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Ok... Hopefully this will turn into a guide to get the Compaq WL200 cards running under Linux.

First, we need to get the system up and running.

Then compile the kernel WITHOUT pcmcia support. (that's correct, without pcmcia support!) (Note: this is now optional. The latest Prism2 drivers have instructions for installing using kernels that don't include pcmcia support, and also those that do. Most recent kernels do include pcmcia support, so don't sweat thinking you have to do a re-compile.)

To find out if you have pcmcia support already installed, do a modprobe -l | grep pcmcia_core. No output means no pcmcia support, output means you have pcmcia support.

Adding PCMCIA Support

Skip this step if your kernel has PCMCIA support included.

Grab the latest pcmcia card services package from External linkthe Linux PCMCIA page.

Untar the archive:
tar -zxf pcmcia-cs-x.x.x.tar.gz

Change into the pcmcia-cs-x-x-x directory and run a make config, then make all, and finally a make install.

PCMCIA services may not be setup to load at boot. To change this, edit the /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia file to look like:


"PCIC=i82365" should suit most PCMCIA bridges. If it doesn't suit yours, try "PCIC=tcic".

Prism2 driver install

Grab the latest Intersil Prism2 driver source from External linkthe Hostap site.

Untar the archive:
tar -zxf Prism2-2002-xx-xx.tar.gz

Change into the Prism2-2002-xx-xx directory. Follow the install instructions in the README according to whether your kernel has pcmcia support included or not. They don't seem to be 100% complete however, so add in the following steps.

Edit the file wireless.opts in /etc/pcmcia to suit your network. Best bet if you only have one wireless card installed is to edit the final entry that starts with "*,*,*,*)". If you have more than one wireless card, look into using the MAC address to configure each card independently. Basically, you can create a new entry containing the MAC address:


Most importantly, for the card to work in Host AP mode, you must set MODE="Master"

The Prism2 drivers come with a file called "prism2.conf" which needs to be added to your /etc/pcmcia/config file. To do this, from your Prism2-2002-xx-xx directory, type:

mv /etc/pcmcia/config /etc/pcmcia/config.old
cat driver/etc/prism2.conf /etc/pcmcia/config.old > /etc/pcmcia/config
chmod a-w /etc/pcmcia/config

Try it out...

Under RedHat, start the pcmcia services with a /etc/rc.d/init.d/pcmcia start. Other distros differ slightly. If you're at a complete loss, just reboot. Hopefully you should hear two high pitched beeps. If not, I hope people can add their words of wisdom below.


Q: In my log files (/var/log/messages) I get:
Jan 22 19:45:31 router kernel: prism2_cs: RequestIRQ: Resource in use
Jan 22 19:45:31 router kernel: prism2sta_config: NextTuple failure? It's probably a Vcc mismatch.
Jan 22 19:45:31 router kernel: prism2sta_event: prism2_cs: Initialization failed!
Jan 22 19:45:32 router cardmgr[397]: get dev info on socket 0 failed: Resource temporarily unavailable

What do I do?

A: try editing /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia to say:
PCIC_OPTS="irq_mode=1 fast_pci=1"

then do a /etc/rc.d/init.d/pcmcia stop & start

Q: When I try to load the modules I get messages about extra parameters ?

A: One of the modules is not loading, for me the dependencies are as such that
pcmcia_core.o -> i82365.o -> ds.o -> prism2.o
problems with:
pcmcia_core = try recompiling pcmcia stuff and/or your kernel
i82365 = try using the irq_mode 1 parameter directly, make sure the card is in, try changing the pci slot.
ds =
prism2 =

Q: Why can't I get my other wireless card to continue to work alongside the WL200?

A: You need to add the following to /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia:

PCIC_OPTS="irq_mode=1 extra_sockets=1"

Back to SpecificCases

Version 7 (current) modified Tue, 03 Jul 2007 23:12:01 +1000 by tyson
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