Wireless Woes

I have a Netgear WG111v2 USB wireless card. It's a pain in the backside to configure in Ubuntu, since the default drivers tend to drop connections after a certain amount of time, or if the connection is used under heavy load. When I used a 32 bit OS, ndiswrapper seemed to be the right answer, but since "upgrading" to a 64 bit system that hasn't been a working option, since it just resulted in a very unstable system and no connection at all.

Thankfully though, a handy comment in the bug report has solved my problems (thanks are due to Vit Svarc). I'll report the solution here to help whoever might be experiencing the same problem.

Before we begin, let's make sure we have the same hardware, since apparently the WG111v2 has shipped with different versions.

If you type:


into your console, you should get something like this:

Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0846:6a00 NetGear, Inc. WG111 WiFi (v2)

The important part is having and ID of 0846:6a00. If you don't, then I have no idea if these instructions will help you.

Assuming you've done that, we download the rtl8187 drivers:

wget http://dl.aircrack-ng.org/drivers/rtl8187_linux_26.1010.zip unzip rtl8187_linux_26.1010.zip cd rtl8187_linux_26.1010.0622.2006/

If, like me, you're running a 2.6.27 kernel, you'll need to patch these drivers:

wget http://patches.aircrack-ng.org/rtl8187_2.6.27.patch tar xzf drv.tar.gz tar xzf stack.tar.gz patch -Np1 -i rtl8187_2.6.27.patch

You'll also need to modify the r8187.h file, replacing asm/semaphore with linux/semaphore.

sed -i 's/asm\/semaphore.h/linux\/semaphore.h/g' ./beta-8187/r8187.h

Now blacklist the rtl8187 driver, and shut it down:

echo "blacklist rtl8187" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist sudo ifconfig wlan0 down sudo rmmod rtl8187

Then finally make and install the new driver:

sudo make sudo make install

Finally, we load up the new drivers, and re-enable our connection. Everything should work fine now.

sudo modprobe r8187 sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

I've even noticed that I get much better reception with this driver. The only problem is that you'll have to do all this again if your kernel gets updated.


Anonymous said...

maybe this helps, but there is no WPA support now. Do you know how to get it?

Anonymous said...

i have done all the things here, but it doesn't works for me, can you tell me, how can i get the old ubuntu driver installed, which i have removed with "sudo rmmod rtl8187"

zenzike said...

I remember having troubles with WPA. My network uses WEP configured with network-manager and that seems to work just fine.

If you want everything back to how it was, try the following lines:

sudo ifconfig wlan0 down
sudo rmmod r8187
sudo modprobe rtl8187

And network-manager should get everything back up again. To make this change permanent, replace `blacklist rtl8187` with `blacklist r8187` in `/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist`:

sudo sed -i 's/rtl8187/r8187/g' /etc/modprobe.blacklist

Chris Lees said...

Apart from missing WPA support, this is the absolute best wireless driver I've ever seen. I'm now picking up and connecting to networks that I've never been able to see, either on this computer with earlier Ubuntus or on my Acer Aspire One, at speeds I previously have not seen. It's a pity human beings in this repressive country are not allowed to marry kernel modules, because otherwise I'd be getting hitched in an instant. :-)

Arul said...

Thanks for the detailed steps but unfortunately I am using WPA.

Anyone is successful in getting this driver working for WPA?.

Anonymous said...

OMG! This works! The only thing that I have tried that does!

Thank you so much for sharing this and making my life so much easier.

The signal has gone from 5% to 90%!

Lets hope that this driver gets packaged or integrated into the kernel as an alternative so this doesnt have to be done manually any more!

Chris Lees said...

There is a new kernel for Intrepid (well, it's in Proposed at the moment). I'm still getting a low signal strength reading on the regular driver, but it seems to be a more reliable connection now.

Note: You need to follow most of these directions again, or remove the blacklist, if you upgrade the kernel.

Chris Lees said...

Sorry if this is regarded as comment spam... the new Intrepid kernel has the same problems as the old one. Followed the directions again and the card is working well again on WEP.

Anonymous said...

the driver in the blog does not support WPA !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

ndiswrapper works just fine for rtl8187. WPA and everything!

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