Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Share your own howto's etc. Not for support questions!

Hope this helps everyone...

Postby wificraig » 2008-06-02 18:00

For those who have ndiswrapper working with an earlier kernel (ie. with bcm43xx driver) that upgraded to a kernel with b43, try this:
If your ndiswrapper -l reads that the device is present, thenyou know the windows driver is correct, but the ssb module is still using the wireless device.
Make sure your blacklist includes b43, ssb, (and bcm43xx if you still load an earlier kernel from grub) some systems will also need b44, mac80211, cfg80211 blacklisted (mine did not).
In a terminal:
ifconfig
If the eth0 is NOT listed, then...
In a terminal:
rmmod ndiswrapper
rmmod ssb
depmod -a
modprobe ndiswrapper
Then check ifconfig to see if eth0 is now present.
If so, edit your /etc/rc.local file to read:
rmmod ndiswrapper
rmmod ssb
modprobe ndiswrapper
exit 0
Make sure that you have a wlan0 alias in terminal:
ndiswrapper -m
Disable your other scripts you used, and reboot.
Since ndiswrapper is starting before your scripts disable the ssb module, this will restart ndiswrapper after the ssb has been disabled.
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This bug might never get fixed

Postby RuralRob » 2008-06-08 16:26

From what I read in the Linux Kernel development forums, this bug might never get fixed. Linus Torvalds HATES ndiswrapper (because the Windows driver eats a lot of stack space, introduces various stability issues, and technically violates the GPL) and is basically resisting any kernel patches intended solely to fix ndiswrapper-related problems, instead insisting that efforts be focused on making the native drivers work.
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Postby cb474 » 2008-11-02 01:42

Thanks for the howto. If I want to try ndiswrapper, do I have to remove madwifi first (and how would I do that)? Or can I have the two side-by-side and switch between them, depending on which seems to work better with a particular access point?
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Postby hkoster1 » 2008-11-02 19:01

cb474 wrote:Thanks for the howto. If I want to try ndiswrapper, do I have to remove madwifi first (and how would I do that)? Or can I have the two side-by-side and switch between them, depending on which seems to work better with a particular access point?
Only one driver can control your wireless device at any one time, either ndiswrapper (leading to a wlan0 interface) or madwifi (probably ath0). If they are both installed, then the one to load first will probably control the device. Reversing this will require unloading them first,
Code: Select all
rmmod ndiswrapper madwifi
(as root) to be followed by loading the required one, e.g.
Code: Select all
modprobe madwifi

and configuring the resulting interface. You could even make a script to do this.

That said, it would probably be less trouble to stick with madwifi (or ath5k or ath9k), since ndiswrapper is known to have problems with WPA/WPA2 Personal security.
Real Debian users don't do chat...
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Postby cb474 » 2008-11-02 21:49

Thanks. I have one particular access point that I need to use a lot, that madwifi seems unable to connect to. But I can connect in windows (on the same laptop), so that's why I thought ndiswrapper might be the solution. But I intend to try ath5k too (although I'm also having a little trouble figuring out how to use ath5k).
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Postby chemame » 2009-01-27 06:03

Your how-to is awesome and was immensely helpful. I'm neither virgin to nor proficient at module-assistant, so when my Debian sid (2.6.26 kernel) system was unable to load the ndiswrapper module, I assumed m-a was where to turn, but wasn't completely comfortable going the path alone.

After following your how-to (and reading they why, not just the cut-n-paste :) ) I am happy to say the little blue light on my airlink usb lit right up. Yay!

Not yet sure if it will actually talk to my wireless router, as it's at work and I can't test that until the morning. Anyway, I'm well pleased so far.

BTW, in answer to the "what to do if I need to bootstrap this thing" question... I found out about ndiswrapper because of this post, which is also where I found out about Puppy Linux, which oddly enough has just about won me over from knoppix. And this from a guy who has mastered his own knoppix CDs for a homeschool education curriculum! In fact, it's the remastering that won me over. Anyway, fwiw, turns out Puppy is an incredibly simple solution to a live CD boot with built-in ndiswrapper support. Assuming you have the windows drivers somewhere local, Puppy can get you online painlessly so you can download whatever .deb files you need... or am I oversimplifying in my head?
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Postby hkoster1 » 2009-01-27 08:15

To each his own... but great you got it working!
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby cynwulf » 2009-05-03 10:30

I had to manually add "ndiswrapper" to /etc/modules as doing "ndiswrapper -m" was was returning "module configuration already contains alias directive" even though it wasn't present. Once I'd added it and rebooted it was all good.

