PCI Symphony Network Cards

I have finally found an affordable wireless solution that works with Linux.
Setting Up the eth1 Interface

Establish the IP address for the eth1 interface by typing

ifconfig eth1 192.168.4.1 broadcast 192.168.4.255\ netmask 255.255.255.0

Set the Secid for the Symphony wireless segment with the following command:

rl2cfg dev eth1 secid
Use the same Secid you used when setting up the notebook above, making sure you type it the same, including upper/lowercase. The Secid needs to be set only once; it is stored on the card in nvram. The rlmod driver versions after 1.5.1 use proxcfg instead of rl2cfg to set parameters for the Symphony card. Check the man page and READMEs.

Now, establish the route for the eth1 interface by typing

route add -net 192.168.4.0 dev eth1

You can check your results by typing ifconfig eth1 and netstat -r. You should be able to see that the eth1 interface is fully configured with its IP address and that there is a route using eth1 to the 192.168.4.0 network.

There is one more configuration command that sets the Symphony card mode to “master” and sets its name. Type the following, using an appropriate name for your server:

rl2cfg dev eth1 msta

If you don't have a firewall running on your Linux system, you should be able to ping the notebook from Linux and ping Linux from the notebook using the IP addresses. You should also be able to telnet to the Linux system from the notebook, again using the Linux server's IP address. If this works, you're just about there; if not, check your log files for errors.

Finishing Up the Setup

Add a line to the /etc/hosts table on the Linux server, giving the IP address of the notebook when on the wireless subnet, using your domain as appropriate.

192.168.4.2    wnb-dfoxwnb-dfox.

If you don't already have a c:\windows\hosts file with an entry for the Linux server on your notebook from a wired Ethernet configuration, create one now. The pertinent line entry in my c:\windows\hosts is:

192.168.1.254   server1       server1.
If you have a firewall running on the Linux server, you will need to add input and output rules for the eth1 interface to allow the packets to be passed. I added lines to these two sections of /etc/rc.boot/masq as shown:
# local interface, local machines, going anywhere
# is valid
ipfwadm -I -a accept -W eth1 -S 192.168.4.0/24\
  -D 0.0.0.0/0
# local interface, any source going to local net
# is valid
ipfwadm -O -a accept -W eth1 -S 0.0.0.0/0 \
 -D 192.168.4.0/24
Depending on your Linux distribution and version and whether you are using ipfwadm or ipchains, the location and name of the rules file will vary. Refer to the documentation for your firewall package. At this point, you should be able to ping and use telnet by host name between the notebook and all systems on your original network.

To allow packets to be forwarded to the Internet through the firewall from the wireless segment, you will need to add rules similar to the following:

# Masquerade from local net on local interface to
# anywhere
ipfwadm -F -a masquerade -W eth0 -S 192.168.4.0/24\ -D 0.0.0.0/0
ipfwadm -F -a masquerade -W ppp0 -S 192.168.4.0/24\ -D 0.0.0.0/0
ipfwadm -F -a masquerade -W sl0 -S 192.168.4.0/24\ -D 0.0.0.0/0

Due to the way diald works, there are rules for both ppp0 and sl0. Remember to restart your firewall rule set after making changes.

Once I had the firewall rules in place, I had full connectivity from the notebook to all local hosts and the Internet. The last service to get working was the Samba sharing from the Linux server. It took a little head scratching, but finally I realized I had a line in /etc/smb.conf that limited which networks had access to the Samba server. Since the wireless segment was new, it needed to be added to the config file, and then Samba needed to be restarted. The revised line in /etc/smb.conf is shown below.

hosts allow = localhost, 192.168.1., 192.168.4.
Integrating with Linux Startup Code

Once everything is working, you need to add the commands to initialize the wireless eth1 interface on system boot. Debian Linux uses SysV init, so I added the following lines to the /etc/init.d/network file after the eth0 interface section and before the line setting the default route:

insmod rlmod
ifconfig eth1 192.168.4.1 netmask 255.255.255.0\
  broadcast 192.168.4.255
route add -net 192.168.4.0 dev eth1 \
  /usr/local/bin/rl2cfg dev eth1 msta name server1

These lines load the module, configure the eth1 interface, add the route and set the mode to master. Make sure it all comes up on reboot.

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Re: Product Review: PCI Symphony Network Cards

Anonymous's picture

Hi, I found it very interesting report, the world become Linux, and wireless Linux, inexpensive wireless Linux, so,
I appreciate a lot this info, thank you Denny

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