[SATLUG] Re: How to connect to wifi access points in Linux

John D Choate jdchoate at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 02:16:47 CDT 2008

On Sunday 19 October 2008 15:26:02 K. Reginald Buckner wrote:
> Does anyone know how to connect to wifi access points in Linux. I use
> mostly Open Suse
> 11 and Ubuntu Hardy. Well I have both wifi radar and kwifimanager but I
> cannot see the access points when I visit Burger King or on campus at San
> Antonio College. I know that
> airport card in Mac OS X (iMAC) has no problem picking up the signal and my
> college amigos can do the same with Vista based notebooks. Wny does Mac and
> Windows seem to do wifi easy but Linux there is so much tweaking?
> Reggie B

It sounds like you need firmware installed for your wireless device. Sometimes 
this is easy, sometimes not. Depending on which wireless device is in the 
laptop, it may be as easy as installing a package. Or you may need to get a 
driver package and then use a firmware 'cutting' utility to cut the firmware 
from the driver and place it where it needs to go (/lib/firmware).
For instance, my HP laptop uses a Broadcom chipset (BCM4312)... if your laptop 
uses this, get on http://www.google.com/linux and search for 'bcm43xx 
firmware' and 'bcm43xx-fwcutter'. I don't have a link handy right now, but 
there is a page which provides links and instructions for getting this 
firmware installed in kernels 2.6.24 and 2.6.25+.
One easy solution is to get a Belkin USB wireless adapter.. Best Buy sells 
these and they use a firmware called ZD1211, which might already be 
installed. zd1211-firmware is a fairly common package so you should be able 
to get one of these working pretty easily.
Once proper firmware is in place, those hot sopts should show on the list 
quite readily.

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