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Linux general issues

Linux Orinoco USB driver has got the same possibilities like PCMCIA version. The reason is simple: Linux Orinoco driver is modular. The main module contains all the code to manage Hermes-I, Prism-2, Prism-2.5 and Symbol devices. There are also other modules responsible for management of PCMCIA interface, USB interface, PCI interface, etc, etc. So, even you can put to Orinoco-USB bridge Prism-2 and Prism-2.5 PCMCIA card and it will work as PCMCIA one!!! But Symbol cards are known to NOT work in USB interface! As soon as there is no Orinoco USB driver in Linux kernel, there is best to use CVS version of this driver with actual changes - the driver changes now frequently.

Linux firmware issues

You can't change (upgrade, downgrade) your firmware in Linux! This operation is only supported by Agere / Proxim Windows utility (see Windows notes above). Linux can use only flashed firmware inside PCMCIA (tetriary firmware is not supported). So, in Windows you can use WPA (embed in tetriary 9.42 firmware included in drivers). The most recent flashed version of firmware is 8.72, so in Linux you can use only 8.72 as the highest version!

Linux driver issues

Linux Orinoco USB driver supports all the devices supported by Windows Orinoco USB driver:

and some other cards:

Instructions for installing Orinoco USB drivers on Gentoo with kernel 2.6.x (possibly others)

Run the following commands as root to install the Orinoco USB drivers. Make sure you have 'usb' in your USE flags and that you have unmasked the packages it will complain about.

emerge =orinoco-9999

Notice that this will install the current CVS and can thusly be a bit funky, however I have had no problems with it. --Freso 03:07, 10 February 2006 (GMT)

You should also check if you have *hotplug* installed.

emerge hotplug
/etc/init.d/hotplug start

Then plugin your usb device and run iwconfig, your orinoco card should apear. --HangLoose 13:00 8.4.2006

"No firmware to download" Linux OS error when inserting Orinoco USB

If you have got error: "orinoco_usb: No firmware to download" read this paragraph!

Code: Error message
> ============================================
> May 10 22:23:29 blanche kernel: usb 2-1: 
> new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 4
> May 10 22:23:29 blanche kernel: orinoco_usb: No firmware to download
> May 10 22:23:29 blanche kernel: orinoco_usb: 
> probe of 2-1:1.0 failed with error -14
> ============================================

This errors appears, when you haven't got orinoco_ezusb_fw and orinoco_usb_fw.h in /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware and in /lib/firmware and in /lib/hotplug/firmware. Copy these 2 files to mentioned directories and it should work OK

If you will still have got problems after doing this steps please make sure, that your orinoco-usb device is "orinoco-usb VARIANT 1" (old orinoco-usb)!

You were warned, that ANY OTHER VARIANTS LIKE "orinoco-usb VARIANT 2" (new orinoco-usb) DO NOT WORK ON LINUX (at least with these orinoco-usb drivers, because new orinoco-usb is on Prism-2, not Hermes-1 chipset. Maybe these new orinoco-usb devices work with linux-wlan-ng, try it! Above error could also be displayed unexpectly in Ubuntu / Kubuntu and partialy in Debian, when "tmpfs" in kernel source was enabled. To get rid this error please compile kernel with "tmpfs" option "disbaled" - disable also all options above and below "tmpfs" option.

Monitor mode in Linux and Kismet support

Monitor mode (rfmon) in Linux works only on 6.16 firmwares. It may works also on < 6.16 firmwares (6.06, 5.x, etc), but I didn't test it. Also many people reported that monitor mode works fine with the best for monitoring 6.16 firmware. And there is NO person who reported that 6.16 firmware does not work with monitor mode :-) So, if you want to run monitor mode (for example for kismet, ethereal, airsnort, etc), please use 6.16 firmware.

Firmwares 7.x DO NOT work with monitor mode (confirmed for many people and me, but some people reported that it works - probably unstable)!!!

Firmware 8.72 PARTIALLY support monitor mode (without channel hoping) and card freezes in monitor mode after about 15 minutes!!! If you want to use monitor mode with 8.x firmwares you must enable support for them in orinoco.c. Simply change "force_monitor = 0" to "1". Support for 8.x firmwares in monitor mode was rejected in drivers, so you must manually enable it. Kismet: you must DISABLE channel hoping (with channel hoping this card freezes) and then set "initial channel" back of "source" directive (read kismet manual).

In 6.16 firmware there is no problem and monitor mode works always stable! To enable monitor mode type:

iwconfig eth1 mode monitor

when your Orinoco's interface is "eth1".

To run Kismet you can simply type "kismet" without enabling monitor mode - monitor mode will be enabled automatically!

If you will use cvs-drivers, DO NOT apply dragorn patches from April 2005 - these patches only hide all ssid's and are reducing possibilities of Kismet. And with dragorn patches Ethereal reports corrupted ssid in monitor frames. Without patches everything is OK. Use Kismet with "orinoco_14" source.

Other utilities support

Orinoco drivers support also other utilities, like Ethereal, Airsnort, etc. In Linux there is no difference between PCMCIA and USB version of Orinoco Classic Card!!!

Wireless Tools support and configuration of the card

Orinoco driver support fully Wireless Tools. To configure the interface (for example "eth1") you can do:

Then you can edit file /etc/resolv.conf and write your DNSes, for example nameserver


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Last modified: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 11:17:00 +0000 Hits: 24,884