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6. Setup

Here I report some examples (I hope useful!) on how to configure more diffuse and not expansive Wireless Cards.

6.1 General setup info

Wireless cards have interface similar to any Ethernet cards, so you have to add in /etc/conf.modules:

  1. "alias ethx module", where ethx is the interface you want to assign to your wireless card and module is name of kernel module.
  2. "options module io=0xAAA irq=I ...", where 0xAAA is the io base address to assign the card, I is the IRQ and so on if there are other parameters.

After this you'll be able to use ifconfig and route commands to configure your card at IP level.

6.2 Proxim Symphony

Network type: FHSS, Adhoc only and with proprietary protocol OpenAir.

Web site: http://www.proxim.com where you need to download documentation and driver for Linux and Win9x.

Drivers come with source code to compile:

  1. untar it in a empty directory
  2. type make for help.
  3. make modules; make modules_install to install the driver rlmod.o and the utility rl2cfg.
  4. to run the driver (after modified /etc/conf.modules: see Par.6.1.) you only need to turn up the interface with ifconfig command.

Utility rl2cfg (for help type man rl2cfg once done c step) let you change typical data-link level settings:

  1. "rl2cfg dev ethx sta" to set it to station (Slave)
  2. "rl2cfg dev ethx msta" to set it to master station (Master)
  3. "rl2cfg dev ethx alt" to set it to automatically mode

This is all you have to know to get it properly working.

6.3 Webgear Aviator 2.4 and AviatorPro

Network type: FHSS, Adhoc only for Aviator 2.4 and Infrastructure for AviatorPro.

These cards need more for working, because you have to compile Pcmcia source as they come with Pcmcia plug.

Web site is http://www.webgear.com.

To configure:

  1. You have to download source pcmcia and to expand it to /usr/src/pcmcia (see Par 5.2)
  2. Download driver form http://www.webgear.com and type "tar zxvf driver.tgz" in /usr/src/pcmcia directory.
  3. reconfig pcmcia (see Par 5.2)
  4. Following instructions you have to append to file /etc/pcmcia/config.opts entry "source ./ray_cs.opts".
  5. Note that in /etc/pcmcia/ray_cs.opts there is a line like this: "module "ray_cs" opts "...". Here you have to modify some settings at data-link level present in "opts" .


  • pc_debug=x , where x is the log level.
  • net_type=x, x=0 for AdHoc, x=1 for Infrastructure.
  • essid=x, x is the ESSID

Finally, to verify configuration with pc_debug > 0, you will see data-link messages in your console like these: "network started" for a new Wireless network created and "network joined" for a new Wireless network joined to another one.

Also File /proc/ray_cs can help you: flied BSSID report to which Subnet you belong to, if it is null you can receive data from no one cards.

6.4 Lucent Wavelan I, II, Orinoco products and Cabletron

Network type: DSSS, Adhoc and Infrastructure.

Lucent products are very professional ones.

Web site: http://www.lucent.com and http://www.orinoco.net.

Setup is like WebGear-like: step 1,2,3 are similar

Then you have to add to file /etc/pcmcia/config.opts: module "wavelan_cs" opts " ..." for Lucent Wavelan I module and "wavelan2_cs" opts " ...", for Lucent Wavelan II or Orinoco.

Under opts you will specify:

  1. port_type=x, where x indicates Adhoc(3) or Infrastructure(1)
  2. channel=x, x=channel, option relevant for AdHoc mode only.
  3. transmit_rate=x, to fix the speed rate: attention to this setting for compatibility with Cabletron cards.

Note: Ideally, it is possible in a Linux Box to have 2 Lucent Wavelanx cards, one in Adhoc mode and the other in Infrastructure mode. Only one of them could properly works because, when starting pcmcia service, all 2 cards are set with same opts value (so in Adhoc or Infrastructure mode). So we have to create a Linux module (or maybe a user mode program) that can change data_link parameters at run-time such as access mode and channel used in Adhoc mode!

The channel parameter is usually used to avoid interference with near other Wireless TX/RX.

Lucent drivers could also be used for Cabletron cards http://www.cabletron.com

6.5 YDI

Network type: DSSS, Adhoc and Infrastructure.

YDI sells very professional cards with antennas, amplifiers and more.

Web-site http://www.ydi.com

To install: 

  1. untar it in a empty directory.
  2. type make for compile.
  3. make install to install the driver am930_isa and the wlanctl utility

Once done you can choose if type manual commands using "wlanctl" data-link utility or run the "scripts/wlan" file or "scripts/rc.wlan" file to automatically config your network.

In manual case these are major settings:

  1. "wlanctl scan ..." to search for BSSs already present.
  2. "wlanctl netlist" show you what's found with "wlanctl scan ...".
  3. "wlanctl bsscreate ... ssid" to create a new network with ssid parameter.
  4. "wlanctl bssjoin bssid" to join the network identified by bssid.
  5. "wlanctl authen" and "wlanctl assoc" for authentication services.

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