Wireless-LAN with grml

Here you will find some tips how to use wireless-lan (WLAN) with grml. Basically WLAN should work out-of-the-box on grml, if consider any problems check out the tips on this page. If you still notice problems feel free to contact us.

status of some WLAN-devices

Wireless-LAN devices
vendor device name chip info
Cisco AIR-CB21AG atheros working
Cisco AIR-PCM352-RF atheros (?) working
D-Link DWL-122 prism2 working with wpa_supplicant and linux-wlan-ng
D-Link DWL-G650 atheros working
Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG ipw2200 working
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG ipw3945 working
Linksys WPC11 (802.11b) unspecified working
Linksys WPC54G (v2) unspecified working
Linksys WPC54G (v3) unspecified working; please take a look on [1] at the link-section on this page
Linksys WPC54GS unspecified working; please take a look on [1] at the link-section on this page )
Linksys WMP54G unspecified working; please take a look on [1] at the link-section on this page
Linksys WMP54GS unspecified working; please take a look on [1] at the link-section on this page )
Netgear WAG511 atheros working
RaLink Ralink RT2500 802.11 unspecified working; Cardbus Reference Card
SMC 2835W prism54 working
Surecom EP-9428-g (54 MBit) unspecified woking; notice: interface might be called raX, not ethX (e.g. ra0)
Toshiba build-in Wireless LAN Card ?Lucent/Agere 6.14 working (needs tweaking on hdinstall)

how to get wlan working with grml


If using the ipw2100 modules fails with something like:

ipw2100: eth1: Firmware 'ipw2100-1.3.fw' not available or load failed.
ipw2100: eth1: ipw2100_get_firmware failed: -2
ipw2100: eth1: Failed to power on the adapter.
ipw2100: eth1: Failed to start the firmware.

adjust the firmware loading timeout through:

modprobe firmware_class
echo 100 > /sys/class/firmware/timeout
rmmod ipw2100
modprobe ipw2100

You can use the fwtimeout bootoption to run this automatically during bootup. Useage example “grml fwtimeout=100”.


You can get a more recent version of the linux-wlan-ng modules on grml 0.6 via running:

# aptitude update
# aptitude install linux-wlan-ng-modules-2.6.15-grml

Now your 802.11b-modules should be up to date.


A debian package of the madwifi-ng drivers is available in /usr/src/ on the grml 0.6 and grml 0.7 iso. Timo 'Spida' Boettcher thankfully contributed a script named 'ath-switcher' which tries to detect the Atheros chipset and install the madwifi-ng package if necessary. To manually install the package run 'dpkg -r madwifi-modules-$(uname -r) ; dpkg -i /usr/src/madwifi*.deb'.

D-Link DwL-122 USB

  • please update the linux-wlan-ng modules as mentioned above
  • connect your device with the usb-bus
  • load the required modules (see 'hwinfo –netcard'):
   # modprobe prism2_usb
  • configure and adapt the config-file (/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf)
  • enable your wlan-device:
   # wpa_supplicant -Bw -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -Dhostap -iwlan0
  • now you can configure your interface (static) with:
  # ifconfig wlan0 your_ip netmask your_netmask
  # vim /etc/resolv.conf  # insert your nameserver
  # route add default gw your_default_gateway
  • or (dynamic network via dhcp):
  # dhclient wlan0

Toshiba Wireless LAN Card

This card get's detected after loading the needed module:

  # modprobe orinoco_cs

On a HD-install pcmcia-utils don't get started by default, so modify the /etc/runlevel.conf to have an entry like this

  # 40 - 2,3,4,5 /etc/init.d/pcmciautils

Or, add yenta_socket (and orinoco_cs) to /etc/modules. [added by jpjacobs]


Unfortunately it seems there are no prism cards available anymore. Nearly all wlan cards with prism chipsets use atheros now. Below is a list with cards which work flawlessly with grml using madwifi drivers.

  1. D-link DWL-G650 32bit cardbus (with atheros lettering below the speed specification)
  2. Netgear WG511T 108 Mbps Wireless 32bit cardbus (with atheros)

You should configure your card to your local frequencies with the right countrycodes (040 is Austria):

              modprobe ath_pci countrycode=040

To make this changes permanently add the following line to /etc/modutils/options and execute update-modules:

              options ath_pci countrycode=040

how to use wpa_supplicant

  • -D<driver> — here you can set the driver for your wlan-card. There are some drivers you can use:
  hostap     : prism 2/2.5/3
  hermes     : Hermes 1/Hermes 2
  madwifi    : madwifi (atheros, etc.)
  atmel      : ATMEL AT76C5XXx (USB, PCMCIA)
  wext       : Linux wireless extensions (generic)
  ndiswrapper: Linux ndiswrapper
  broadcom   : Broadcom wl.o driver
  ipw        : Intel ipw2100/2200 driver
  wired      : wpa_supplicant wired Ethernet driver
  bsd        : BSD 802.11 support (Atheros, etc.)
  ndis       : Windows NDIS driver
  • -i<interface> — deliver the interface to wpa_supplicant
  • -B — starting a daemon in background
  • -w — wait for the interface
  • -c<config-file> — use this config-file

Information taken from wpa_supplicant README


wlan.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/13 23:55 (external edit)
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