Linux & the Netgear MA111 USB Wifi Adaptor

I bought a Netgear MA111 (aka WG111). I've long been worried about having a PCMCIA wireless adaptor beaming it's rays into my leg if I've got the laptop on my lap. Helpfully, the MA111 comes with a 1.5m USB lead, so I've just got it chucked on the floor whilst I increase the arse-shaped dent on the sofa.

Getting these beasties working with Linux is pretty easy, but does require a bit of hacking around.
First of all, this will all depend on your flavour of Linux. I'm using Fedora 1. There are alledgedly some RPMs for this, but I couldn't get them to do anything. They all installed okay, but didn't seem to actually do anything (also, they're for very specific kernel versions).

Instead, I downloaded the latest linux-wlan-ng tar file. It pretty much tells you all you need to know, but here are the steps I went through...

1) Download the kernel-source RPM for your kernel version. Once installed, up2date will update this if you want to use a new kernel at any point.

2) Extract the wlan-ng tar file and run "Configure" which you'll find inside. When it asks for the kernel source directory, enter /usr/src/linux-2.4

3) Run "make all" and then "make install" to install the necessary modules into your kernel.

4) Insert the MA111 into the USB socket.

5) type "ifconfig" to see if you just got a new interface (called wlan0). If not, hack around (3).

6) Edit /etc/wlan/wlan.conf and create a new file /etc/wlan/wlancfg-(your-ssid). You can get a template from wlancfg-DEFAULT. This configures all the wireless specific bits of the interface. If you're using WEP (which you should be), you seem to have to enter the WEP keys in Hex, and remove the spaces in the lines too. For example:


If you don't know your WEP keys in Hex, but have a running Linux machine somewhere that uses Wireless, just type "iwconfig" as root - it'll show your Wep key (in a slightly different format).

7) Create/edit /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wlan0 so that it includes what ever IP information you want. This configures all the basic IP things, like address, netmask etc.

8) Remove and re-insert your MA111. Your interface should be configured. "ifconfig" should show the right IP address, and "iwconfig" should also have the right information. If not, check /var/log/messages for information about what's going on. Also, "dmesg" might help - it logs USB insertions and removals.

The caveat to all this is that up2date won't update your kernel anymore. It'll still install kernels, but won't set them up for use in Grub (so you'd have to select it manually when you boot up). This is because your new drivers won't be in that new kernel, so you'll have to recompile and re-install them if you want to update the kernel (oh, and you might want to edit the grub config too).

Submitted by coofercat on Sat, 2004-07-17 19:35


Linux & the Netgear MA111 USB Wifi Adaptor

I am having an MA111 USB card, too.Could you entertain me/us how you got it to work.Thanx.

Submitted by Linux & the Netgear MA111 USB Wifi Adaptor (not verified) on Tue, 2004-07-27 20:18.
Linux & the Netgear MA111 USB Wifi Adaptor

Sorry, looks like the blog software didn't want to show the whole post. Here you go...

Submitted by coofercat on Wed, 2004-07-28 09:25.