Working with Wireless in Linux
Posted on: 04/25/2008 01:00 PM
Bit-Tech published a guide to using Wireless Networking in Linux titled Working with Wireless in Linux
However, many people will immediately say that Linux is simply not ready for the masses -- and I agree with them. What bugs me is that when asked why, I'm hearing complaints from ages past treated as present-day problems: "I don't want to have to work in a command line,"/ and /"It's so hard to configure," are just a couple of examples.Working with Wireless in Linux
It's true that some things still aren't utterly plug-and-pray, but a lot of things really //are nowadays. Unfortunately, one thing has continued to stay on the fringes of penguin compatibility no matter how pervasive it's become in day-to-day life: Wireless networking.
Windows and OSX have such simple ways of dealing with wireless, but for many very good corporate reasons, open-source alternatives have not seen such love. The problem stems from drivers, which (for open source operating systems especially) divulge a //lot of secrets for how the hardware operates. Talk about giving away the golden egg -- how would you like to broadcast every little thing that makes you special to your competitors worldwide?!
Unfortunately, because of the very tight control wars over drivers in general, Linux has lagged in the wireless world. We've largely been forced to go hunt for revision numbers and version SKUs on packaging, scrolling through ten boxes of four brands of card to find which one features a chipset that bothered to develop proper Linux drivers (for the record, that's mostly Ralink and Atheros, which you can find in various card versions of several major brands including Linksys, Netgear and D-Link). Once our prize was found, we'd run home and fire it to gleefully enjoy...
...the same wireless that any Windows user had in about five minutes. Or, worse yet, maybe we got the revision number wrong or it wasn't clearly marked, and the chipset didn't work.