Trouble with ndisgen

  • Hi, I am new to pfsense and just setup my router using it a couple days ago.  I am trying to get my Linksys WMP54G wireless card to work of FBSD, it did not auto-detect on bootup.  I found an article about converting windows drivers to FBSD so I was trying that.

    I am using RC2 pfsense.  So I ssh into my pfsense box, copy the drivers into a directory, then run ndisgen. 
    I do the bcmwl5.inf file and it seems, to work fine, then it prompts me for the .sys file.  Below is the terminal output

            –---------------- Windows(r) driver converter -------------------

    Driver file validation

    Now you need to specify the name of the Windows(r) driver .SYS
            file for your device. Note that if you are running FreeBSD/amd64,
            then you must provide a driver that has been compiled for the
            64-bit Windows(r) platform. If a 64-bit driver is not available
            for your device, you must install FreeBSD/i386 and use the
            32-bit driver instead.

    Please type in the path to the Windows(r) driver .SYS file now.

    > /keys/bcmwl5.sys
    /usr/sbin/ndisgen: /usr/bin/file: not found

    I don't recognize this file format. It may not be a valid .SYS file.

    Press enter to try again, or ^C to quit.

    If anyone knows whats wrong, or could help me with what to do next.  I read online that people were able to get this card working using this method, and the one that wrote the article on ndisgen (link posted above) I think was using the same card as me.  Could it be that pfsense rc2 does not install the required base components necessary for ndisgen to make the conversion?  I do not know how to add packages to freebsd from the net, the only unix like environment I have been familar with in the past is debian linux and updating using the apt-get command.

    thank you for your time,

  • You'll need to use the developer edition to create ndisgen items.  It includes all the files required but they are not included in the normal iso.

  • is there a newer developers edition than rc1, that newest i could find

    I went to developers rc1a but i get this error with disgen

    Press enter to compile the stub module and generate the driver
            module now:

    Generating Makefile… done.
            Building kernel module... "/usr/share/mk/", line 12: "can't find kernel source tree"
    build failed. Exiting.

    How could i get the kernel source tree?



  • It automatically does this during bootstrap.  make sure that it can reach the internet and login, it should ask you if you want to tail the bootstrap process.  Once this is somewhat complete you will have a /usr/src and ndisgen will be happy.

    Not sure if there is a newer version at the moment, that version should be ok to get ndisgen running.

  • how much space it take, its still going, im on 7.8gb drive


  • you should be ok with 8gb.

  • my pfsense box has been on building i386 architecture for several hours now, 100 % cpu usage, internet still works though, havent notice too much speed difference.

    its p2 400 mhz with 386 mb ram.

    can someone give me some benchmarks on about how long it takes with the specs of their system?


  • well, I added the interface and everything, booted up.  I changed the wireless setting to Ad-Hoc, then like my system rebooted and I cant boot back into it (I get mounting errors at bootup).  Any suggestions on how to boot back into my pfsense hard drive so I dont have to do the whole installation again, took a while to do that build thing above.  I am booted in the system right now using live cd, but I wont be able to access my partitions without mounting them.


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