Feb 23, 2009

Installing ndiswrapper on CentOS 5.2

I decided that I would give CentOS 5.2 a spin on my Toshiba laptop. For you out there not familiar with it, CentOS is probably the closest enterprise distro like Redhat Linux that is free. Sure there is Fedora, but that is mainly for developers, and not really ready for production. At least, that is according to my Linux admin friend Lance works works with both Redhat and CentOS every day.

My only major problem was that CentOS didn't detect my wireless card after install. Drivers are always an issue in the Linux world. After looking around the internet, it seemed to me that my only option was to install a Windows driver using ndiswrapper (This turned out not to be the case for my laptop, but that is for a later post). The only problem was that ndiswrapper is not installed by default, and it isn't available in the default repositories. So how do you install it? This is what I did:

  1. I added another repository that DID have it by running this in the terminal as root:
    rpm -Uhv http://apt.sw.be/redhat/el5/en/i386/rpmforge/RPMS/rpmforge-release-0.3.6-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm
  2. After adding the new repository I updated yum:
    yum update
  3. I installed ndiswrapper using yum:
    yum install dkms-ndiswrapper

After that was complete, ndiswrapper was installed and ready to be used to make hardware made for Windows work on Linux!

Like I said though, for my laptop, CentOS actually had the driver available on their Wiki. I will write about that later. They are limited in their firmware though, so for those of you with non supported cards, this post is useful.

Anyone else run CentOS on your laptops? Any other helpful tips you can give me? Hit me up in the comments.

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