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Intel Wireless Networking Hardware

Linux Centrino Driver Update 273

Edy52285 writes "An article on talks about how Intel has been, and still is, dragging on releasing their Linux drivers for Centrino. Intel is reluctant to release its drivers as open source since doing so would reveal secrets about their wireless hardware. Linux in currently unable to take advantage of Centrino's wireless networking devices, without, that is, prying $20 from your thin wallet to buy Linuxant's DriverLoader (discussed in an earlier story). Will Swope (Intel's General Manager of Software and Solutions Group) said in an interview said "What I believe will happen is we will end up having a Linux compatibility driver that is not open source at first, then designing future drivers in such a way that they are open source but will not expose intellectual property," Intel seem to be taking its time on releasing the drivers, and even in the article, there is a lack of any commitment on a date or under what conditions the drivers will be released." Also, someone pointed out that it's worth checking out ndiswrapper for the driver.
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Linux Centrino Driver Update

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  • ndiswrapper (Score:5, Informative)

    by theridersofrohan ( 241712 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:32AM (#8087472) Homepage
    Linux in currently unable to take advantage of Centrino's wireless networking devices, without, that is, prying $20 from your thin wallet to buy Linuxant's DriverLoader

    Not true. I'm using the open-source ndiswrapper [] project together with the win32 drivers, and it works, although a bit buggy. See here []

    • Works perfectly on my Compaq Presario X1000
    • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lavalyn ( 649886 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:40AM (#8087542) Homepage Journal
      So we get all the bugginess of a windows driver giftwrapped in the bugginess of a linux alpha wrapper...

      1. Don't give specifications away
      2. Tech-savvy high-end linux users don't buy your product
      3. ???
      4. Profit???
      • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:46AM (#8087580)
        1. Don't give specifications away
        2. Tech-savvy high-end linux users don't buy your product
        3. ???
        4. Profit???
        Unfortunately, it's more like this:
        1. Create new device that isn't very well implemented and give it a meaningless marketting name
        2. Release Windows drivers so that your OEMs can use it in Windows.
        3. Let OEMs market it to their sheep customers who just go with it without bothering to research things, not realising that it really isn't anything better than before but go "oooh! Intel!"
        4. Profit.
        • I don't think it's about the Open Source vs. Closed Source, or even about discovering the "secrets" in their hardware design. There's no reason why they couldn't write a binary-only driver specifically for Linux. The fact that they haven't done so already is probably a clue pointing at their true motives. Chipzilla and M$ have been "in bed" together for many years, and we all know how Microsoft feels about Linux.

          I'll let you do the math...
          • You must not read the latest news... Intel is now on record as saying their behind Linux. They've promised Linux Centrino drivers - I think I remember reading 2nd quarter '04. That's all fine and good that MS has been in bed with Intel over the years, but perhaps you're not aware of their latest deal with AMD. It's no longer a single partnership world.
          • Re:ndiswrapper (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Dutch_Cap ( 532453 )

            "Chipzilla and M$ have been "in bed" together for many years, and we all know how Microsoft feels about Linux."

            I don't think Intel is in bed with Microsoft, at least not exclusively. I remember at one point Intel helped Be inc. (Creators of the now long-dead Be Operating System) to optimize their software for Intel processors. I also doubt Intel hates Linux, I bet they get lots of revenue from servers being converted to x86+Linux.

            I think the delay in Linux Centrino drivers is mostly due to simple econ

  • And thus... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:33AM (#8087474)
    ...I won't buy a "Centrino" laptop. That's fine, since Apple's laptops are looking more appealing anyway, and still run Linux. Some of those new AMD offerings in mobile computing, as well as Tranmeta's installation in some of the Sony lines make them nice options as well.
    • Great for the .0005% of people who buy Apple laptops and then actually run Linux on them. Not so great for the rest of the world. You look at a decent laptop and chances are that it has Centrion "Inside".

      When someone as big as Intel refuses to support linux on its hardware out of "IP" concerns. What kind of message does this send to the rest of the world, let alone smaller hardware vendors? Not good PR that's for dam sure.
    • Re:And thus... (Score:3, Informative)

      by plj ( 673710 )
      But Apple's AirPort Extreme WLAN cards aren't supported under Linux either, according to Yellow Dog's support []. They neither support modem, bluetooth or external displays. Hell, they even don't support sleep, which kinda sucks in a laptop. At least most Centrino laptops probably support APM (and ACPI, if you can tune it to work).

