How do I best add my WPC54GS to my T42 SLED 10 box? (Part I)

This is the brief version of a long question that came to me from reader “idonot12b” (see the original text of the question here). His long question requires two approaches to a response: one philosophical, and one technical. This “Part I” will be the philosophical… “Part II” will be a how-to…

Ok, so it’s not that easy. Or at least it wasn’t easy a few months ago when SLED 10 was finalized. However, it’s getting easier with each version. And, you can do it — and once you do, it’ll seem simple. But learning Linux/Unix takes time and experience, and you shouldn’t get frustrated quickly…

Point 1: Linux is written by developers. Big shock.

So the modern incarnation of GNU/Linux is becoming pretty and becoming easy to use. I have found that the closer to the holy grail of “Usability” that Linux becomes, the more frustrated people get. Well, good. That means they see the end-game and understand the potential and want it to arrive as fast as possible. However, we must remember, it was written by nerds for nerds. Often, the nerds in question do it for little or no money, simply to serve a particular selfish purpose. So, if you are not a nerd, expect frustration. Hell, even if you are a nerd, expect frustration — but then if you are a nerd you enjoy frustration. I know I do. Frustration is the thing that drives me. I see it as a means to an end — the end being a solution. And if I had a frustration, and found a solution, then others will likely face that same frustration and need a solution… right…? Anyway, my point is, as your (and other’s) frustrations come to light, the problems are solved. And this particular wireless adapter frustration is being solved (or has been solved depending on your feelings regarding the next point).

Point 2: “Network Manager” vs. “ifconfig”

Two sub-points here. Sub-pont 2.1: The Network Manager desktop configuration tool has come A LONG WAY in the last year. It is now very user-friendly, and can do exactly what you want to do very easily. In fact, if you chose “ifconfig” method of managing your interfaces during initial installation, you can just go into Yast and change control of the interface to the Network Manager. I’ll even recommend that most people use Network Manager for almost all simple machines. Upon enabling, you’ll see the icon somewhere on your desktop menus, depending on which environment you use, etc. Then, you just click around in it’s properties and set it how you want, just like in (cringe) Windows.

Sub-point 2.2: If you happen to be running Xen VMs on your desktop, stay the heck away from Network Manager. It will goof up all your VMs, and you want to manually control them anyway. That’s why I say use it on simple machines…

Point 3: Don’t use SLED 10 for wireless, use Opensuse.

The reason I write this is because Opensuse offers all the tools you need, and all the latest, cutting-edge versions of those tools to get and stay connected to wireless networks. Okay, maybe the real reason I advocate Opensuse is that I’m using it. In fact, I’m using Opensuse 10.2 with a WPC54GS card as I type this. So, this allows me to tell you for a fact that it works. 😉 And, it works well…

Next week, I’ll give you a bunch of tech info and scripts how to use and test Opensuse 10.2 with a WPC54GS… which, in likelihood, will correlate to SLED 10… I hope… Maybe someday, we’ll take this a step further and I’ll write a post about how I built the WPA/TTLS/RADIUS with Directory-based backend authentication system… With proxy redirection for multiple realms…. Please stop me…. 😉

1 Comment

  1. Brian Moffet

    Thank you for your quick response.
    What a great resource this is. A few bumps with the x64 version, just have to figure out how to recompile novfs for 64 bit or at least get it to behave.
    I’ll send you the modifications I had to make to your process for your x64 readers once I get it perfected.
    Again, thank you thank you!

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