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Is this wireless router Linux compatible?

Posted on 2007-09-29
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Belkin Wireless Router, F5D8231AU4 N1, 300Mbps, 802.11g
http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=350664
http://www.belkin.com/pressroom/bulletins/uploads/F5D8231au4.pdf

I've had increasing problems with compatibility issues which I have good reason to believe are due to my current router's Vista incompatibility (Belkin F5D7630-4A). Vista 32-bit cuts off access to it regularly, and Vista 64-bit even more so. It's fine with XP.

I'm considering the above router, which is on MS's Vista hardware compatibility list.

However, I'm about to set up an Ubuntu Linux box and I'd hate to find that the new router won't play nice with Linux.

Your expert advice, or your recommendations for alternatives, would be welcome. I need 4 x RJ45 ports and wireless capability.

I believe that the AU part of the model number just means that it's for Australia/New Zealand power supply, power plug and Telco requirements.
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Question by:Alan Henderson
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arrkerr1024 earned 400 total points
ID: 19986410
Having a router be compatible with your operating system doesn't mean anything, in fact it doesn't even really make sense.  What you need to be compatible with your OS is your network card, and the card in turn has to be compatible with the router.  So if you are having problems in Vista with your wireless network then you're having problems with your network card drivers, not with your router.

Hope that makes sense.
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by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19986461
Didn't make sense to me either.

But I've tried 3 different motherboards each with the same result. The last two are Vista 32-bit and 64-bit certified.

All three motherboards work perfectly well with XP and with this wireless router.

I've tested many different possibilities which I don't wish to bore everyone with and I am 99% convinced that it's a combination of the router and updates to some programs and maybe updates to Vista. I have a number of images of my installation at various stages. The older the image I restore the less often I lose the router.

The final straw is the latest updates to Adobe CS3 suite. After installing that, any hiberanation or shutdown of Windows almost invariably loses the router.

When I say "lose the router" I mean that I cannot connect to it all. Not just that I can't go online.

I've been battling with this for a couple of months.

In the end I could see no alternative other than the router, so I went to MS's Vista hardware compatibility site and lo, they have listings for modems and wireless routers. If it weren't an issue why bother to have a compatibility list.

I have also found references on forums regarding incompatibility of routers.

I could go on. :o)
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Expert Comment

by:strungout132
ID: 19986868
ive had a belkin router once and i was banging my head against the wall when the connection dropped almost every 15 minutes. turns out, it was my wireless nic.

anyways, are you connecting via cable or wi-fi?
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Expert Comment

by:PUNKY
ID: 19987291
I would use Knoppix live CD or DVD to test first.

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by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 800 total points
ID: 19987326
Here is how to test it (noted I used old knoppix version):
Run Konsole Terminal Program:
knoppix@O[knoppix]$ su (press Enter key)
root@O[knoppix]# cd /etc/network (press Enter key)
root@O[network]# vi interfaces (press Enter key) and you should see on screen:

# /etc/network/interfaces -- configuration file for ifup(8), ifdown(8)

# The loopback interface
# automatically added when upgrading
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

~
~
~
~
~
~
"interfaces" 7L, 166C
Use arrow key to move the cursor down to iface lo inet loopback then press i key -INSERT

Depending Knoppix version, change eth1 b±ng chï ath0

iface eth1 inet dhcp (press Enter key)
(press Tab key) wireless_mode managed (press Enter key)

(press Esc key)

:wq (press Enter key) ---> wq = write then quit

- Leave Konsole Terminal Programming running (do not close)

- Now, hit K > Knoppix > Network/internet > Wavelan Configuation - you should see some popup like below:
1. Configuration of wireless parameters for eth1 (press OK)

2. Enter the ESSID for eth1 (type wireless network (same SSID use in Windows) then press OK

3. Enter the NWID (cell identifier) for eth1 if needed then hit OK

4. Enter the mode for eth1 (Managed(=default), Adhoc ...) then hit OK
(default là Managed)

5. Enter the channel number for eth1 then hit OK

6. Enter the frequency for eth1 then hit OK and change prequency of wireless card if it differs than 2.410 Ghz

7. Enter encryption key type in phrasecode of WEP or WAP then hit OK

8. Enter additonal parameters for "iwconfig eth1" if needed then hit OK

9. Enter additonal parameters for "iwspy eth1" if needed then hit OK

10. Enter additonal parameters for "iwpriv eth1" if needed then hit OK
If you use Program Wavelan Configuration then program should start
If you use Kwifi Manager but it is not recommend

Now, bring up wireless network card and back to Konsole Terminal Program

root@O[network]# vi interfaces
root@O[network]# ifup eth1 (press Enter key)

If you dont see the infamous word "fail" then you just pass :o) and your router is able to work with Linux or Ubuntu.

Run FireFox hay Konqueror browser and type url or http ..... enjoy
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by:rid
rid earned 800 total points
ID: 19987613
Whether it's the router or the NIC that gives trouble may be hard to say... I've experienced problems with ACER laptop WiFi and HP access points, so there has to be some kind of variance in the communication between router and NIC, but if the problem is based on hardware or drivers is not obvious to me. As suggested, try the system with a live CD O/S like Knoppix or Ubuntu.

For testing purposes, make sure all sorts of filters and other security measures are turned off (on the router). E.g., if the router has a MAC address filter active, and you've somehow set MAC cloning on one O/S and not the other, the same hardware will look different depending on what O/S is running. Note that some routers will have the MAC address filter active for wired AND wireless connections, which is a bit of a surprise if you're not aware... Use "Auto" settings as much as possible for package size etc etc.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19987776
Thanks to everyone for the input.

My apologies. I obviously didn't make myself clear.

I don't HAVE the router named at the beginning of my post, so I can't test it with a Live CD. I'm considering buying it because I hope that it'll solve my Desktop Vista connection problem.

However, I don't want to pay for it without knowing beforehand whether or not it is Linux compatible (specifically Ubuntu 7.04).

My fault, I supplied too much confusing information. Put it down to the 'flu and deteriorating gray matter. :o)

Additionally, the main problem with my current device is not with the wireless component, it's with LAN connection.
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Assisted Solution

by:rid
rid earned 800 total points
ID: 19987968
Well, I haven't had any connectivity problems with my Linux (Ubuntu) laptop, which has been used in a lot of different locations, probably connecting through several different brands of routers, wireless and wired. My guess is that if the NIC works OK, it'll connect with any sort of router.
/RID
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LVL 24

Author Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19988477
@ RID
I'm sure you're right. My weird problems with the current one have made me paranoid. :o)
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Assisted Solution

by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 800 total points
ID: 19988494
It should work fine as I thought so, but I have been trying and stuggle with Ubuntu, Linux, Redhat then I rethink that. So the best way is test first. I know it is hard if you buy stuffs online and difficult to exchange. I used to go local retail shop, get one, then test first. If works, then no return or exchange :o)
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 19989106
Well, I'd be very little surprised if VISTA has a problem with the router while Linux hasn't... :)

/RID
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LVL 24

Author Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 19995137
I'm mystified.
After using XP for a week, 2 days ago I restored my 64-bit Vista image. Installed Windows updates and it's been running sweetly ever since. Hibernates no problem, router times out when not in use but comes back on line no problem.
That was impossible before.
I can only assume that some software update has taken care of the problem. So my question, touch wood, is no longer relevant.
Thanks for the help. Your opinions have been very helpful.
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