Cатсн²² (in)sесuяitу / ChrisJohnRiley

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't!

Don’t Panic, it’s only Intel

don't panic It’s easy to say Don’t panic now…. but yesterday I struggling with an Intel wireless card (2200BG) on my new Linux laptop (Debian 4.0). The Joys of Linux when you’re not a full bearded geek (I only have stubble currently) can be scary. Especially when you find that what you want to do means downloading a driver for the card, a helper driver for 802.11 crypto, and a firmware file for the card. It gets even more complex when you find that you need a patch the driver to enable packet injection (I need that for a security course I’m attending next month in India).

So I downloaded the drivers, ieee80211 1.2.18 ipw2200 1.2.1 (+ patch files) and the ipw2200-fw files. Patched the driver and then installed all as required (removing the old versions before install) all by the book, neat and clean. Did the rmmod ipw2200, found the module ipw2200 and did the required insmod ipw2200.ko rtap_iface=1 (add this to the module parameters in modprobe after testing, or make a file called ipw2200 under /etc/modprobe.d)

Of course the constant Kernel Panics after reboot when I tried to use the wireless card, where not so by the book. Kernel Panics for those windows users amongst you, are the Linux equivilent of the dreaded blue screen of death in Windows. If you don’t know what that is, you’re a lucky Windows user indeed 😉

Still…. after trying to find a cure, removing and reinstalling the driver, upgrading the kernel and recompiling the new drivers in… I found the problem, eventually. The newest version of ieee80211 (version 1.2.18) doesn’t like the patched ipw2200-1.2.1 driver. I downgraded the ieee80211 to version 1.2.17 and now it’s all fine, no Panic.

So remember…. latest is good, but not always perfect. Beta software is still beta, even if Google have made you think the Beta means stable and for full release -_- Why is GMail is still beta after years of use ???

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