NdisWrapper is an open source piece of software that provides users with a NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) driver wrapper for the Linux kernel. In other words, it lets users to use the Windows drivers of a wireless network card in any GNU/Linux operating system.
Features at a glance
The project has been created because of the lack of Linux drivers and hardware specifications for a wide range of wireless network cards. It implements a NDIS API and a Windows kernel API within the Linux kernel.
Using this tiny piece of software, you can bring to life your PCI, PCMCIA (Cardbus only), built-in miniPCI, or USB wireless network cards, simply by using the Windows driver offered by the manufacturer for the respective wireless network card.
Another interesting feature is the ability to support many other devices, such as Ethernet cards, wireless home phone network devices, USB to Serial port devices, and many more. It runs well on both 64-bit (x86_64) and 32-bit (x86) hardware platforms.
Under the hood
The program runs entirely in the command-line interface (CLI), which means that no graphical user interface is provided by its developers. However, third-party GUIs are available for download, including the well known ndisgtk application.
Therefore, it allows users to install a Windows driver described by an INF file, use installed driver for devid (where devid is either USBID or PCIID in the XXXX:XXXX form), remove a previously installed driver, list installed drivers, as well as to write configuration for modprobe, as well as to write module alias and install configuration for all devices.
All in all, NdisWrapper is a great and unique application that can make your wireless network card work on many GNU/Linux operating systems. For a list of supported laptops, desktops and motherboard, please see the project's homepage.