WiFi and Linux

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WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:23 pm

I want to put a copy of linux on an old computer, I also want to use my wifi card, a Belkin n type adapter. Will my adapter be compatible with Linux, and what distro would be best as I have no experience with Linux. Thanks in advance.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:18 pm

Ubuntu is probably best for people with no Linux experience, and I would recommend version 9.04 which is being released in 2 days time. You can grab the release candidate now from their website and install that now and just do the upgrades as the final version is released. Being the latest version it's more likely to support your hardware, but short of Googling for the precise model of adaptor and Ubuntu, it's impossible to know.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:40 pm

yea wireless on all the ubuntu distro's (kubuntu, xubuntu, ubuntu and so forth) is extremely easy to handle, its about the same as a mac or windows operation, closer to mac since the architecture is similiar.
pretty much click and select. long as it notices the card/adapter its perfectly fine
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Last time I checked, there was no native support for 802.11n. So, keep your Windows drivers handy.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:32 pm

Everything depends on the chipset. The brand (Belkin) doesn't tell us much. They, like Linksys, D-Link, etc, all repackage different chipsets as their own.

My Belkin 802.11G adapter, in fact, has 6 different versions, all packaged and marked the same, and EVERY LAST ONE has a completely different chipset inside.

So you probably won't know till you try it, but the odds aren't bad. Linux supports most chipsets now, even ones that never published any information (BROADCOM!).
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:34 pm

titan wrote:Last time I checked, there was no native support for 802.11n. So, keep your Windows drivers handy.


The 4965AGN here disagrees, as does the Ralink PCI n card I have downstairs.

They don't generally support 300Mbps mode (multi-channel aka wide spectrum), only the normal 130Mbps mode, but that is coming too.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:53 pm

yea, but that doesnt mean the if there are drivers around, linux is going to support the b or g modes available on the n device either way, so there should be wifi available for it.
despite the fact he may have to hunt the drivers for it down online or there might be a native driver in the build that supports that model... most times though its usually have to hunt the driver down after install, even when the live disc itself supports that wifi... odd sometimes :)
happened to my laptops internal b/g card and a few others.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:50 am

Thanks for all the replies, it is sure nice to have a website like this. I am not stuck on using the Belkin, I would go by what ever works, so if anyone can list the model of a wifi adapter that works with Linux and the distro, I would greatly appreciate it, Thanks again.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:25 am

As Forge pointed out it's really hard to tell exactly what is supported. Qe can tell you what chipset is supported, that doesn't help when buying a card as the manufacturers change the chipsets without changing anything on the card.

It sounds like this is all stuff you have lying around, your not purchasing anything to do this so no risk. I'd say just go for it. You don't even have to install Ubuntu to check it out, just boot the CD and it will run from the CD. This makes it slower than a real install, but it will at least tell you if your hardware is going to work.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:11 am

Thanks for the replies, I have a simply Mepis 6.0 disk. So do I put it in my dvd drive before I start the computer, and I assume it won't affect Windows xp at all? Thanks again.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:20 am

digby wrote:Thanks for the replies, I have a simply Mepis 6.0 disk. So do I put it in my dvd drive before I start the computer, and I assume it won't affect Windows xp at all? Thanks again.


I'm not familiar with Mepis, but I believe that's the case. Most distros work that way. The disk is a LiveCD, it boots and runs without touching your PC, and then if you tell it to do so, it installs to the hard disk.
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:41 pm

Tried putting it in the dvd drive but it didn't do anything. Tried leaving it in the DVD drive and booting the pc with no luck. It says right on the cover of the cd " risk free testing with live boot option".
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Re: WiFi and Linux

Postposted on Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:46 pm

When booting you have to select the DVD as the boot drive. Depending on your BIOS, you will need to either reconfigure the boot options or you may be able to press a key during the boot sequence and select a temporary boot device.
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