Adaptive deterministic blind symbol estimation algorithms for direct-sequence code-division multiple-access (DS-CDMA) wireless communication are presented. We consider a subspace and an equalizer-based approach as well as the relation between both approaches. Both Viterbi and recursive least-squares (RLS) decoding schemes are studied. Simulation results show that these adaptive processing algorithms perform better than the block processing algorithm of Liu and Xu (Proceedings of the ICASSP'96 Atlanta, GA, May 1996), especially for time-varying channels. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.