Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Rokland Taiwan USB Adapter & Linux

We are very excited about a product we recently added to our inventory, the Rokland Taiwan USB Wireless kit which can be seen here:

This devices used the Zydas ZD1211b chipset, which is now known as the Atheros AR5007UG. It is compatible with Windows 98SE and later, including Windows Vista. It is also compatible with Mac (OS 10.3 and 10.4) and Linux releases as well. Drivers for Windows (including Vista), Mac, and Linux are included with the device.

We have had some inquiries about the use of this product in Linux, and decided to post about this here in our blog.

When using in Linux, in most newer releases driver installation will not be required, though you will need to configure the device to connect to an available access point. Rokland does not provide support for use in Linux, however we will help you if we can. What this means is that if you purchase this item for use in Linux and cannot get it to do certain things that you need, you are more than welcome to ask us for help and we will do our best to help, but we cannot promise a resolution to your particular issue. Basic compatibility is assured, but use beyond that may well require some research on the customer's end, which is common when attempting to do various things in a Linux environment.

We can say upfront that in most releases the default driver loaded for this device is not rfmon (monitor mode) compatible. We have read several reports of a release of a community developed driver for this item that supports monitor mode, as well as a patch that does the same.

The driver package can be downloaded here.

The patch file is here.

Please note that we have not attempted to use either of these packages with the device at this time, so seamless installation/operation is of course not guaranteed.

If you want to use this item in monitor mode, so that you can use programs like Kismet, it is highly recommended to do a Google or Yahoo search for the following term sets:

zd1211 monitor mode
zd1211 kismet

By doing these searches and reviewing the results of the articles and forum pages that appear, this will give you a better understanding of what kind of legwork you may expect to have to do to get the device configured in Linux the way you would like. It is also advisable to add your particular linux release as a search term to narrow your results (example zd1211 monitor model kubuntu 7.04).

A note about packet injection: we have not done any packet injection testing with this device but came across the following at this web site

"* Chipset: zd1211
* Notice: After updating aircrack suite to aircrack-ng 1.0 dev. Monitor mode and packet injection supported."

For further information regarding packet injection and this device, it is recommended to do a search as explained above for the terms zd1211 packet injection.

Again, Rokland does not support the use of this item in Linux which means we cannot guarantee anything beyond basic compatibility. However we will be glad to try and help in any given situation so feel free to email us your questions, and our technicians will be doing more testing in the coming months in order to enable us to provide better Linux support of this and other products.

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