The usual advice for installing something like ndiswrapper is to get it from one of your distributions repositories if possible. ndiswrapper, when installed, has a relatively unchanging part and a kernel module that is intimately linked to one particular kernel.
Fedora changes kernel more often than a lot of other distributions and if you go the do-it-yourself route then you end up recompiling each time the kernel changes. As long as you keep an eye on what you are updating there is usually a precompiled ndiswrapper module released at the same time or shortly after a new kernel.
Although ndiswrapper is "free" software the windows drivers it wraps around certainly aren't and so it doesn't get included in the usual repositories but instead ends up in the livna ones.
So you install the livna repository with:
rpm -i http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-8.rpm
That calls the details in from the internet so you need a wired connection to get it and the ndiswrapper parts.
Then install ndiswrapper:
yum install kmod-ndiswrapper
That brings in the kernel module and associated parts.
The actual drivers are everything. I have one particular card that will only ndiswrap with one particular variant of the driver and that's a win98 driver. The good news is that if it doesn't work with one driver you can delete its folder from '/etc/ndiswrapper' and try again.
For broadcom based cards it is safest to blacklist the built in kernel drivers. Open the file '/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist' and add two lines:
Safest to restart here and try:
/sbin/lsmod | grep b4
to assure yourself that b43 is not loading, you can modify the command and do it for ssb as well.
You know the 'ndiswrapper -i' and 'ndiswrapper -l' commands.
With the driver installed:
You should now be able to use:
/sbin/iwlist wlan0 scan
to see sensible information about your connection and then use NetworkManager to control it. You may need to modify the iwlist command if you card was not identified as wlan0 in the first command.
Don't try and use the 'Gnome system menu - Administration - Network' to configure your card. I haven't used ndiswrapper on a broadcom for some time. I can tell you that using the b43 my broadcom's don't show up in this network configuration dialogue.
However if yours does, resist the urge to try and configure it here. You may though need to click on such a wireless interface if it appears, click "Edit" and make sure "Activate Device when Computer Starts" is NOT ticked but that "Controlled by NetworkManager" is. That latter will only appear if your system is up to date within the last couple of weeks.
If you can now control your card from the top Gnome Panel, NetworkManager should have taken up residence in the notification area to the right, all well and good.
First time you do this you 'may' need to start NetworkManager explicitly. Do that from 'Gnome system menu - Administration - Services'. Make sure NetworkManager is ticked, started and saved so that it starts automatically.
If all is working, this won't preserve your connection between reboots. You need to issue the command:
and then add a line to /etc/modprobe.conf along the lines of:
alias wlan0 ndiswrapper
depending on what interface name 'iwconfig' has revealed.
If you experiment with several cards as I have, it appears important that you only have one alias for ndiswrapper in modprobe.conf, but you can have several different drivers installed.
I've had wlan0, wlan1 and wlan2 on one occasion with drivers installed for each card and and been able to use whichever card I plugged in by altering the alias. It appears a fairly robust system so you should be able to experiment without doing damage.
It's mid-morning here. I'll be looking for progress reports during the day with interest.
: Anyone coming across this post please note concoran's variations in post #49