Configuring Linksys ADM8211 802.11b Wireless Interface

I tell a lie, it’s actually a Belkin card, but under Linux that doesn’t matter – it’s the chipset that’s the key. Depending on your chipset, you will use a different driver. For this device, we can make use of ndiswrapper.

After downloading ndiswrapper, we need to install it. Quite a few distros include pre-compiled packages for ndiswrapper, however these can be slightly outdated. Compiling from source should be fairly painless and it’s worth using the most recent version. Once downloaded, we simply untar it, and then compile + install:

tar -xvzf ndiswrapper-version.tar.gz
cd ndiswrapper
make distclean

and then finish off as root:

make install

That should work providing you have wireless support built into your kernel. If your kernel was supplied with your distro, it should already be done. If you compiled your kernel yourself, you should be able to build wireless support in without problems. You need to go to Device Drivers | Networking Support | Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) and enable Wireless LAN drivers (non-hamradio) & Wireless Extensions.

So, with ndiswrapper installed, we now need to grab the drivers for our card. Do not use the drivers supplied with your CD. You are likely to experience problems, but feel free to ignore this suggestion and give it a go. The more sensible idea is to head to ndiswrapper supported drivers and download the appropriate driver that has been tried + tested under Linux. Once you have downloaded your driver, there’s only one file you need from it – the .inf file. Installing is easy:

ndiswrapper -i netadm11.inf

That should simply happily bring you back to the prompt with any error messages. Now, you want to test the driver to make sure it has worked and detected your card. If not, head back to the ndiswrapper driver listing and try a different driver

ndiswrapper -l

which should return something along the lines of:

Installed ndis drivers:
netadm11 driver present, hardware present

Only two more steps now – loading the ndiwrapper module and our driver:

depmod -a
modprove ndiswrapper

which should flash up a message confirming the module + driver are loaded. From here, you configure you network interface through whichever method you wish – either editing your interfaces file manually, through your hardware configuration tool, or with your control panel depending on your distro.


Senior Content Development for Microsoft writing about Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Model train nerd. Occasionally I play video games.

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