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4. Debian Kernel Configuration

4.1. What TO enable

In order to use the wireless tools, like iwconfig, which will allow you tell how good your connection is, you need to enable support for Wireless LAN (Non-Ham Radio).

In these examples, I use

make menuconfig
to configure my kernel.

You can do this by:

Go to:

Network Device support -->

then Select:

  Wireless LAN (non-hamradio)  --->

Then Choose the options, so that it looks like below, or something as close to this. Note I am using 'make menuconfig' to configure my kernel

  [*] Wireless LAN (non-hamradio)
  < >   STRIP (Metricom starmode radio IP)
  < >   AT T WaveLAN & DEC RoamAbout DS support
  < >   Aironet Arlan 655 & IC2200 DS support
  < >   Aironet 4500/4800 series adapters
  < >   Cisco/Aironet 34X/35X/4500/4800 ISA and PCI cards
  <*>   Hermes chipset 802.11b support (Orinoco/Prism2/Symbol)
  < >     Hermes in PLX9052 based PCI adaptor support
  <*>     Prism 2.5 PCI 802.11b adaptor support 

4.2. What NOT to Enable

One of the main stumbling blocks was to realize that the pcmcia support in the kernel is not as good as the pcmcia-source support that one gets when you build it from pcmcia-source.

I use either

make xconfig
or
make menuconfig
to configure my kernel, so when you configure your kernel, be sure to not have pcmcia support enabled under
General setup

Nor do you want to select any particular pcmcia card under

Network device support
. I repeat you do not want this under the kernel and you will be building it when you download pcmcia-source.
Caution

Be sure to download all the necessary components before you take pcmcia support out of the kernel, otherwise, if you were using a pcmcia card for net access, you will not be able to connect to the Internet using the new kernel, until you have built both pcmcia support and module drivers for the wireless card