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PipesDownUK
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:12 pm    Post subject: Least hassle wireless networking hardware? Reply with quote

Hello,

I recently updated my Gentoo box with new motherboard+CPU. Kernel version has gone from 2.6.x to 3.6.x. I have tried re-using the wireless card which used to work with the ACX111 driver, but the source will no longer compile with the new kernel source. I guess new hardware is the easiest way forward.

I'd be interested in suggestions for what to get for maximum Gentoo compatibility and least hassle in getting it working. I have no knowledge of which chipsets are in which products so actual product recommendation would be most helpful with Vendor and Model number, and with availability in the UK. I'd prefer a PCI or PCIe interface (the motherboard was bought specifically with a PCI slot for the old hardware) as I assume there is more hassle with USB. Having previously selected something that is no longer supported I'd prefer something that is very common and well supported. My current wireless router has a top speed of 54M wirelessly (802.11b and 802.11g) but something supporting more modern standards in addition would be welcome.

What are your suggestions?
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_______0
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anything but broadcom. Atheros, zydas, ralink, etc.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PipesDownUK,

External kernel modules usually end in tears.

Post your lspci or lsusb ... whichever shows the device. There just may be a kernel driver.
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PipesDownUK
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Least hassle wireless networking hardware? Reply with quote

Thanks to ______0 for the suggestions.
In reply to NeddySeagoon.
I don't have any hardware yet, I'm looking for suggestions as to what to get. I see lots of your replies in this forum. Any idea what wireless hardware you would get that would work most easily with Gentoo? Which vendors actually publish what chipset their hardware contains?
TIA.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PipesDownUK,

Intel, Atheros and Ralink hardware is well supported.

Broadcom should be avoided. Its sometimes supported with a binary blob, which may or may not be maintained with kernel revisions.

Vendors do not usually publish the hardware they use on packaging as it often gets changed with no change to the glossy packaging.
You need to use lsusb on it, if its USB or lspci, if its PCI.

Belkin often but not always, use the USB ID of their devices as the part number on the packaging of their USB devices.
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broadcom released the brcmsmac open source driver last year.

Avoid new Atheros hardware, as they've been bought out by Qualcomm whose Linux support is about as good as the likes of Matrox (nonexistent).
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Gusar
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know, all Atheros wireless chips have drivers in the kernel. There's one ethernet driver not in the kernel yet (alx), but wireless is covered. Even alx is fully open-source and can be compiled from the wireless-compat package. If you know some Atheros chips without a driver, I'd like to see some info about it.

And yeah, Broadcom released brcmsmac, but there's chips out (BCM43227 and BCM43228) not supported by it. There's one particular chip (BCM43142) where the driver - a closed source one, of course - only ships on Dell machines with Ubuntu pre-installed. So I fully agree with the "anything but Broadcom" notion.
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cwr
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had good luck with TP-Link wireless cards, using the PCI card as an Access Point
with the ath9k drivers and hostapd.

Will
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FRIGN
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judging from my experience, Broadcom works great and doesn't require you to use binary-blobs.
It is the case though that there are binary-drivers for ubuntu and slack, but no one stops you from compiling your own module from sources, which is only needed when your hardware is too cutting edge to be already included in the kernel-sources (Which is the case for me with my Mac mini 6,2, which needs tg3 v3.124c).

EDIT: Excuse me please for not thoroughly reading the title. Wireless drivers are a bigger hassle.
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