[driverloader] Success and frustration (WPC54G and RedHat 7.1)

Roman Maeder maeder at mathconsult.ch
Wed Feb 11 09:47:53 EST 2004

I finally got a Linksys WPC54G working under RedHat 7.1 (I know it's old...)
connecting to a WRT54G AP in 802.11g mode. Installing driverloader
(the "generic" version, as I have a custom kernel) went fine, it even
compiled and installed the modules automatically when I did an
"rpm -iv driverloader-1.59-1.i386.rpm". The driver files used (.inf and .sys)
are the same ones that are in use under Windows ME on the same box,
a Dell Inspiron 4000. I then had quite a bit of trouble getting it to
associate with my AP, using the wireless tools.

RedHat had over the years continually updated the kernel, it is now at
2.4.20, but didn't apparently update the wireless tools. So I installed the
most recent version from source. I could then see my AP with a
iwlist eth1 scan/ap, when I turned essid broadcast on.

Lessons learned, while trying to get it up and running:

- the setting of the ESSID must be last, so you can do something like

	iwconfig eth1 channel XX key HEXKEY essid MYESSID

  this should allow you to associate even if ESSID broadcast is disabled.
  It is, however, a myth that the essid must be in double quotes.

- if the AP is configured for "Shared Key" authentication and WEP, you MUST
  set the "restricted" flag, as in

	iwconfig eth1 channel XX key restricted HEXKEY essid MYESSID

  this one held me up quite a bit.

All in all, driverloader installs easily; it is a bit odd to have a device
driver start a web server, but I guess this can now be turned off. Configuring
the interface with the wireless tools is a delicate process, however.

Roman Maeder

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