Using the Compaq Wireless Multiport Device (Evo N600c) under Linux

I recently acquired one of the nice new Compaq Evo N600c laptops with the builtin multiport wireless option.

These notebooks have a "multiport" interface on the back of the LCD display (basically on the case) to which one may attach various wireless devices such as 802.11b adapters, bluetooth, etc.

This page documents getting the 802.11b device to work under Linux in systems not using WEP.
If you are deploying with WEP, the configuration is different. Click here if you want to use WEP.

The following email to the linux-wlan user and devel lists pretty much enumerates the steps needed to get it working. I am told that my patch will be incorporated into the next release of linux-wlan-ng (the current version is 0.1.13).
UPDATE: The patch has been rolled into the linux-wlan-ng-0.1.14-preX releases. Using the latest release, you shouldn't have to apply the patch below.

From: Josh Wyatt 
To: linux-wlan-user@lists.linux-wlan.com,
        linux-wlan-devel@lists.linux-wlan.com
Subject: [lwlan-user] [PATCH] Compaq Evo N600C multiport wireless support
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 14:18:52 -0400



Hi All,

I've been attempting to get the wireless LAN adapter option of the
Compaq Evo N600C laptop to work under RedHat 7.2.  This is a newer
laptop which has a new interface called "multiport", to which one may
semi-permanently attach various wireless options, such as an 802.11b
device, bluetooth, etc.

More info on the device is here:
http://www.compaq.com/products/wireless/wlan/multiport.html

This email documents the steps needed to support this 802.11b device
using linux-wlan-ng 0.1.13.

[rant]
Before I begin, a small rant.  This was a simple issue to resolve and
required the tiny step of allowing the prism2 driver to claim the
compaq/intel device for functionality.  I contacted both Compaq and
Intel, and despite their grandiose claims about Linux support, neither
could offer help with this device, up to and including programming
specifications.

I am including Compaq and Intel's support so that they may DOCUMENT the
support of this device under Linux (such that future Compaq and Intel
customers with similar support requests can be helped), and help them
live up to their claims a little more.
[/rant]

Apparently the multiport uses a modified form of the USB specification. 
The Linux USB core supports it natively.

However, the linux-wlan-ng 0.1.13 prism2_usb driver would not claim the
device because it is missing the USB device ID for the new device.  The
attached patch applies to src/prism2/driver/prism2sta.c in the
linux-wlan-ng distribution, and adds the appropriate device ID.

The patch should apply cleanly to wlan-ng 0.1.13 by cd'ing into
src/prism2/driver and issuing:
patch -p0 < prism2sta.c.patch

After applying the patch and compiling/installing normally, modprobe the
prism2_usb module (note: the prism2_doreset=1 option DID NOT work for
me) and activate the device with the key combo Fn+F2 (I know of no way
to automatically enable the device).  This key combo is the equivalent
of "attaching" the device to the USB bus.

Note that I also reversed steps B and C in the USB instructions in the
README.

The driver should then claim the device.  The standard configuration
instructions "FOR USB USERS" from the README are all that remain.

Caveats:
1. I have not tested this device in a WEP environment, only with
authtype=opensystem, but I believe it should work fine in a WEP
environment.
2. I am using RedHat 7.2 with RedHat's latest stable production kernel
for this distribution, which is 2.4.9-31 and latest stable RedHat glibc
(2.2.4-24).
3. Due to the MPL and exporting of symbols, the module is identified as
"tainted" at load time.

Any questions, let me know.

linux-wlan-ng-0.1.13 is distributed under the Mozilla Public License,
and can be obtained from AbsoluteValue Systems at:
http://www.linux-wlan.com/linux-wlan/

Thanks,
Josh Wyatt
Senior Unix Systems Engineer,
HCS Systems, Inc.
Here is the patch. It is only tested against linux-wlan-ng-0.1.13.