Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have an old Toshiba Satellite 4015CDT, with Pentium II MMX, 32MB RAM, 4GB HDD. It also has one USB 1.0 port, parallel and serial ports, a 3.5" floppy drive and a CD-ROM drive (probably almost dead). I've installed NetBSD on this machine (full install) and now I want to connect it to the Internet. Although it has one PCMCIA modem card in it, it is obviously not an option.

I've narrowed down my available options to the following:

  • Connect a USB wireless adapter. I have a Realtek RTL8192U adapter, but although the system gives me the device's name (through dmesg) it fails to recognize it as a network adapter.
  • Connect the laptop to another machine through a serial connection, so that the other machine will serve as a bridge to the Internet. Here is the page from the NetBSD documentation on serial connections. Unfortunately, I was not able to find anything on bridging there.

I would very much appreciate your suggestions on the topic. Thanks in advance.

Status update: tried installing a driver for my adapter using NDISulator on NetBSD. However, the kernel compilation failed. See here.

Status update #2: tried installing using NDISwrapper on Damn Small Linux (kernel 2.4.31). Although the driver installs and ndiswrapper -l shows hardware is present, I cannot configure the network interface (doesn't show up in ifconfig -a and iwconfig). It seems like this adapter is not supported by NDISwrapper (at least it's not mentioned on their wiki).

share|improve this question

While I have not used NetBSD myself, I found this list of devices that work on the OS. From the site, these networking devices are supported:

* Aironet 4500/4800 and Cisco 340 series wireless network
* BayStack 650 IEEE 802.11FH wireless network card
* Netwave AirSurfer wireless network card
* 3Com 3c562, 3c574 and 3c589 family
* Fujitsu MB86960-based cards, including the TDK CD021BX
* NE2000 compatibles
* Raytheon Raylink / WebGear Aviator IEEE 802.11 2Mbps Wireless
* SMC91c9x-based cards, including Megahertz X-Jack
* AT&T/Lucent WaveLan wireless PCMCIA card
* Intersil PRISM WaveLan wireless PCMCIA card
* Xircom CreditCard PCMCIA Ethernet
* IBM and 3Com Tropic-based Token Ring cards

I'd have a close look at the PCMCIA cards, as those are probably the most compatible with your particular situation.

share|improve this answer

I'm not too up on the internals of NetBSD - I'm more of a FreeBSD person.

I do, however, believe that the ndisulator is available in NetBSD. This will allow you to use the Windows NDIS drivers for your wireless card.

Take a look at man ndisgen, man ndiscvt or man ndis to see if it's there and how to use it.

share|improve this answer
Thanks! I'm now following the instructions here and here to recompile the kernel. – Michael Bikovitsky Mar 20 '11 at 8:44
OK, looks like I have a problem there... At compile time I got the following error cc1: warnings being treated as errors ../../../../dev/if_ndis/if_ndis.c: In function 'ndis_detach': ../../../../dev/if_ndis/if_ndis.c:1187: warning: passing argument 1 of 'mutex_destroy' from incompatible pointer type *** Error code 1 Is there anything I can do with that? – Michael Bikovitsky Mar 20 '11 at 12:53
You'd probably want to ask on for that one my friend. – Majenko Mar 20 '11 at 15:43

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.