Laptop Guides at
Note: This guide has now been superseded by newer guides in our Guides section.
If you would like to edit this page please first view our Editing Guidelines.
The Intel 4965AGN wireless controller is found in the Santa Rosa chipset and is quite common in newer Intel Core 2 systems. Thanks to the work from Intel, there are a good set of drivers available for Linux which they have called the iwlwifi driver. This guide will help you install and configure the Intel 4965ABG for Linux.
For the easiest install you should use kernel 2.6.22 or higher. This kernel includes the necessary drivers for the iwlwifi to function properly. Older versions are much harder to configure.
With Fedora 7, all you need to do is update your distribution. With the latest 2.6.22 kernel which is installed after running the update you will have the iwl4965 installed.
OpenSuSE 10.3 includes the iwlwifi module as standard so no extra installation is required.
Ubuntu 7.04 does not include the iwlwifi module so you will need to do this manually. The easiest method to achieve this is to install the latest kernel version from the upcoming (and currently beta) version of Ubuntu (which includes kernel 2.6.22).
First add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ gutsy main restricted universe multiverse
Now execute the following commands (you should check if there is a newer kernel than the one listed below):
sudo apt-get update
then (on one line):
sudo apt-get install linux-image-2.6.22-10-generic linux-headers-2.6.22-10-generic linux-restricted-modules-2.6.22-10-generic linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.22-10-generic
Finally remove the line that you just added to the /etc/apt/sources.list file.
And that's it, since the iwlwifi module is included with the above kernel you should be ready to go. A reboot is necessary to launch the new kernel.
Ubuntu 7.10 includes the iwlwifi module as standard so no extra installation is required.
(To verify and expand.)
Please be aware that wireless can be a hard to configure even on Windows: problems often only go away after a reboot, a dhclient wlan0 (run under root to get an IP renewal) or a router reboot. Even with different routers, the intel driver is glitchy and either quits showing access points in knet_applet, or just fails to get an IP by itself, forcing you to specify one in the configuration menu on a KDE tray.
Also, Mandriva 2008 in 32 and 64 bit modes currently stutters (on the S5097 submodel, at least) when the hardware switch is toggled, and most of the time stays that way until you reboot. This happens more often when audio files are being played, but stays even after different programs are exited. Seems like an issue with IRQ handling, and the dmesg log may mention an unhandled wireless event. Upon shutdown, the log may also show a “microcode sw failure 0x20000000”, at least under the ndiswrapper version.
Using a wired connection from your computer, or spare internet-connected computer for this task, go to the downloads section at www.intellinuxwireless.org/ and fetch the latest iwlwifi and mac80211 files. Your target will look like iwlwifi-4965-ucode-184.108.40.206.tgz for the microcode file with iwlwifi. Steps boil down to putting the uncompressed iwlwifi-4965-1.ucode file in /lib/firmware/ and dealing with mac80211 with their instructions –Read the FAQ there. In systems like Mandriva, you don't need to get the mac80211 file. Also note that some microcode versions are named iwlwifi-4965.ucode, and the wrong file copied may puzzle you. Also note that the microcode for the card seems to be ok for 64bit kernels.
There you have it. Your distribution should now be able to see a wireless controller and be able to configure it.