can I use wireless & wired cards together?

Kevin Oberman oberman at
Thu Jun 16 17:50:00 GMT 2005

> Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2005 10:37:21 -0700
> From: Gary Kline <kline at>
> Sender: owner-freebsd-mobile at
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 04:42:41PM -0700, Brooks Davis wrote:
> > On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 04:33:42PM -0700, Gary Kline wrote:
> > > 
> > > 	Sorry if this is a really dumb question, but can I buy a
> > > 	wireless NIC card for my 5.3 ThinkPad and have it
> > > 	Just-Work?  If not, how/where do I configure?  The 10-100
> > > 	card I've had since last July works flawlessly with my CAT5.
> > 
> > Yes, as long as it's supported and you can deal with the fighting dhcp
> > settings issue if you use both at once on DHCP networks.  On 5.x I'd
> > recommend an atheros card based on the AR5210 or AR5211.  If you're will
> > to try 6.x, any Atheros card will work.
> > 
> 	My orig ^Subject line prob'ly should have read: 
> 	"Can I just plug in a wifi card (and pull out my wired)?"
> 	I'm assuming that my Intel 10-100 card is unplugged and 
> 	that I have a wifi (say, AR5211) inserted; will I be able
> 	to use my 600E at the library or Starbucks (or other 
> 	hotspots)?  In other words, will a wireless DHCP 
> 	configuration *work*?  If so, then it makes sense to
> 	take my ThinkPad along when I go out.  
> 	gary

A much simpler question. The answer is "yes" with some caveats.

It assumes that the AP is transmitting a beacon (which a public system
will) and no WEP. If this is the case, it should "just work".

You can probably just (as root) issue 'dhclient wi0' and it should do
the trick. You probably want to be sure that your /etc/start_if.wi0 sets
the ssid to "" and wepmode to "off".
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at			Phone: +1 510 486-8634

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