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I'm trying to use ndiswrapper on a Slackware 12 (I think) box, but I'm running into a problem with modprobe. Everything I find online says that it should be working, but for some unknown reason it isn't. Here's what I've done so far:

  • Installed ndiswrapper (latest tarball, make, make install)
  • Ran ndiswrapper -i on the WinXP driver for my USB wireless card
  • Ran ndiswrapper -l which tells me the driver is present and the device is present (lsusb also confirms the device is present)
  • Ran ndiswrapper -m which put an alias for wlan0 in /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper.conf
  • Ran depmod -a
  • Ran modprobe ndiswrapper which tells me "FATAL: module ndiswrapper not found"
  • Ran modprobe -l which shows no listing for ndiswrapper

I even tossed in a reboot or two while trying various combinations of the above, still nothing. So naturally ifconfig wlan0 up isn't working because the device isn't being created, presumably because the module isn't loading the driver.

Does anybody have any suggestions? Everything points to the notion that this should work fine, but modprobe just isn't able to find what it needs. Have I missed an important step?

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Did you get any errors when running make or make install? It didn't install the kernel module properly. Make sure you have a copy of the Linux kernel source in /usr/src/. – Patches Mar 6 '11 at 0:33
@Patches: No make errors, and I definitely have the kernel source in /usr/src/ as well. Is there something more I need to install a kernel module? I've never mucked with kernels or modules, I've only ever really installed userspace software. – David Mar 6 '11 at 0:42
cd to /lib/modules/$(uname -r) and see if a misc directory exists with a ndiswrapper.ko file inside. It's very strange that the module install would fail without an error from make install. – Patches Mar 6 '11 at 1:35
@Patches: I see a build, kernel, source, and a bunch of modules.* directories (build and source just link to the kernel source), but nothing with misc in the name or with ndiswrapper.ko contained within. I do see ndiswrapper.ko built in the source tree for ndiswrapper, though. Can I manually install it? – David Mar 6 '11 at 11:21
@Patches: Looks like that may have worked. I created a misc directory and copied the compiled ndiswrapper.ko there, then depmod -a and modprobe ndiswrapper loaded the module. Now iwconfig sees wlan0. Don't know if it's working end-to-end yet, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. Thanks! – David Mar 6 '11 at 12:34
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Take a look at this: it is not slackware, but you are probably having the same problem!

The solution: You need to update your kernel headers and recompile ndiswrapper. Use this to update the headers:

* From a Terminal, run:

    sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

  and run the following for the dependencies:

    sudo apt-get install dh-make fakeroot gcc-3.4 build-essential

You will have to get your kernel headers and configure them correctly. Afterwards you will have to compile ndiswrapper for your kernel. If you have done that the module should load. I don't know, if slackware has apt as an packet manager. But you will have to install the fitting kernel headers for your machine. The problem is each new kernel release you will have to do it again. I used ndiswrapper once... It is not a pleasant memory, but you will get used to it and you will learn a lot about compiling and linux g

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I'm not even really sure how to do that. I guess I'll have to look up what's involved in acquiring kernel headers. I won't be doing a lot of kernel upgrades, so this will really be a once-per-OS-install kind of thing. – David Mar 6 '11 at 0:39

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