      I have an Apple 12" PowerBook. Never tried running Linux on it, though.
    • Re:And thus... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cereal Box ( 4286 )
      That's fine, since Apple's laptops are looking more appealing anyway, and still run Linux.

      Why would you spend obscene amounts of money on an Apple laptop just so you can run Linux on it? For a group of people that complain so much about the "Microsoft Tax" and actually think that it raises the price of your computer by the retail cost of Windows, Slashdotters sure as hell don't have a problem paying hundreds more for an Apple laptop just so they can be spared the agony of seeing Windows boot up once. Ba
    • Bingo. I will not buy computer products that do not make themselves easy to use in my chosen computing environment. Probably the least open-source friendly device I own is my laptop, since laptops are simply unfriendly, but even there it works well enough to be Linux-only.
  • Why should anyone be surprised that a company that makes its money off of proprietary designs should be at odds with a movement to wrest control away from proprietary vendors?

    Isn't this why Stallman insists on running only Free software?
  • Intel PRO/Wireless Lan (Centrino)
    For more info:
  • ndiswrapper (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tooky ( 15656 ) <> on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:33AM (#8087488) Homepage []

    This is an open source implementation that allows linux users to load their windows drivers and use their WiFi cards.

    Its still very new, but there has been some success with the centrino chipset, as well as Admtek, Atheros and Broadcom cards.

  • And precompiled? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alvieboy ( 61292 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:33AM (#8087489) Homepage
    Why don't they do like nVidia, release a pre-compiled binary driver core and an open-source, compilable interface, which hopefully will manage to unify all diferences between different kernel versions and distros ?

    • Because people in linux land have this nasty habit of reverse engineering things.......
    • by mahdi13 ( 660205 ) <> on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:45AM (#8087573) Journal
      That would be more then fine with me, it's not like using the nVidia drivers makes you an outcast. nVidia is one of the most praised big names because they have been actively supporting Linux with their hardware for about 4 years.
      If Intel would step up and prove that they support Linux, it would be a huge boost for Linux and extra appreciation for Intel from the Linux community. Even if they release a beta for Linux, you know that a large portion of users will actively assist in the testing and send in bug reports.
    • Why don't they do like nVidia, release a pre-compiled binary driver core and an open-source, compilable interface

      I hope it works better than the nVidia solution. I had a low end nVidia card. It was not very solid. After a long long wait Intel finally released the Linux driver for the on board graphics (845G). It was worth the wait. The driver was very very solid.

    • Of course there is a solution. But Intel do quite nicely out of Microsoft only supporting Windows on i386. Intel have a lot to lose if Microsoft say "right, we'll start supporting the 68k architecture as well", and they're not going to risk that happening by opening with "right, we'll start supporting Linux." MS have enough cash to be able to terminate Wintel completely within a few years, and where would that leave the Intel gazillionaires?

      So if you were an Intel PHB, which would you choose - lose a fe
  • Simple solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:33AM (#8087490) Journal
    We had exactly this problem.

    Our solution was to write a proprietry driver, and then write a wrapper for this to interface it to the kernel. Release the wrapper under the GPL, then release our proprietry software as closed source.
    • Re:Simple solution (Score:2, Insightful)

      by GigsVT ( 208848 )
      That's not much of a solution. Most linux people aren't going to want to run a closed source driver. It makes support nearly impossible, since no one is going to even attempt to support your system if it has closed-source kernel modules installed.
  • by MrJerryNormandinSir ( 197432 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:34AM (#8087491)
    Only buy opensource supported products. The demand
    will drive the market. This is also what we would need to do as soon as the PC gets locked up with
    the new Award Bios. Demand has to be so low that it
    will just about drive the home PC vendors out of business. then and only then DRM will be dropped.

    I'm stocking up on some hardware now, that way if my
    desktop or firewall does die, I can build a new one.
  • by Lucky_Norseman ( 682487 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:35AM (#8087501)
    Think like a capitalist and vote with your wallet.

