Ipw3945 driver manual installation for Debian Etch

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One step installation for Debian Lenny or newer

kernel 2.6.24 and older
sudo aptitude install firmware-ipw3945 ipw3945d ipw3945-modules-`uname -r`
kernel 2.6.25 and newer
sudo aptitude install firmware-iwlwifi

Step by step installation for Debian Etch

Only for Debian Etch (stable), if you are using Debian Lenny or newer you can use Debian Packages (see above)


driver from http://ipw3945.sourceforge.net/ for example

wget http://ufpr.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/ipw3945/ipw3945-1.1.0.tgz

ieee80211 subsystem from http://ieee80211.sourceforge.net/ for example

wget http://ufpr.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/ieee80211/ieee80211-1.2.15.tgz

firmware from http://bughost.org/ipw3945/ for example

wget http://bughost.org/ipw3945/ucode/ipw3945-ucode-1.13.tgz

regulatory daemon from http://bughost.org/ipw3945/ for example

wget http://bughost.org/ipw3945/daemon/ipw3945d-1.7.22.tgz

Install kernel headers

(Install these modules ONLY if you did not compile your own kernel)

sudo aptitude install linux-headers-`uname -r`
sudo aptitude install gcc-4.0

Compile and install modules

(in the same directory run as root)

tar -zxvf ieee80211-1.2.15.tgz
cd ieee80211-1.2.15
make install
cd ..
tar -zxvf ipw3945-1.1.0.tgz
cd ipw3945-1.1.0
# if you have problems here with kernel 2.6.18 see notes
cd ..
tar zxvf ipw3945-ucode-1.13.tgz
mkdir /usr/local/lib/firmware/
cp ipw3945-ucode-1.13/ipw3945.ucode /usr/local/lib/firmware/
tar zxvf ipw3945d-1.7.22.tgz
cp ipw3945d-1.7.22/x86/ipw3945d /sbin/ipw3945d-$(uname -r)
cd ipw3945-1.1.0
cp ipw3945.ko /lib/modules/$(uname -r)
depmod -a

Init script

create init script: /etc/init.d/ipw3945


case $1 in
 echo -n "Load ipw3945:"
   modprobe -i ipw3945
   /sbin/ipw3945d-$(uname -r) --timeout=30
   sleep 2
   echo " done."

   echo -n "Unloading ipw3945:"
   /sbin/ipw3945d-$(uname -r) --kill
   modprobe -ir ipw3945
   sleep 2
   echo " done."

exit 0
chmod 755 /etc/init.d/ipw3945

Enable start on boot

update-rc.d ipw3945 defaults 30

Interface configuration

Change /etc/network/interfaces to:

auto eth2
iface eth2 inet dhcp


  • If your are planning to use your wireless interface in monitor mode, for example to use kismet, uncomment "CONFIG_IPW3945_MONITOR=y" from the driver Makefile before running make.
  • If you have error: "too few arguments to function ‘ieee80211_tx_frame’" problems compiling ipw3945-1.1.0 with 2.6.18 kernel. ipw does not properly recognize the version of ieee802.11 stuff in the kernel. A quick hack is to change "EXTRA_CFLAGS += -DIEEE80211_API_VERSION=$(IEEE80211_API)" to "EXTRA_CFLAGS += -DIEEE80211_API_VERSION=2" on line 96 of Makefile. (http://dotcommie.net/projects/XPS-M1210/)