “Linksys” (or whatever you want) under your home directory. To do this, click Places/Home Folder from the main menubar, and when the File Browser window appears, right-click somewhere in the window and select “Create Folder” from the popup menu that appears, and then type the desired folder name when the new folder appears.
4) Now we’ll copy the driver files from the Linksys installation CD for your adapter. Stick your Linksys installation CD in the drive. Copy the following files from the root directory of your CD to your newly-created “Linksys” folder:
Before we go any further, we need to fix up a couple of things. First, rename tnet1130.sys to TNET1130.sys, and rename tnet1130x.sys to TNET1130X.sys. Then edit the LSTINDS.INF file and change all instances of “tnet1130” (regardless of case) to “TNET1130” (all uppercase), and likewise all instances of “tnet1130x” to “TNET1130X”.
5) Install the drivers using ndiswrapper. Open a terminal window and cd to the directory containing LSTINDS.INF. Then at a terminal prompt type
sudo ndiswrapper -i LSTINDS.INF
6) Now install ndiswrapper as a module. Type
sudo depmod -a
sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
7) Next we need to prevent the native driver for this device from loading. Type
sudo modprobe -r acx
(-r unloads the driver named acx). Then edit the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file:
sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
and add “blacklist acx” (without the quotes) at the end of the file.
8) Now insert your wireless card. Then type
You should see output that looks like this:
lstinds : driver installed
device (104C:9066) present (alternate driver: acx)
If so, your card was detected and associated with the correct driver.
9) Now add an alias to associate your wireless network interface to ndiswrapper in /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper. Type
sudo ndiswrapper -m
10) Set ndiswrapper to load automatically. Edit the /etc/modules file:
sudo gedit /etc/modules
and add “ndiswrapper” (without the quotes) at the end of the file.
11) Reboot. After the reboot completes, you should be able to left-click on the Network icon toward the right side of the main menubar and have it display a list of wireless networks. Click the radio button next to the wireless network you’d like to connect to. You’ll be prompted for the network wireless password. Enter it, and you should soon be connected!
If you open up the Network Manager and examine the settings for your wireless adapter now, you’ll see that it’s been set to enable roaming mode. This means that your IP address and will by dynamically assigned by the network it connects to. This is fine for most situations, but if you need to assign a static IP address to your PC, you’ll need to disable roaming mode and manually specify the network settings. My experience is that you will also need to undo step 10 above by removing the “ndiswrapper” line from /etc/modules.