This page is grossly outdated. If you find useful information here, that's great, but otherwise don't blame me.

WaveLAN and the RG1000 on Linux

The purpose of this document is so that nobody else might have to suffer through what I suffered in the attempt to correctly configure a WaveLAN card under Linux.

There's also the secondary hope that someone will read this and tell me that I'm being a moron, and there's an easier way to do this.

The Scenario

I bought a WaveLAN card (Silver) and a RG1000 (Residential Gateway) from Orinoco. It's a long story, but this is my third attempt to buy wireless hardware. The first one was never delivered. The second one came part-way through my migration to Linux, and did not work under Linux. I chose WaveLAN because it was said to work under Linux.

The catch? Well, it turns out that the RG1000 can only be configured from Windows. Bah. So, after finding someone to loan me a Windows laptop, and configuring the gateway as made sense to me, I then had to struggle through trying to get the card correctly configured under Linux.

The quick form of the solution

I was finally able to get the card to load by running modprobe with a lengthy list of parameters. It looks something like this:

     modprobe wavelan2_cs network_name=123456 enable_encryption=Y \
     key_1=23456 transmit_key_id=1

Where the above is typed as all one line. network_name is the 6-character string from the back of your RG1000. key_1 is the 5-character key that you gave to your gateway when you configured it from Windows.

The longer story

The CD that came with your card and/or RG1000 contains a tar.gz file for Linux. Read the README in there, and follow the instructions implicitly. However, there is some stuff in there that I found amazingly vague. Eventually, they encourage you to edit the files /etc/pcmcia/config.opts and /etc/pcmcia/network.opts. However, you're pretty much on your own to figure out how to make those edits, or what to put in there.

Frankly, I was never able to come up with the correct incantation to put in those files, and came up with the above modprobe line after much caffeine and random wrong guesses. If someone can tell me how to put the above line into those config files, I would be much obliged. Meanwhile, I run the above line, in a shell script, whenever I put my wireless card in.

Other things that are necessary, of course, are ...

     ifconfig eth0 up
     rm -f /var/run/dhcpcd-eth0.pod
     dhcpcd eth0

to get the interface up, and give it an IP address.

I have my gateway running in NAT/DHCP mode, so it gives me an address and NATs the 10.0.1.* network for me.

Contact me

I struggled with this for two nights before getting it working. Please feel free to contact me. I can commiserate with you, and I might even be able to help you. And if you can tell me how to put the above information into the config files where it is supposed to be, I'd be obliged.

Rich Bowen <>


Dino Lachiusa <>, after reading this document and getting wireless network working, sent me the following additional information:

Saw your note on the Orinoco gateway. I have been struggling with this for two weeks. I finally got it working using the access point at work and now using some info from your note am writing this from home working over the RG-1000.

I used pcmcia-cs-3.1.8.tar.gz and wlli602.tgz and followed the instructions for building the install. I had tried earlier and later versions of pcmcia without success.

Once installed I edited /etc/pcmcia/network.opts as follows (you'll want to use your hostname and gateway gotten using ipconfig/all in a dos window under windows).

     case "$ADDRESS" in
          INFO="Sample private network setup"
          # Transceiver selection, for some cards -- see 'man ifport'
          # Use BOOTP (via /sbin/bootpc)? [y/n]
          # Use DHCP (via /sbin/dhcpcd or /sbin/dhclient)? [y/n]
          DHCP_HOSTNAME='your hostname here'               
          # Use /sbin/pump for BOOTP/DHCP? [y/n]
          # Extra stuff to do after setting up the interface
          #start_fn () { return; }
          # Extra stuff to do before shutting down the interface
          #stop_fn () { return; }

Using the info from your note I edited /etc/pcmcia/config.opts as follows:

     module "wavelan2_cs" opts "network_name=your-rg-1000-value enable_encryption=Y
     key_1=your-key-from-windows transmit_key_id=1"

then issues

     /etc/rc.d/init.d/pcmcia restart

and up it came.

thanks for the help.

I made edits based on that helpful information, and, lo and behold, the card started working as soon as I inserted it. Eris be praised.

Configuring your RG-1000 from Linux

Added July 11, 2001
One enduring irritation that I had until this evening was that in order to configure my RG-1000, I had to track down someone with a Windows laptop and have them install Orinoco software. No more. Thanks to a message from Tom Moulton, I now have installed a Java configuration utility that lets me configure my RG-1000 directly from my Linux laptop. This makes me so very happy. One less reason to use Windows, and pretty much all that's left is my daughter's educational games.

Anyways, the place to go is You'll need the JRE, which you can get from Once you have the JRE, and have downloaded and unzipped the JAR file, you're all set.

Read the documentation. It is good, and I don't intend to reproduce it here, or field questions about using the software, since it is very well documentated. But I thought the link would do some good, since I had certainly not heard of it until today, so I expect others also had not.

Yet Another Follow-up

I have recently noticed that my reception is considerably worse when I am running off of battery rather than AC power. I poked around for awhile, and decided to turn off power management for the card, which immediately made things better. Turns out it was dropping power to the card if it was inactive for more than a few seconds, which was causing frequent drops in connection.

Do this by adding

IWCONFIG="power off"
to the configuration section of your /etc/pcmcia/wireless.opts file.