    Until they have a proper Linux driver, buy an AMD based system instead.
    • Until they have a proper Linux driver, buy an AMD based system instead.

      You are aware that it's a driver for the wireless technology and not actual cpu right? Last I checked (though it's been a while) AMD didn't integrate wireless into the mobile processors. So either way you'll have to buy a third party card if you want wireless.

      I had a AMD notebook and it barely got an hour of battery time. I hear their newer generation of mobile processors are supposed to be better but I have heard that the cent
    • It's too bad that laptop hardware support for AMD, well, sucks. That I can tell, no company is willing to make a solid performing mobile AMD based laptop. Sure, there are some desknotes, but those are kludges in the first place, I wouldn't buy any desknote, regardless of whose chip is in it.
    • by jmv ( 93421 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @03:48PM (#8091472) Homepage
      Actually, instead of buying a Centrino laptop, I just bought a Pentium-M laptop, i.e. the CPU is fine, all you have to do is get a non-Intel card with it.
  • by Renegade Lisp ( 315687 ) * on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:36AM (#8087504)
    What trade secrets is Intel trying to protect? From whom?

    Other chipmakers, I presume. So that nobody could produce an alternative wireless card to go with a Pentium M processor or some such.

    But wouldn't anyone who's capable of designing and producing his own chipset be able to dissect the Centrino architecture and reengineer it, either by careful blackbox testing or by actually taking a microscope and looking at the chips? Am I way off mark here?

    But if it's not other chipmakers they are protecting this from, if it actually is a software issue, then they are simply dancing to the tune of Microsoft due to whatever behind-the-scenes agreement they have with them.

    • Wouldn't anyone interested enough be able to reverse engineer the binary drivers anyway?
      • Exactly. It's just that it takes too much time, and without corporate backing it will take a while until enthusiasts, hackers, whatever-you-call-them have gotten this time together. And in a market so fast-changing as this, a year or two until a free, reverse-engineered driver is released, puts it pretty much out of the question.

        A hardware company (chip manufacturer, global player) would have much more incentive and the necessary financial means to achieve something like that.

  • Much ado about... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SJ ( 13711 )
    In all honesty, I can't see what is so special about Centrino that Intel wants to keep it so secret.

    It's a freaken' wireless chipset and a power efficient CPU. It's not like no one else makes them.
    • Re:Much ado about... (Score:2, Informative)

      by BJH ( 11355 )
      That's not the real reason.

      Intel doesn't want to release the specs because the Centrino's flexibility allows you to do certain things that breach government broadcast regulations.

      Until they can figure out a way to block J. Random Hacker from doing that, they won't release jack shit.
      • Intel doesn't want to release the specs because the Centrino's flexibility allows you to do certain things that breach government broadcast regulations.

        Some analogs in other industries:

        • Ford doesn't want to release the specs because the Explorer's flexibility allows you to drive at certain speeds that breach government speed limits.
        • Smith & Wesson doesn't want to release the specs because the 500 S&W Magnum's flexibility allows you to shoot people in a manner that breaches government criminal
  • not so bad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the drizzle ( 724660 )
    What I believe will happen is we will end up having a Linux compatibility driver that is not open source at first, then designing future drivers in such a way that they are open source but will not expose intellectual property

    So in other words, Intel is considering open source projects in the future. Isn't this news to get a little excited about?

    How often in the past have companies brushed aside Linux? Many, many times. It gives me a bit of a fuzzy feeling inside to see guys like this being honest and
  • by DarkDust ( 239124 ) <> on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:41AM (#8087553) Homepage
    M-Systems' DiscOnChips are very nice flash chips which we use in some ThinClients. While there is support for those in the 2.4.x kernel tree it never worked for us. So we took M-Systems drivers.

    Now they seem to be in a similar boat: they don't like to give out their intellectual property. Their solution is what looks like a driver stub and a binary .o file which is the real driver which does the real work. This way you can build kernel modules for you favourite kernel with M-Systems not releasing any "critical" source code.

    This practice means that you can't compile the driver into the kernel, you have to build a module (since the GPL does not allow building that propietary driver into the GPL'ed kernel, but allows non-GPL'ed kernel modules since they are not part of the resulting program or so... at least this what I recall Linus saying about that subject).

