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August 17, 2006

Installing ndiswrapper on Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake Server

ubuntu.pngWhy in the world would you want to have a wireless card on a server? Here's the situation: It's really cold in my basement, both in the winter and the summer. The perfect place to place stash a server. Now I don't want to run ethernet all the way down there from the router on the second floor, and wireless reception is good. This server is just for my personal use, so the speed limitations of wireless are fine. Below are the instructions I followed to get things up and running.

The first step was to get Ubuntu 6.06 server installed. I suggest downloading the .iso and burning it to a bootable CD. Installation is very straight forward, and there are plenty of tutorials available.

Next we'll require another computer with a web browser. You'll need to go find a link to the ndiswrapper source. The ndiswrapper source is available at SourceForge HERE. Go to the site and navigate to a close mirror where you can actually download the .tar.gz and write down the link. For example I used:


Now you'll need a good old hard wired ethernet connection to the server at first to download the necessary items. At the command line, follow these steps:

First we'll need build framework installed
user@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install build-essential

Find out what version of the kernel you are running
user@ubuntu:~$ uname -a

Substitute the numbers you saw from the command above into the next command to install the linux headers
user@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.15-23-server

Go to a temp directory
user@ubuntu:~$ cd /tmp

Then download the source
user@ubuntu:~$ wget http://umn.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/ndiswrapper/ndiswrapper-1.23.tar.gz

Unzip the archive
user@ubuntu:~$ tar -xvf ndiswrapper-1.23.tar.gz

Enter that directory
user@ubuntu:~$ cd ndiswrapper-1.23

Now build the source
user@ubuntu:~$ sudo make
user@ubuntu:~$ sudo make install

Now mount the cdrom disc you have with the windows drivers on it
user@ubuntu:~$ sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

Navigate to the directory that contains the drivers...
And copy the .inf and .sys files to your hard drive
user@ubuntu:~$ sudo cp * /root

Install the driver into ndiswrapper
user@ubuntu:~$ sudo ndiswrapper -i /root/filename.inf

Now check that the operation was successfull
user@ubuntu:~$ ndiswrapper -l

Write the configuration for modprobe
user@ubuntu:~$ ndiswrapper -m

And insert the ndiswrapper module
user@ubuntu:~$ modprobe ndiswrapper

That should do it. Check to see if your newly wireless interface exists
user@ubuntu:~$ iwconfig

Posted by stoltenow at 1:48 AM | Comments (4)

August 1, 2006

More Knoppmyth

Manually updating the TV listings

MythTV stores about 2 weeks worth of TV guide listings. When this runs out, it's supposed to automatically update that data. This doesn't always happen for me, so I run the script manually. To do this you'll need to exit the MythTV interface, and right-click on the deskop. Select XShells then click on XTerm. This should open up a terminal window. From here you can run the command "mythfilldatabase". To restart the MythTV interface, right-click on the desktop, and click on Restart.

Note: You can also gain command line access via SSH. Or you could use CTRL+ALT+F1 and login, then return to MythTV with CTRL+ALT+F7.


Did you know by installing knoppmyth you've also installed a webserver on your Mythbox? This allows you to use MythWeb, a web based interface for your new PVR. I've found it's much easier to manage my recordings with MythWeb and a mouse then a low resolution TV and a remote. To access MythWeb, simply enter the IP address of your computer into a browser. If all goes well, you should see this:

Clicking on the MythWeb link at the top will get you started:

MythWeb Password

If you installed Knoppmyth version R5B7 or later, then MythWeb will be secured by a password. This is a good thing, you don't want anyone to stumble upon your MythTV machine and set it to record odd things. Or worse, delete recordings. If you have an older version of knoppmyth installed then MythWeb will be unsecured.

When prompted, the default username is "mythtv". The password is what you entered when you installed knoppmyth. Something about "password for the MythTV relm". Don't remeber it? You can reset it as follows:

Open a terminal window, or ssh into your knoppmyth box.
Become the super user:
user@mythtv:~$ su
Enter your root password.
Remove the old password file:
root@mythtv:~# rm /var/www/htdigest
Create a new password file:
root@mythtv:~# htdigest -c /var/www/htdigest MythTV user
where "user" is the username you'd like to use.
You'll be prompted to enter the new password twice. That's it.

Updating the Zap2it TV listing subscription

Are your TV listings data empty? The first thing to do is attempt to run the mythfilldatabase command. If that doesn't do it, and it's been a while since you installed knoppmyth, it's a good bet your Zap2it subscription has expired. Head on over to http://labs.zap2it.com. You'll need to login with the username and password you originally used to setup the subscription. You should see a link that says Extend your subscription. I've been told sometimes they require you to take a short survey, but the last time renewed, all I had to do was click one button, and the job was done. Now run the mythfilldatabase command to update your listings.

Posted by stoltenow at 4:11 AM | Comments (1)