[Wolves] wireless networking

James Turner wolves at mailman.lug.org.uk
Thu Jul 10 00:08:01 2003

On Wednesday 09 Jul 2003 6:19 pm, Rachael Baylis wrote:
> I'm really frustrated...
> We recently got a wireless networking system at home. I've just got my
> card, and I'm trying to get
> it working with Red Hat 8.0
> The card is a Netgear 11Mbps 802.11b Wireless PCI Adapter MA311
> It's working under Windows, with the provided drivers; the information I
> found on the net suggests
> that older products of theirs work with Linux, but I can't find anything
> much on the specific card,
> except that some people have been using "orinoco" drivers with it.
> To determine what drivers I need, apparently I should run the command
> "lspci -v" at the command line,
> to get information on the exact details. However, when I do this, I get the
> message "command not
> found". Man and info files for lspci are present, though not terribly
> helpful.

That command is stored in the /sbin directory, which is not in your path by 
default. Try typing the following instead:

/sbin/lspci -v

If you still can't get the command to work (for example if you don't have the 
lspci command installed) you can obtain identical information (albeit 
presented slightly differently) by typing

cat /proc/pci

> What should I do? What exactly do I need to download / install? Are there
> any card-specific drivers
> around that I'm just missing? What are these "orinoco" drivers, and where
> can I find them?

I'm afraid I have minimal experience of wireless under Linux but hopefully the 
following may help:

[Red Hat specific]

There's a graphical tool for configuring network connections: On the "Hat" 
menu choose "System Settings", "Network" or running the /usr/sbin/neat 
command as root. Click "New" on the toolbar, choose "Wireless Connection" and 
seeing if the Wizard manages to set up the card for you. I note that various 
Lucent cards are listed if you choose "Other Wireless Card".

[end Red Hat specific]

ORiNOCO is a brand name used for various members of Lucent Technologies 
wireless LAN product range. These were previously sold under the name 
WaveLAN, which you may also see mentioned. The product you purchased may use 
either rebadged Lucent hardware or compatible hardware.

If the card is indeed compatible with Lucent ORiNOCO, then the kernel module 
(driver) for it will be orinoco_pci.o, which is already included in the 
standard Red Hat kernel. You could try typing /sbin/modprobe orinoco_pci and 
seeing if anything useful happens.

Once you have the kernel module loaded and running, I suspect that you'll need 
to have the wireless-tools RPM (on one of the installation CDs) installed if 
it isn't already.

> Thanks
> Rachael
> PS on a related note of pure, unadulterated ignorance - how do I uninstall
> old kernel versions? I'm
> running out of space and currently have three versions knocking around. And
> I can't work out
> how to remove them. Any advice (with or without jeering comments) would be
> greatly appreciated.

Assuming that the old kernels were installed as RPMs:

rpm -q kernel

will list the kernel versions installed, for example


Then use rpm -e to remove the version you no longer need. For example, to 
remove the first of the above two kernels you'd type

rpm -e kernel-2.4.18-14

If you installed the kernel from an RPM the above is strongly recommended over 
the manual method described below:

If the kernel was installed manually (eg from a tarball or compiled yourself) 
then you can just delete the files from the appropriate locations, then 
remove the corresponding entry from the GRUB boot loader.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you don't make your system unbootable by 
deleting/changing the wrong files! It may be worth creating a boot disc or 
familiarising yourself with booting from the CD in recovery mode before you 
start. Also, you could rename or move files rather than deleting them until 
you're sure you won't need to put them back.

The kernel itself is stored in the /boot directory, usually under a name 
begining with vmlinuz, for example vmlinuz-2.4.18-14. There may be related 
files named some or all of the following, followed by the same version 
number: config, initrd, module-info, System.map and vmlinux. These can be 
deleted too. If you're following the "rename before deleting" advice then 
these files should probably be kept inside /boot in order to be easily 
accessible through GRUB.

Most of the disc space used by the kernel relates to the modules, which are 
stored in a subdirectory of /lib/modules corresponding to the version number. 
The appropriate directory can be deleted if no longer needed.

Good luck!