    But having a module does the job as well, using an initrd we can boot from M-Systems DoC perfectly (in Real Mode they are accessible like a harddisk). The extra-effort is worth it since in our experience they are a lot more reliable than Flash IDE Chips, and reliablity is an important factor in embedded systems like ThinClients :-)

    Intel could do it the same way: release a driver stub and a binary .o file which links together a kernel module. Et voila: Neutrino support for every kernel without releasing the real source code !
    • Indeed. If you look at the Linux Atheros driver [], Atheros and/or the people who licensed the proprietary bits from them provide a Hardware Access Layer (HAL) module that's binary-only. The rest of the driver can then just be GPL; the HAL takes care of hiding the precise details of talking to the card and doing all the FCC-compliance bits.

      I bought the Intel card because I had the choice of Broadcom, which TMK has zero plans to release a Linux driver, and Intel, which has announced plans to. Both suck and

      • If you want to stick with Dell hardware, you have another option: you could order a TrueMobile 1150 miniPCI from Dell spare parts. Last I checked it was about $50. It's based on the Orinoco chipset, probably the most completely supported chipset under Linux.
  • Shame on Intel (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jtshaw ( 398319 )
    Intel has been using linux to bring up there new products for years. If they want to protect there ip then the least they can do is release a driver in the manner of the nvidia driver is release. Sure I would perfer a total open source driver but baby steps would be ok for now.
  • by Anonymovs Coward ( 724746 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:48AM (#8087602)
    Read this post [] about using the Windows NDIS centrino driver (and other drivers) on FreeBSD, using the "NDISulator" (a.k.a. "Project Evil"). See this post [] for details on Project Evil. And unlike the linuxant thing, this is free.
  • buy "wireless ready" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <[moc.ssovi] [ta] [vsa]> on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:51AM (#8087623) Homepage Journal
    Why support a company that doesn't support Linux on the desktop? When I bought my x31 think nearly a year ago, the intel wireless driver mess was still up in the air. The company was giving extremely mixed signals, so I decided to buy my laptop wireless rdy. I ended up buying a minipci Dell trumobile 1150 off ebay that uses the orinoco chipset. I saved $40 and got a card that worked with Linux.

    The whole Centrino bit is a textbook monopolist tactic called a tying agreement []. Intel can skirt around it because its still offering the pentium-m, but with no marketing support. The general customer is really confused and assumes that if the laptop does not have the centrino sticker, its not the best one.

  • Prism 54g (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jacco de Leeuw ( 4646 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:52AM (#8087639) Homepage
    Better yet, get a Prism based [] WLAN card. Then you will even have 802.11g, which the Centrino doesn't have, AFAIK.

    These card are relatively inexpensive. There's no particular reason to pick a Centrino laptop because of the built-in WLAN support.

  • Stuck on WinXP (Score:2, Informative)

    I've been a Linux zealot since 1995, but just two annoying things have forced me to spend 90% of my time booted into my WinXP partition on my Panasonic toughbook:

    - swsusp is not reliable. Sorry, but I can't be patient when my fucking laptop hangs on the 2nd or 3rd resume. Cold booting and shutting down is just too damned slow, so I rarely bother anymore.
    - lack of Centrino support. Bastards at Intel! I would not have purchased this laptop if I knew I would have gotten shafted on Linux support -- especia
  • Notebooks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cubicledrone ( 681598 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:56AM (#8087673)
    Are a pain in the ass. I noticed this the day a colleague tried to install Windows 1900 on a "Made for XP" notebook. OEM drivers were nowhere to be found, and all the new drivers refused to install because they were "optimized for XP." The CDs that came with the machine were only "disk image restore" CDs. so re-installing the OS was impossible.

    Linux (Red Hat 9), of course, installed without so much as an extra line feed, and supported each and every device perfectly. This was a fairly new notebook as well. It was amazing.

    Can't figure out why manufacturers go out of their way to make it difficult for people to work with their own computers the way they want. Centrino should be supported, especially with notebooks being as expensive as they are.
    • I've noticed linux laptop installs do pretty well at supporting sound, ethernet, USB, and graphics on notebooks these days, but have trouble with a lot of the power-management and suspend/hibernate functions.

