How to Enable Netgear WG311v2 in Ubuntu 9.10

There is no out of the box support for Netgear WG311V2 wireless PCI card in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). However using Windows drivers and ndiswrapper package it is possible to get it running under Ubuntu.

What is ndiswrapper?

ndiswrapper is a free software driver wrapper written for Linux systems. It enables Linux to access network devices using drivers written for Windows operating system. So to enable NetGear WG311v2 in Ubuntu 9.10 using ndiswrapper you need the Windows driver provided by Netgear. Also note that the technique works on a wide range of network cards.

Getting Netgear WG311v2 Windows driver

You can get the latest WG311v2 Windows driver from here (15.7MB zip file). Download it and then extract the files contained in it. You find a folder named “Windows XP” inside the “driver” folder. This contains drivers required for Windows XP. The files contained are FW1130.BIN, FwRad16.bin, FwRad17.bin, netwg311.cat, netwg311_XP.sys and wg311v2.inf.

Copy all the files mentioned above to a folder under your home directory. In my case I copied them to /home/jayson/wg311v2.

Getting ndiswrapper

If your Ubuntu machine has Internet access you can download ndiswrapper directly from Ubuntu repository.

sudo aptitude install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-modules-1.9 ndiswrapper-utils-1.9

However in my case I was unable to access Internet since the only way to access Internet was to use WG311v2 itself. So the second option is to download ndiswrapper source code and then compile it to create ndiswrapper executable.

Download ndiswrapper source code from here. I downloaded version 1.55 (ndiswrapper-1.55.tar.gz). Extract this to a folder inside your home directory. In my case I had it under /home/jayson/ndiswrapper-1.55.

Now let us compile ndiswrapper to create the executable.

change to the directory containing ndiswrapper source code.

cd /home/jayson/ndiswrapper-1.55

compile ndiswrapper

sudo make install

At this point you may get the following error.

home/jayson/ndiswrapper-1.55/driver/ntoskernel.h: In function ‘PushEntrySList’:
/home/jayson/ndiswrapper-1.55/driver/ntoskernel.h:905: error: implicit declaration of function ‘cmpxchg8b’

This is a bug related to ndiswrapper on latest Ubuntu. The quickest fix is to open ntoskernel.h file inside ndiswrapper-1.55/driver and then change the line 878 as follows (31 is changed to 32),

old line,

#if LINUX_VERSION_CODE < KERNEL_VERSION(2,6,31)

new line

#if LINUX_VERSION_CODE < KERNEL_VERSION(2,6,32)

Use gedit to edit the file since it shows line numbers at the bottom. Now run sudo make install again to compile ndiswrapper.

Now change to the directory where you stored Windows XP drivers for WG311v2.

cd /home/jayson/Windows XP

Install the driver using ndiswrapper. In this case the main driver configuration file is wg311v2.inf.

sudo ndiswrapper –i wg311v2.inf

Now verify installation using the command,

sudo ndiswrapper –l

If everything does well you should see a message similar to the following,

wg311v2 : driver installed

    device (104d: 8088) present

Now click on the network manager on the top panel. You should see a new option “Connect to Hidden Wireless Network” at the bottom. Click on it to connect to your wireless network!

wireless-wg311v2

Notes

  • Please note that Netgear WG311v2 is different from WG311v1 and WG311v3. WG311v2 contains Texas ACX111 chipset.
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Comments

2 Responses to “How to Enable Netgear WG311v2 in Ubuntu 9.10”
  1. Paco says:

    Hello,
    I’ve installed Ubuntu 9.10 32 bit on my Pc and I’ve followed carefully your instructions for enabling my Wg311v2 PCI card but I don’t see neither any network devices available on the network manager nor any new option in the menu, although I received the following message in the terminal:
    wg311v2: driver installed
    device (104c:9066) present.
    Why my device still doesn’t work?

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