How to get Ethernet, WLAN and the modem up and running.


The internal Intel Ethernet cards works without any problems using the e100 device driver.


For the internal Dell TrueMobile 1400 wireless card commercial drivers are available at linuxant that – as I got told – work flawlessy. A free solution is the ndiswrapper project at sourceforge.

The installation of the ndiswrapper is explained in detail in the file INSTALL in the archive. After unpacking the ndiswrapper-archive a simple :


asked for the location of the .inf file for the driver.

The Windows XP driver for the truemobile 1400 card can be found here. Extract the archive as follows :

      unzip R63259.EXE

Then the appropriate .inf file for the driver is located in (path to the extracted archive)/TMSetup/bcmwl5.inf. The sys file can be found in (path to the extracted archive)/TMSetup/bcmwl5.sys. Install asks for the full path including the file name for these two files.

All further questions of I accepted unchanged with Enter.

Update: With ndiswrapper 0.8 the installation routine changed quite a bit. Check the very good README file for futher information.


First you have to find out the vendor and device id for the card. The command :

      lspic -n |grep 'Class 0280:' |awk '{print $4}'

gives :

      vendor:     14e4
      device id:  4324

The kernel module is loaded with :

      modprobe ndiswrapper

Then the windows drivers are loaded :

      /usr/sbin/loadndisdriver 14e4 4324 
      <continued> /lib/windrivers/bcmwl5.sys 
      <continued> /lib/windrivers/bcmwl5.inf

The next step is to define the operating mode and (if required) the network name (essid):

      iwconfig wlan0 mode <mode> essid <essid>

The final configuration and installation of the wlan cart can be done with :


Just add a new wireless card. wlan can be activaded / deactived with the following command :

      ifconfig wlan0 up / down

Once you have a working setup the driver-loading can be automated. For a kernel 2.4.x add the following lines to /etc/modules.conf :

     alias wlan0 ndiswrapper
     options ndiswrapper if_name=wlan0 
     post-install ndiswrapper /usr/sbin/loadndisdriver 
          <continued> 14e4 4324 /lib/windrivers/bcmwl5.sys 
          <continued> /lib/windrivers/bcmwl5.inf 

Update: With ndiswrapper 0.8 you don’t need to start the loadndisdriver in modprobe.conf. The following works:

      alias wlan0 ndiswrapper


Update 03/2005: Check out the comments by Bron G.

A simple /sbin/lspci -v will give you the follwoing information about the modem :

    00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801DB (ICH4) AC'97 Modem 
    <continued> Controller (rev 01) (prog-if 00 [Generic])
        Subsystem: Broadcom Corporation: Unknown device 4d64
        Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
        I/O ports at d400 [size=256]
        I/O ports at d080 [size=128]
        Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2

A very good utility for the analysis of your modem is scanModem.

Ok, so far I didn’t have succes in getting the modem to work. As far as I know the following 3 options exist:

  • Use the pctel drivers. This requires that you change some code in ./src/configure and ./src/ptserial-2.4.6.c as explained here. Status: Not compatible with kernel 2.6 and therefore not working.
  • Smartlink drivers. You can get them here. Status: Using the slamr module I can connect to the modem with a minicom terminal and control the modem with AT commands. But the modem doesn’t dial.
  • Use the new alsa sound architecture, i. e. the snd-intel8x0m module, and the smartlink drives. For further information look a this Inspiron 510m page. Here my alsa installation is defunct somehow, i. e. I can hear music and use the alsa archtictury, while alsaconf complains about “alsa not installed”….
  • There is an unofficial and old driver for some broadcom based modems available at “” coded for kernel 2.2. One might be able to compile it for kernel 2.4 according to the information given at a location I still have to find out and add here. Status: No chance to get this working for kernel 2.6

Installation of the smartlink drivers

Installation of the drivers is a simple make && make install. You can test with :

      /sbin/modprobe slamr

if your modules work as expected. The soft modem application is started with :

      /usr/sbin/slmodemd [options] /dev/slamr0

Now you are ready to configure your modem software. Use the pseudo terminal :


as modem port device.