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Wireless using W200 on openSUSE 10.3

Update 09/06/2008: Please see Wireless using W200 on openSUSE 11.0 for updated version of this howto.

I have an old Compaq Evo N610c laptop that has built in Compaq Wireless LAN MultiPort W200. For OpenSUSE 10.1 and older I was using drivers built by Øystein Olsen. I have been unable to get W200 to work ever since I upgraded to openSUSE 10.2 and openSUSE 10.3. Last weekend I finally broke through by leveraging Ubuntu W200 instructions.

Disclaimer:

  1. The instructions below have worked for me and tested on openSUSE 10.3 (2.6.22.17-0.1-default). YMMV. I am not responsible for loss of data or damage to your machine.
  2. Using KNetwork Manager with W200 causes system to hang up. Use ifup instead.
  3. Only WEP is supported. WPA/WPA2 do not work.
  4. You need to repeat these steps after any kernel updates.

Prerequisites

Check your kernel version

uname -r

Using YaST Software Management install the following packages

cpp42
curl
gcc
kernel-source
linux-kernel-headers
subversion

Configure the kernel

Before we proceed further we need to configure the kernel source

cd /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build/
su
(root password)
cp /boot/config-$(uname -r) .config
make oldconfig
make prepare

Updated 04/15/2008 – See comment from Gerhard below who had to run alternate commands to configure the Kernel on N800c.

Downlading the driver

Download the suitable revision of the orinoco_usb driver from SVN. For me revision 1297 has worked correctly.

svn co -r 1297 https://orinoco.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/orinoco/branches/usb/

Compile and install the driver

cd usb
make
sudo make install

Download the firmware

The firmware directory has a script that makes this task easier

cd firmware
./get_ezusb_fw

Copy firmware to appropriate location

sudo cp orinoco_ezusb_fw /lib/firmware

Activating the adapter

Almost there … load driver into the kernel

sudo modprobe -v orinoco_usb

The tiny green light on the side of W200 should come on. Eureka!!! (if it did not come on, try rebooting)

Configure wireless

  1. Start YaST and select Network Devices->Network Card
  2. You should see “Compaq WLAN Multiport W200″ listed there with “Not configured” in the IP Address column
  3. Before we proceed we need to disable use of KNetwork Manager. Click on “Global Options” tab and select “ifup” instead of KNetwork Manager
  4. Click on “Overview” tab
  5. Select “Compaq WLAN Multiport W200″ and click the “Configure” button
  6. Click on “General” tab. Select “At Boot Time” under “Device Activation”
  7. Click on “Address Tab”. Select “Dynamic Address DHCP” or Statically Assigned IP Address depending on your network setup.
  8. Click on “Next” button
  9. On Wireless Device Settings select “Managed” under “Operating Mode” and other options to match your network settings (reminder WPA is not supported)
  10. Click “Next” button
  11. Click “Finish” button

Testing

Open Terminal Window and run

/sbin/ifconfig

to see if you have obtained IP address.

Enjoy

Enjoy an ice cold lemonade and surf the internet from your porch :)

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9 comments

9 Comments so far

  1. mtcstle April 6th, 2008 5:44 pm

    By George, i think that did it. I set it to use ifup, under the global tab. as you suggested in your blog, pushed the Fn-F2 key, and DHCP went out and caught me an address. I already had everything else in place, the driver, the firmware. It just came right up, I’m using it now. I’ve still got quite a bit of testing to do before handing it over to my 12 year old, but this is very, very encouraging.

  2. Gerhard April 12th, 2008 10:21 am

    I had to do the procedure from Øystein Olsen (http://folk.uio.no/oeysteio/orinoco-usb/building.html) for preparing the kernel:

    $ cd /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/
    $ rm build
    $ ln -s source build
    $ cd build/
    $ su
    (root password)
    $ make mrproper
    $ make cloneconfig
    $ make prepare-all

    Important: You must change

    make prepare-all

    to

    make prepare scripts

    if you get an error similar to:

    /bin/sh: scripts/genksyms/genksyms: No such file or directory

  3. Jay August 12th, 2008 6:53 pm

    Thank you so much for this how-to! I had been trying for months, without luck until I got here! There’s only one problem left. When I use airmon-ng to start monitor mode for the wireless card, the whole system freezes. I think it’s a problem with the orinoco driver version, as described here: http://www.projectiwear.org/~plasmahh/orinoco.html perhaps this how-to downloaded v. 15? I tried installing v.13e but it returned errors. I have no idea how to solve this problem since I am very new to linux. Please help-it’s urgent! Thanks in advance! =]

  4. lucidTipster August 14th, 2008 11:42 pm

    Jay,

    Sorry I have no experience with airmon-ng. Does the without airmon-ng?

  5. Jae August 19th, 2008 2:39 am

    Thanks for the tip!

    I installed Suse 11 on my Evo N800c last weekend; Everything is fine but my wireless card(W200) is not working. I followed your tip but at the last step “sudo modprobe -v orinoco_usb” I got a FATAL error:

    insmod /lib/modules/2.6.25.11-0.1-default/weak-updates/orinoco_usb.ko FATAL: Error inserting orinoco_usb (/lib/modules/2.6.25.11-0.1-default/weak-updates/orinoco_usb.ko): Invalid module format

    I tried another revision, say 1300, but didn’t work…what am I supposed to do? Thanks in advance.

  6. lucidTipster August 19th, 2008 11:23 pm

    Jae,

    I upgraded my Evo N610c from OpenSUSE 10.3 to OpenSUSE 11.0 and the wireless card (w200) worked correctly. I am going now going to try a fresh install of OpenSUSE 11.0 on the same Evo N610c and will let you know the findings.

  7. Jay August 29th, 2008 11:28 am

    I just did a fresh install of openSuse 11. i also got an error message saying something about unknown symbols. but after i reboot it, the wireless light up. i configured the wifi card, still i couldnt connect to the internet. any ideas?

    by the way, i think i know the solution to Jae’s problem. i attempted to do the same thing a week ago, and i got the same error message as Jae’s. it turns out that the module wasnt “maked” for the correct kernel version, perhaps. so try updating the kernel stuff from YAST, reboot, and install again.

  8. lucidTipster September 6th, 2008 11:03 am

    Jay,

    Please see the updated version of the howto that is more specific to openSUSE 11.0 Please check it out and provide me with your feedback

    http://www.lucidtips.com/2008/09/06/wireless-using-w200-on-opensuse-110/

  9. bauderline January 1st, 2009 5:33 pm

    Thanks a million for the above. It also works a treat for Fedora Core 10 on a Compaq Evo N800c.

    P.