      We just spent ages trying to configure a new Acer Aspire laptop (17" screen) - and most worked with RH Fedora out of the box, except hibernation (which worked sometimes, but not with the Nvidia drivers in), and we couldn't get it to query the battery power state (relevant file in /proc wouldn't tell us
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This article brought a sly grin to my face. I've been using Linux since 1997 on servers, desktop PCs and notebooks. Struggling to get all the hardware in a system working properly was par for the course. 3 months ago I bought an Apple 12" PowerBook, running OS X. And I haven't looked back.

    Since then I haven't wasted a single second searching for drivers or wrestling with hardware to get it to work. Sleep and restore works 100% of the time. Bluetooth and wireless LAN are bulletproof. I'd almost forgot

  • What could they so desperately want to keep secret? Usually there's just no reason for a hardware manufacturer wanting to keep secret the information necessary to write a driver. When they do this, it's out of ignorance (or sometimes Microsoft threats, but I havn't heard evidence of this happening lately).

    What could Intel's motivation be? Is it to hide a huge flaw, or to hide a huge security vulnerability such as backdoored encryption?
    • It's one of two likely things, IMO - they're embarassed by how bad their wireless stuff is (and it's certainly very late - _still_ no 802.11g on the market!), and/or they're using someone else's intellectual property and don't want anyone else to find out.

      Or both.

      I'd doubt VERY much that their wireless stuff is soooo advanced that anyone would learn anything useful from examining it.
  • by MurrayTodd ( 92102 ) * on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:08AM (#8087762) Homepage
    Distrust begets distrust. Secrets beget snooping. If someone (Intel) is going to be so damned hypocritical and lavish in Linux's support of it's product lines (especially the nice early Itanium support while Microsoft was getting is OS finished) they had better not complain when someone "hacks" a solution out of the chip.

    It's like the who DVD-CSS mess. Linux people just wanted to be able to watch DVD's without runnning Windows. What resulted was a hack that made convertion of DVD's into cheap Divx copies easy and painless.

    It feels like dating someone who never trusts you, never earns your trust (or respect) and goes hysterical when you don't behave exactly how they want. Reminds me of an ex-girlfriend, frankly.
  • by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <<daniel.hedblom> <at> <>> on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:09AM (#8087773) Homepage Journal
    The problem lies in Intels inherent desire to eat spare cpu cycles. Why? Because the more cpu cycles wasted on things better handled in hardware the more incentive to upgrade your cpu.

    Those spare cycles could do something better than doing the hardwares work. Microsoft wants to have it all in windows if they can. That way they can tie the whole platform to windows cementing the monopoly on desktops. MS and Intel have had their jousts and Intel have always folded under the pressure. Intels project to make hardware more platform agnostic was stopped by MS who saw a threat to their Wintel Symbios.

    There is nothing stopping eg. device drivers from being implemented much lower down like in the actual hardware, talking only in pre standardized APIs. Whats stopping that great innovation that would put a stop to driver problems and make it much more easy to develop new products?

    Guess once!
  • by Erik_ ( 183203 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:13AM (#8087795)
    I've simply removed from my laptop the Intel Pro Wireless 2100 WiFi Mini-PCI card and replaced it with a Atheros 802.11a/b/g chipset. The Multiband Atheros Driver for Wifi (aka MadWifi) is well supported under Linux []. It even has a great FAQ [].
    The card I bought is an IBM 11a/b/g Wireless LAN MiniPCI Adapter (IBM Part Number: 31P9701), and works flawlessly under REHL3.
  • If that's the real reason, how come they release them as binaries? Reverse engineering will reveal exactly the same information (eh, sorry, intellectual property) as inspecting the source code, although it takes a little bit more work. So, does anyone think Intel gave the real reason?
  • I got a Dell Inspiron 8600 with Centrino technology and am typing on it now. It has a 1.4GHz Pentium-M processor. I got it for the battery life, I can do average (not idle) tasks for over 4 hours straight on the single 72 watt-hour battery (a second is available). I tried and successfully put a Knoppix CD in the drive and it booted up fine. It works but I probably can't get the same longer battery life. I'm pretty happy with this laptop, and squeezing another hour out of a battery on an operating syste
  • by Chris_Jefferson ( 581445 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:40AM (#8088053) Homepage
    I imagine that one reason that Intel doesn't want to release these details is because the driver has too much control over the device. If as much work as it seems is done by the processor, then that probably means you could force the chip to do some strange things. The most obvious ones that come to mind are a) increase power (although I can't really see why that would be a problem), b) sniff to your heart's content, and c) try a DOS attack on any nearby networks by saturating the airwaves with crap.

