Linux-friendly wireless vendors
I’ll write more about the Linux Wireless Summit when I am back at home, but here’s a taster.
One item that was discussed was vendor interaction with the Linux wireless development community, or the lack of it. The wireless networking market is still young and lack of vendor cooperation is one of the things that has resulted in Linux’s support for wireless networking being below par.
Without direct company contacts, there’s not a lot we can do to actively improve this, other than be friendly to those who have cooperated, and be patient. With that, we identified the vendors who have been cooperative:
- Intel rock – they have done the whole shebang. They write open-source drivers for their Intel Centrino wireless adapters (ipw2100/ipw2200), cooperate enough with the Linux developer community for those drivers to be included in mainline Linux, allow firmware to be redistributed, and have contributed to a generic wireless stack shared between all wireless drivers. These cards are probably the best supported wireless adapters under Linux at this time.
- ZyDAS write GPL drivers for most of their products, and distribute device specs to Linux developers. They also allow redistribution of device firmware. In terms of hardware support, Linux supports the older ZD1201 USB-Wireless adapters, but I’d really recommend the newer ZD1211 devices instead. ZD1211 will be well supported in mainline Linux hopefully within a few weeks.
- Ralink have apparently contributed device specs. If anyone has details on hardware support under Linux, leave a comment.
Please keep these vendors in mind when purchasing hardware in the future, and be sure to thank them for their contributions.