Netgear WG511T and wpa_supplicant: the Arch Linux way

Right, this is the wireless configuration, the easy way:

We are using Arch Linux, we are not bothered to compile vanilla kernels and whatnot. All we want is to use pacman and maybe edit one or two files. Or three…or four. Well OK, maybe five files, but that’s it, tops, I promise! We are using the WG511T or any other card the madwifi driver supports. We are also using the stock Arch kernel. We are ready and excited, so here we go!

  1. First, open /etc/rc.conf in an editor, disable any interfaces besides “lo” in the networks section. Use exclamation marks! Should be easy enough, eh?
  2. Next, uncomment the “NET_PROFILES” line and replace the default option “main” with “wireless”, since that is what we will be calling our profile. Sans the quotes, of course.
  3. Next, open /etc/network-profiles/template. The comments should be quite obvious, just remember that the interface is called “ath0″ and specify WPAOPTS=”-Dwext”. Do not use “-Dmadwifi”, because that WILL fail! Got that? Good! Save it as “/etc/network-profiles/wireless” and close the editor.
  4. Right, time to edit /etc/pacman.conf, so just open it in your editor and uncomment the first two lines with the word “unstable” in it. Then save and close. A child of five could do it, eh?
  5. Now we can finally begin installing some programs! Execute the following as root: “pacman -Sy madwifi-ng wpa_supplicant”. We needed to execute step no.4 because madwifi-ng is located in the “unstable” repository, in case you were wondering. But all should go well now.
  6. Moving along to step number 6, which is to fire op your editor and open up the newly created “/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf”. Read the comments, edit to suit your network environment and save it. More examples of various configurations have been strewn all over the interweb for your convenience, like easter eggs for you to find.

And that’s it! Now all you need to do is reboot and hopefully you will have a working wireless internet connection, without all that “compiling” nonsense Gentoo users seem to be addicted to. Quick and easy. Unless there’s some step I forgot to mention, but that’s not really my problem is it. Anyway, have fun!


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