Changing wireless cards on Xubuntu 8.04

I have Xubuntu 8.04 running on an old Dell Inspiron 8100. I started out with a Netgear WG511 v2 wireless card, but it kept having trouble connecting to my router in spots where there should have been no problem connecting. So, I decided to "just" switch to another wireless card I had lying around, a Linksys WPC54g v2 which uses the ACX111 chipset. It was a long and painful process to get it to work, so I thought I would write down what I think I learned along the way.

First, remove the existing wireless card and reboot with a wired ethernet connection and make sure it works. This way you will be able to do research on the web and download files as needed.

Next make your computer forget it ever met your old wireless card, otherwise, like happened to me, it will assign the new card to wlan1 which could cause troubles. Linux keeps a list of every network device it ever met and what interface it assigned it to (i.e. wlan0, wlan1, etc). This list is at:


Use sudo nano to edit this file and remove the entry for your old wireless card and then save the file. This will prevent Ubuntu from saving wlan0 for your old card and assigning your new card to wlan1. You could probably make everything work with your new card on wlan1, but you would have to find and change every configuration file that references wlan0 and to me it just seems easier to force your new card to be assigned to wlan0.

If your old card used ndiswrapper then you need to make your computer forget about the old card's drivers. To do this first find out the name of your old wireless card driver:

sudo ndiswapper -l

It should show you the name of the existing wireless driver. Then delete that driver from ndiswrapper like this:

sudo ndiswrapper -e

These steps should eliminate your old wireless card configuration so that you can proceed with installing your new card without creating any conflicts. I followed this guide for the WPC54g v2:


If you have a different card just search for an guide on how to install it.

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