Some priceless wireless stuff & my switch from wireless ipw3945 driver to iwl3945, how to make iwl3945 driver work much more decent

Thursday, 10th September 2009

Since I upgraded to the latest Debian unstable I was forced to switch from the good old ipw3945 wireless driver to the newer one with which I had a bunch of unpleasent experienced, that was a good reason for me to kept myself back to the ipw3945. Anyways all my attempts to port the already 2 years old ipw3945 without a development to my 2.6.30-1-amd64 left void.Therefore I had to unwillingly switch to the iwl3945 driver. To do so I had to:
1. edit /etc/modprobe.d/00local.conf and remove the line

install iwl3945 /bin/true

2. edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and comment the line

blacklist iwl3945

3. edit /etc/modprobe.d/ipw3945.conf and comment out
install ipw3945 /sbin/modprobe –ignore-install ipw3945 ;
sleep 2 ; /sbin/ipw3945d –quiet
remove ipw3945 /etc/init.d/ipw3945d modprobe-stop && modprobe -r –ignore-remove ipw3945
4. edit /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules and comment out
SUBSYSTEM==”net”, DRIVERS==”ipw3945″, ATTR{address}==”00:1c:bf:bd:24:59″, ATTR{type}==”1″, NAME=”wlan0″SUBSYSTEM==”net”, ACTION==”add”, DRIVERS==”?*”, ATTR{address}==”00:1c:bf:bd:24:59″, ATTR{type}==”1″, KERNEL==”wlan*”, NAME=”wlan0″
5. Last but not least:
rmmod iwl3945; modprobe iwl3945;

That so far was required to switch from ipw3945 to iwl3945.

Unfortunately after the switch I was pretty unhappy of the behaviour of the iwl3945 driver.
Like for example the driver won’t detect many of the wireless networks during scan compared to the one detected by the old ipw3945 driver.
I googled and found in Google many contradictions considering which driver (ipw3945 or iwl3945) prooves to be better. Some praised ipw3945 and tended to hold unto it while others were proclaiming that iwl3945 works in a much better manner.
Again some Googling and thinking over the created problem led me to a website which suggsted a helpful tip on how to intialize
the iwl3945 driver. That tip IMPROVED A LOT! the scanning behaviour of the iwl3945 driver.
Here is the tip itself:
Edit /etc/modprobe.d/iwl3945.conf and add to it the following: alias wlan0 iwl3945# the line below disables iwl3945 wireless driver hardware scanningoptions iwl3945 disable_hw_scan=1# extend the network channels detected to 13options lbm_cw_cfg80211 ieee80211_regdom=EU

After all is done the only left thing is to:
reload the iwl3945 driver
rmmod iwl3945modprobe iwl3945
And Hooray! It works Again! You will notice now much more networks are being detected
and apart from that scanning returns results every time you scan for wireless networks
To conclude the post I’ll say a few words on the line:
options lbm_cw_cfg80211 ieee80211_regdom=EU
as well as explain briefly about wicdMany of you would wonder what is that about, well it’s about that on how many channels
would wireless networks be detected. For example in the European Union wireless networks
could be configured to work on channels up to 13, just to compare in the USA less channels
are available thus the default behaviour of the iwl3945 driver is not to detect wireless
networks on channels above 10 (I believe?). The above example communicates to the cfg80211 kernel
module that more wireless channels are available since we’re in the EU (European Union).
For kernels below version 2.6.24 you might need to use the variable:
options lbm_cw_cfg80211 ieee80211_regdom=EU instead of the one I add above.

.Well let me conclude the post with some handy wireless manager I use some time ago.
Longly I (suffered) with Gnome’s default gnome-network-manager, nevertheless it’s proven thatpain doesn’t waste forever.
Mine would not too:

I Googled just to know if there are Good alternatives to gnome-network-manager and I found the nifty Wicd manager. Which behaviour I like much more than the classicwifi-radar or gnome-network-manager.
This days I heavily use the nice Wicd peace of soft.
So in case if you still don’t have it installed on your GNU/Linux go for it!
If you want to give some credits for this I hope helpful post please give them to God :)END—–

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