I am using the latest WinXP net8185.inf (Realtek) driver, Debian 5, 2.6.26-2-686. The Win98 driver did not work. Strangely enough I've blacklisted the rtl8180 driver but it's still showing up as an alternative:

Code: Select all
net8185 : driver installed
device (10EC:8185) present (alternate driver: rtl8180)


This thread is probably the best guide to Ndiswrapper I've seen.

I've come back to Debian again after a stint with the bug ridden mish mash that is Ubuntu (the latest release is even worse). So far I'm not disappointed. One of my main issues was wireless. Now that I've got this working I see no reason to change distro again (though I will probably be reinstalling at some point soon as I think my hard drive is about to die....).

Many thanks

Cynwulf
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby tiftmasta » 2009-05-25 19:17

omg thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby Kinky » 2009-09-21 17:46

Awesome!
first time i type something into a terminal window (its all chinese to me 'cause i have zero linux experience) and it works woohoo
i did it the short way and everything went fine (i guess, because i had already been trying to installand use ndiswrapper before -graphically- but this didn't work so well; hope this doesn't affect anything)
have a TRENDnet TEW-643pi wireless pci card
boy, am i a happy user... :) now i don't have to boot to winows anymore to access internet :mrgreen:

great post!

a new Debian user
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby lkraemer » 2011-04-06 14:49

hkoster1,
May I suggest a little more detail for your ndiswrapper tutorial?

Immediately before your ndiswrapper command, there could be a statement about using
32Bit Windows Drivers for a 32Bit Debian install, and likewise for 64Bit Windows Drivers for a 64Bit Debian install......

Plus the following commands can be used to get more information
on your hardware, wireless, Windows loaded drivers, and Linux drivers.
Copy & Paste to prevent errors!
Code: Select all
lspci
lsusb
dmesg |tail
lsmod
ndiswrapper -l


Last please add information on how to remove Drivers & ndiswrapper, if needed.

Something in the order of:
REMOVE WINDOWS DRIVERS:
If you want to REMOVE the Windows Drivers:...............
If the output of ndiswrapper -l shows any drivers loaded,
remove ALL of them. If memory serves me correctly the command is:
Code: Select all
sudo ndiswrapper -e bcmwl5
sudo ndiswrapper -e ssb

This should clean up nidswrapper & drivers and:
Code: Select all
ndiswrapper -l

should return nothing as being loaded.

Then remove ndiswrapper:
Code: Select all
sudo modprobe -r ndiswrapper

Remove from startup file by editing:
Code: Select all
sudo nano /etc/modules

to remove ndiswrapper.


Thanks.

Larry
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby hkoster1 » 2011-04-08 07:32

lkraemer wrote:May I suggest a little more detail for your ndiswrapper tutorial?

You may, but I don't think your comments add much (if anything) that a Debian user doesn't
already know, or that couldn't be found by perusing a man-page or two. Your warning about
64- and 32-bit drivers is already prominently displayed in the Howto, adding it once more runs
the risk of annoying your typical Debian user, as does adding a lot of clutter. And what's about
this "sudo" thing...? Geez...
Real Debian users don't do chat...
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby cynwulf » 2011-04-08 07:49

hkoster1 wrote:And what's about
this "sudo" thing...? Geez...

+1

Just follow this kind of format and everyone is happy, e.g.:

Run the following as root:

Code: Select all
aptitude update
aptitude safe-upgrade


You've saved yourself a lot of extra typing and repetition. The reader can then choose to su or sudo as they see fit.
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby bw123 » 2011-05-09 07:15

easy? it took me 12 hours to get wireless going this weekend, and it's only Lenny Live CD, thanks for the helpful post. Maybe in a little while I will try Squeeze I think it might support the RTL8187B now.

If I get the Squeeze CD1, will I have to go through the whole thing over again trying to build ndiswrapper.ko without make and gcc? Will I even be able to use wireless during the install, my inquiring mind wants to know. Nice trick to leave ndiswrapper out, and also any tools to make it, if I wasn't a redneck from TN I would say 'HAVE A NICE DAY!'
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Re: Ndiswrapper the easy Debian way...

Postby Roel63 » 2011-05-09 09:18

bw123 wrote:easy? it took me 12 hours to get wireless going this weekend, and it's only Lenny Live CD, thanks for the helpful post. Maybe in a little while I will try Squeeze I think it might support the RTL8187B now.

If I get the Squeeze CD1, will I have to go through the whole thing over again trying to build ndiswrapper.ko without make and gcc? Will I even be able to use wireless during the install, my inquiring mind wants to know. Nice trick to leave ndiswrapper out, and also any tools to make it, if I wasn't a redneck from TN I would say 'HAVE A NICE DAY!'


Just completely forget ndiswrapper and look at http://wiki.debian.org/rtl818x
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