Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Linux Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi on Linux is about to get much better, thanks to the release of an advanced Wi-Fi driver stack to the Linux community under the GPL.

As reported by eWeek (here’s the full article) and LinuxDevices.com (read the full article), Devicescape has released their advanced Wi-Fi driver stack under the GPL (read the press release) in order to speed the adoption of Linux-based Wi-Fi devices. Having wrestled with Wi-Fi support on Linux on more than a few occasions, I can attest to the difficulty of trying to get online with a less-than-perfectly-supported Wi-Fi card.

If you’re lucky enough to have a Wi-Fi card that is fully supported by the Linux distribution of your choice, then great. Unfortunately, that list of supported Wi-Fi cards is rather slim, and excludes a great many of the retail cards available to consumers. Horror stories abound regarding trying to get a retail Wi-Fi card working under Linux, and these are the stories that prevent ordinary people from being willing to give Linux a try.

Hopefully, the inclusion of this new technology into mainstream Linux distributions will vastly improve Wi-Fi support on Linux and help continue to drive the adoption of Linux across business and consumer segments.

<aside>You may be wondering why I’m pushing for greater adoption of Linux. Microsoft does it’s best work when it’s faced with great competition. For quite a while now, there hasn’t been a serious competitor to Windows, and so Windows has lagged a bit (OK, perhaps more than a bit). A stronger and more vital Linux would give Microsoft the competition it needs to perform better. In addition, I believe that increased choice in operating systems can only lead to good things.</aside>

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