    Intel doesn't want to risk being associated with these kinds of things (and you know if they released an open source driver, someone would).

    This still doesn't however totally explain their not releasing a closed-source driver...
  • by geoff lane ( 93738 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:44AM (#8088100)
    Have Intel invented the WinWiFi?

    Didn't anybody learn from the WinPrinter and WinModem farces?
    • that people will buy it, specifically BECAUSE it has 'Win' in front of it - it must work with Windows, right? hey, and its cheaper than YOUR weird 'non-Win' version. And I get $300 off the price of my system if I buy MSN for 3 years. And ... ooh, a shiny thing!

      Face it, people are sheep. I can only take comfort in that they'll inherit the world that they're demanding.

      When the last computer geek is out of a job, when the last hardware modem is sold, when the last packet is sent unfiltered, all in the na
  • There is nothing that says that their drivers must be GPL'ed (at least to my knowledge). They can still release free drivers, and as long as they do not use GPL'ed software and follow the licensing rules to creating software for the linux kernel, they should need to release the source code to the drivers.

    Seriously, doesn't Intel even understand the GPL? I mean, I may be mistaken, but as long as they do not use GPL'ed software in their code and release drivers for the different kernel versions, there should
  • IP Issues? (Score:3, Informative)

    by op00to ( 219949 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @12:03PM (#8088272)
    When I emailed people at Intel over this matter, they eluded to the fact that releasing the source to a centrino wireless driver would violate FCC rules. Basically, the radiomodem in centrinos are totally programmable. That means, if you have the code, you can broadcast whatever you want on whatever frequency you want. You can violate FCC rules, and the FCC doesn't like that. Therefore, to be FCC certified, the user can not be able to change certain parts of the modem.

    It sounds plausible, but they also could have been blowing smoke.
    • Re:IP Issues? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nucleon500 ( 628631 ) <> on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:23PM (#8093328) Homepage
      I've heard that before, and the upshot is, the FCC are idiots. Binary drivers are only slightly less hackable than open source ones. Hacked binary drivers that allow you to receive and broadcast on the forbidden frequencies already exist and were trivial to make.

      Signed register sets is a much better solution which is both more secure and more open. Intel can design hardware that only accepts register sets that have been signed with Intel's private key. This would make it impossible (as opposed to just inconvenient) to use the forbidden frequencies, so the FCC would be happy. And it would be possible to write open-source drivers to load the signed register sets without compromising security or FCC certifiability.

  • If I achieve to make the NdisWrapper thing, Intel can be sure to receive a brand-new Linux WLAN-sent Fuck You mail.


  • Are there any decently cheap wifi cards supported by the 2.6 kernel (in the kernel source)?
  • software radio (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gunark ( 227527 )
    It is possible that as with some Atheros-based WLAN cards (the D-Link DWI-G650 Bx for example), the radio in Intel's Centrinos is software-controlled. This means that its frequency and power can be changed to just about anything using software alone. Open-source drivers for something like this are out of the question -- the FCC would not be impressed.

    Atheros' ended up releasing a binary-only driver... kernel-tainting and all. If the Centrino radio controllers are also software-based, you can expect a binar
  • Look, if they dont provide the drivers and there are no open source equivalents, its quite simple... choose a different product.
  • Linuxant (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ivan the Terrible ( 115742 ) <.gro.mca. .ta. .rimidalv.> on Monday January 26, 2004 @02:11PM (#8090022) Homepage
    I tried using the Linuxant driver, had problems, emailed their support, and I did not received a reply, not even an automated acknowledgement.

    Based on their (lack of) responsiveness so far, I would not recommend them. I have switched to using the madwifi driver [] (with a different wireless card).

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