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Ubuntu & Netgear WG311 PCI card

I’ve been putting together an Ubuntu system for my parents, who just setup internet access at their house. Sadly they will be using wireless at the house (more on my opinion of wireless in another article), so I had to pickup a PCI wireless card for the machine [the motherboard is an Acer with a P4 1.6Ghz processor & a gig of ram.]

It’s been interesting trolling the ‘net for installation instructions – I’ve seen conflicting reports on the process, and nothing that specifically mentioned Ubuntu 10.10.

So here – for the sake of others and myself – is how I got Ubuntu 10.10 to work with a Netgear WG311 PCI wireless access card:

What you’ll need:

  1. A working Ubuntu 10.10 system
  2. Admin access (i.e. your admin password)
  3. Internet Access – and all the passwords and such to access the home network
  4. A Netgear WG311 PCI card already installed into the machine

The Process:

  1. Start the machine running. Login. Get to the desktop.
  2. Start a console (Applications–>Accessories–>Terminal)
  3. Type this:  lspci | grep Marvell
  4. You should see something like this showup:
    Ethernet controller: Marvell Technology Group Ltd. 88w8835 [Libertas] 802.11b/g Wireless (rev 03)

    (As long as you see something related to “Marvell” you are OK. Your screen will likely look somewhat different)
  5. Get the drivers from either
    ftp://downloads.netgear.com/files/wg311v3_1_0.zip or
    http://www.soft32.com/Download/Free/NETGEAR_WG311v3_80211g_Wireless_PCI_Adapter/4-181522-1.html or
    possibly http://www.marvell.com/drivers/upload/MV-S800374-00.zip
  6. Open up the “Downloads” folder (Places–>Downloads).
    Doubleclick the zip archive you see there to unpack the archive.
  7. Fire up the Synaptic Package Manager (System–>Administration–>Synaptic Package Manager).
    Search for “ndiswrapper”.
    Install ndisgtk, ndiswrapper-utils-1.9 and ndiswrapper-common.
  8. Back at the console/terminal, type this:
    ndiswrapper -h.
    If you get a reply with some help text, that means ndiswrapper is indeed installed. If it isn’t, redo Step 6.
  9. Switch back to your open downloads folder.
    Open up the folder you extracted back in step 5.
    You’ll see several folders there – find the WinXP folder inside the Driver folder and open it.
  10. Set your screen – i.e. move the windows around –  so you can see both the console and the contents of the WinXP folder at the same time.
  11. In the console type this:
    sudo ndiswrapper -i

    -make sure you leave a space at the end of the line, and DON’T HIT ENTER YET
  12. Switch to the WinXP folder.
    Click and drag the file WG311v3.INF into the console.
    Let go of the mouse button when your pointer reaches the end of the line you typed in step 11.
    The line should end with the full path of the .INF file. Hit enter now.
  13. Type ndiswrapper -l.
    The console should reply:
    wg311v3 : driver installed,  device (11AB:1FAA) present
  14. If that doesn’t work, try typing this: 
    ndiswrapper -a
    devid wg311v3.
    [Replace “devid” with the PCI ID or the USB ID of your card, in the form XXXX:XXXX.
    To get those numbers, run the command lspci -n or lspci -nn (for PCI cards, the -nn option adds a human readable device name so you can easily identify the device your are targeting) or the command lsusb (for USB devices]
  15. Now you have to insert the software module into the system. Type this:
    sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
  16. Check to see if it worked by typing this command:
    iwconfig
    You should see a reference to “wlan0” in the output. If you do, it’s working!
  17. Now add it to the list of things to automatically startup by typing this command:
    sudo ndiswrapper -m
  18. …and then type this:
    sudo gedit /etc/modules

    [gedit is a text editor- you could also use pico or any other text editor you have available in your system.]
    Add a line that says ndiswrapper
    Hit CTRL-X to write the file.
    Exit your text editor.

That should do the trick! I suggest shutting down the system and then restarting, just because I like to make sure things are working – and will continue to work after I’ve gone back home!

Sources for more help:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Device/Netgear_WG311_v3

http://madwifi.org/

http://switch2linuxnow.com/home/netgear-wg311-ver-3-wireless-network-cards

http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-5141.html

http://www.linux-wireless.org/Drivers/

http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/marvell-88w8335-chipset-netgear-wg311-pcicard-driver/

http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partner-pub-9300639326172081%3Ac6lzq8-dhwz&ie=UTF-8&sa=Search&q=NEtgear+WG311+linux+driver&hl=en-+

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