Good afternoon bakegoodz-ga,
Linux support for 802.11b (the most common standard) is fairly good
these days. Support for 802.11a (faster; older; used to be very
expensive) is spotty with some chipsets supported, but not many.
802.11g is fairly new, so support there will vary with specific
chipsets as well.
Mandrake linux support in particular can be checked at Mandrake's
hardware compatability page, located (
Since the various linux distributions are all quite similar at a basic
level, you may be well-served by checking other hardware compatability
lists, such as RedHat's ( http://hardware.redhat.com/hcl/ ). The
drivers and kernel modules are usually fairly portable between
Approaching the problem from the other side - that is, which cards
have the best linux support, you should look at Proxim/Orinoco cards,
which are well-supported.
There is an excellent page here (
http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/ ) that discusses
many different manufacturers' cards, and the drivers and procedures
for getting everything working. The best support will be found for
Orinoco cards, and those cards using the various Atheros chipsets.
Airsnort indicates that it works with Cisco Aironet cards, and
Proxim/Orinoco cards. Other cards which can operate in what is known
as "promiscuous mode" will work as well, but your best bet is to stick
with these two.
Mandrake hardware compatability list
Mandrake 802.11 support
Mandrake wifi support