Linux on the Sony Vaio VGN-S260


Wireless Support

The Intel 2200B/G device is supported out of the box on some distributions. Ubuntu was one of these. Suse 9.2 also includes drivers, but they're not available until the system is installed.

If you're running a distribution which doesn't include these drivers in the base install, (such as Slackware), you'll need to grab the drivers and matching firmware versions from http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net. You'll need to compile these drivers against a 2.6.x series kernel, as 2.4 lacks some features required by the driver. That means you may also have to install and/or compile a new kernel from kernel.org or from your distribution vendor. I used a vanilla 2.6.x series kernel from kernel.org. Outlined below are the options you'll need to configure your kernel with to include support for the ipw2200 driver as well as support for security-enhanced wireless networks.

Those are all the options needed to succesfully build and load the driver.

Now, you'll need to extract the firmware to the proper location so that hotplug can find it and load it with the driver module. The location of the firmware can vary from distro to distro, so you should check /etc/hotplug/firmware.agent for the correct location on your distribution. On Slackware, the directory mine is installed to is /lib/firmware.

Now that the firmware is in place, we may build the ipw2200 driver. Extract the tarball and change to the source directory. Run make install and the driver should compile and copy to the correct location, assuming your kernel is configured properly and running. Execute modprobe ipw2200 and the driver should have loaded correctly. To test whether it is working correctly, use the command iwconfig. You should see a listing for ethX and a summary of the wireless extensions. If you see no wireless extensions after having loaded the module, check the output of dmesg for any error messages. If your firmware isn't loading correctly,double check that it's in the right location. If it's in the right location, you might want to try downgrading to a previous version of the firmware. That has solved some issues I've seen.

After the module is loaded, you can configure it via dhcp with dhcpcd ethX where X is the interface number you see listed by iwconfig with wireless extensions. Use your distros setup to configure it to load automatically at every boot. The way I do this is to add an entry to /etc/modprobe.conf like this:

alias eth0 ipw2200

Then I use Slackware's netconfig to setup eth0 to be configured by dhcp. Consult your distribution's help files on how to do the same.


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