Skip to comments.LINUX and WiFi
Posted on 01/21/2014 10:04:40 AM PST by varmintman
This is in the "If the subject should ever come up" category...
One of the biggest problems which comes up for people trying to get a look at one of the newer Linux distributions is what to do about WIFI. Particularly in the case of laptops and particularly in the case of laptops with Broadcom wifi radios, those radios act as if they'd gone dead. LINUX does not come with drivers for such (the drivers are Windows only and proprietary) ; information exists on websites for setting up wrappers to allow the Windows drivers to think they're running under Windows but 1. the instructions for loading and installing those drivers and wrapping code cannot be followed by normal people, 2. even were you to miraculously succeed at that there could easily be a performance penalty in the extra layer of software and, 3. since you're often talking about an older laptop in the first place, that radio is likely to be low-performance and constitute a bottleneck.
The good news is you can avoid the problem for ten or fifteen bucks. One of the little usb wifi devices which is a $10 - $15 item on ebay all day long, will simply make the problem vanish. None of the info on any of the linux websites will tell you that.
Um.... Which Linux distro were you having problems with?
I always go for the $5 one though.
Anything Ubuntu-based, Mint in this case. I’d guess any other distribution would have the same problem but I couldn’t vouch for it.
I had zero problem getting my laptop online the minute I installed Ubuntu.
There are some WIFI routers that apparently don’t work with Linux though.
I have one of those on a Raspberry Pi. Works a treat...
You haz a pi!? Lucky.
How does a router know the packets came from a Linux box?
I got a Pi for Christmas. It works, but I have no clue what do do with it. It isn’t fast enough to play video.
Ok... Debian based. Both Ubuntu and Mint are based on Debian.
I assume you’ve seen this: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/218
Just curious as I’ve never had that problem. Yeah, I’ve had to correctly configure the device via command line, but that’s about it. MAN pages and README’s include a lot of this info.
The idea of using a Windows driver in a wrapper for a networking device never would have crossed my mind.
All I know is that one of the routers I had from Verizon worked on everything (Windows, IPhones, XBoxes) but not my Linux computer. It didn’t even seem to exist to the router.
SO I changed back to the old router that worked.
He wrote about his experiences...
This is what I got for Christmas...
Nerds will Rule the World!
Linux no likee Broadcomm chips.
I've always had good luck with these funky Zyxel units
“I got a Pi for Christmas. It works, but I have no clue what do do with it. It isnt fast enough to play video.”
Here’s one neat project using the RPi for web applications:
Nope, that's part of what I meant in saying that a normal person had little or no chance of succeeding at such a thing and, again, even were you to succeed at it, there're still two kinds of performance issues as I noted. One of he things I notice doing ebay searches on 'tenda usb' is that there's a wide range of performances in such devics, 130mbs - 300+ mbs and the price difference is negligable.
Ok...so I’m confused. How will plugging in a usb wifi device to your PC’s USB port allow your Linux distro access your wifi network any easier? What method do you use now? Are you using a desktop PC or a laptop. Please elucidate.
Doesn’t it make sense that a natively-supported WiFi chip in the external device is going to streamline things?
I have used the wrapper method in the past, however, and it was no big deal.