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[debian-knoppix] Re: Wireless Knoppix

> Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 13:41:19 -0600
> From: Bill Eastman <beastman@austin.rr.com>
> Subject: [debian-knoppix] wireless cards with Knoppix
> Is there support in knoppix for wireless cards?  It needs wlan-ng or 
> orinoco.

Well, that depends. There are mainly two kinds of wireless NICs
available: First those based on the ORINOCO chipset developed by Lucent
and others. Second the Intersil or Prism II chipset. The second is
licencensed by a number of other manufacturers, especially those no-name
products from Taiwan are based on it but also manufacturers like SMC,
Link-SYS, Netgear and so on.

There are lots of drivers available for these cards, and unfortunately
there is no bijective mapping between cards and drivers.

There is the orinoco-driver, which seems to be fairly stable and which
can support most of the Prism II cards as well nowadays. This driver is
included in the kernel and in knoppix. As a matter of fact right now I
type this message over an WaveLAN with an SMC 2632 W, which is also
Prism II based.

However, there are some very interesting features available with the
Prism II cards, which the original orinoco-based cards lack: You can
tune channels, frequencies, output gain and have access to the lower
level frames (the ethernet frames are encapsulated into and augmented by
so called beacon frames on the lower end of OSI-level 2). All these
features are only availabe with wlan-ng which Klaus unfortunately
refuses to include/replace since more than a year right now.

As I am not the expert in the hardware continuum, I hope to have 
described everything as precisely as I could. Corrections welcome.

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