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I'm sure this has been covered somewhere in these forums. But could you give your opinion on what open source distro is the best for seamless connection to wireless networks?
I use openSUSE 12.1 and have trouble connecting to wireless networks. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. I spend alot of time playing around with network settings in YaST trying to connect to WiFi spots in libraries and coffee shops. I can connect maybe 10% of the time.
Short answer, Mint has a fair bit of 'support' for wireless 'drivers' but Mint may contain or give you access to proprietry software.(note: there is a difference between open source and free software, the former only lets you see it).
lspci, will show the chipset of the wireless device but if you can already use it to some extent suggests a driver is already working. Might well be your version of suze.
I have used Kubuntu before and its wireless and 3G setup works like a dream, take not it is kde NetworkManager that does the job. I recently switched to SuSE 12.3 and install SuSE13.1 yesterday. These run the same KDE Network manager, and although I will stick with SuSE for now (amongst others my soundcard works a lot better) the Network Manager thing does not seem to work well for wireless...
Thanks for the advice everyone. I actually purchased a wireless USB adapter thinking that my built-in adapter may not have had a good driver. Here is the output of /sbin/lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
09:00.0 Ethernet controller : Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x / AR542x Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) [168c:001c] (rev 01)
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company AR5BXB63 (Foxconn) 802.11bg Mini PCIe NIC [103c:137a]
Kernel driver in use: ath5k
0a:00.0 Ethernet controller : Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller [10ec:8136] (rev 02)
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device [103c:30fc]
Kernel driver in use: r8169
The strange thing is that alot of the time I can ping the wireless router IP address, so I know my wireless adapters do function. Maybe there is something wrong in the dhcp file? Or a conflict in the kernel routing table.
The other odd thing is that I previously did the trial version of SuSe Enterprise, which I downloaded from the Novell website. Wireless seemed to work, but I would repeatedly get kicked off after a very short time. I would look in the logs and see things like "IP address has expired".
To the folks running openSuSe 12.1, would you mind sending me the results of the following command: route -n ? You can astrick out your IP address if you wish.
Atheros chips generally have pretty good support in Linux. The issue with the IP address expiring seems to be an issue with the network itself. You might og into your access point and try increasing the DHCP lease time, if possible. Also, you didn't say if you're using WPA or WPA2 on your wi-fi network. The last time I played with this (probably a year or two ago now), those could be a bit problematic in some Linux distros. I'm not sure if that's still the case, but I second the suggestion of upgrading to a recent, supported distribution.