Linux and Marvell Topdog Wireless

I got a Gateway MT6458 laptop computer back in October of 2007. One of the first things I did was to resize the Vista partition, giving me about half the disk to install Linux on for a dual-boot system. I used the Xubuntu version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution.

A fly in the ointment was that Xubuntu did not recognize the built-in PCI-E wireless card, a Marvell Topdog card. My solution to this point was simply to carry an Atheros-based PCMCIA wireless card and plug it in if I was using Linux.

Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced the PCMCIA card.

So I looked for people who had managed to get the Topdog card working. The main problem I had, it turned out, was trying to be too specific in my search string. Trying to locate “xubuntu gateway mt6458 wireless” didn’t work, but when I tried just “ubuntu marvell topdog” I hit paydirt. That thread has step-by-step instructions (not all in one comment, though) and a link to a working driver archive (on page 2).

To summarize, once you’ve unpacked the driver archive:

sudo ndiswrapper -i NetMW14x.inf

sudo ndiswrapper -a 11ab:2a08 netmw14x

sudo ndiswrapper -m

sudo depmod -a

sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

As another commenter noted, I had to repeat the last two commands, but my Xubuntu now can do wireless via the built-in card.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.