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Old 10-18-2006, 12:25 AM   #1
Sir Lunch-a-lot
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Computer to Computer Wireless Network How To

Okay, this problem has been driving me nuts! I have failed to find a concise explanation for how to do this.

What I have been trying to do is to network (via our wireless cards) my Mepis laptop (A Debian Based Distro) to A Windows Laptop. On Other Occasions, I have been trying to network with Macintosh Laptops (all wirelessly). There is no router involved. It is merely wireless card to wireless card.

I am having difficulty a.) Logging on to their networks and b.) Sharing or seeing shared folders.

So, could somebody please explain to me step by step (or link to a step by step guide) how to either (or both) host a network and connect /connect to another laptop that is hosting the network, set up shared folders via samba and actually activate them (that is to say, make them work and have other view them), and view other peoples shared folders.

I have been trying to do this with my friends here at Bible School, and every time I wind up grumpy and unsuccessful. None of the explanations I have read on the internet have been helpful thus far in achieving this result, because most assume that you have a wireless router.

I am running my network card through... crap, what's that thing called? NDIS Wrapper... thinger (can't remember the exact name). I have successfully connected to stuff in the past and gotten wireless internet. I have console tools (the commands to do iwconfig wlan0 blah, iwscan wlan0 list, dhclient wlan0, etc) installed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx.
Old 10-18-2006, 02:25 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2006
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Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04, LFS 6.3 rc1 (living dangerously ;), Windows XP
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I was under the impression you actually need a router.
Old 10-18-2006, 08:35 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Missouri, USA
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I THINK you would set up the Windows laptop to connect in "peer-to-peer" mode, and the linux laptop to connect as "Ad-Hoc"? (I've not done this, but find it an interesting idea...) You don't mention it, but can you actually ping each laptop from the other?
Old 10-18-2006, 12:28 PM   #4
Sir Lunch-a-lot
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Originally Posted by pnellesen
I THINK you would set up the Windows laptop to connect in "peer-to-peer" mode, and the linux laptop to connect as "Ad-Hoc"? (I've not done this, but find it an interesting idea...) You don't mention it, but can you actually ping each laptop from the other?
I think we can ping each other. When I run "iwlist wlan0 scan", if the laptop is playing the server/network provider role, then I can detect it. And the windows laptop (even the mac ones) can detect me when I have an ESSID set in ad-hoc mode.

It probably would be easier if we had a router, but I have been under the impression that it can be done without one. Some of the guys here with Mac's have done laptop to laptop wireless connections with a chat program, so I figured that a similar deal should be possible between Windows and Linux.

Well, if it is not feasible, maybe I'll have to look into how to direct connect 2 lappies via a crossover cable. That might be the simplest. But, yeah, if anyone does know how to do this, I'm still open to knowing how.
Old 10-18-2006, 07:53 PM   #5
Registered: Jul 2006
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I am also trying to connect a few computers in ad-hoc mode without success. I by no mean want to annoy you, but it would help me if you could describe how far you went to setup your linux boxes.
Also I dunno if you have noticed but it seems that iwconfig (or it might be something else) changes the mac address of the wlan card, from the original address to something imaginary. I have tried to verify this with kismet and ifconfig and every time I set the card in ad-hoc mode, it will take any mac address, which was very confusing at the beginning since I thought I was connecting to some neighbouring networks...

Have you tried editing the /etc/hosts file at all ? I did read somewhere something about it, but can't remember what exactly... So far I haven't succeded to ping a remote computers, but have you got any idea of what tools or commands you have to use to access a remote computer once you have a succefull connection???

Old 10-18-2006, 08:56 PM   #6
Registered: Jul 2006
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Hi again,

I have managed to establish a connection between my zaurus and my desktop. I have also read again through your first and saw that you use ndiswrapper, am I wrong? If so it don't think it will work with iwconfig and therefore you might get into troubles if you want to put your card in ad-hoc mode.

My advice would be to get a card with native drivers for linux, BUT don't get an atheros card if you only want to use it in ad-hoc mode since the madwifi driver (at least the latest) has troubles with ad-hoc, which is why I couldn't ping my remote computers...

I hope this helps =)


I have just actually done further testing with my atheros pcmcia card, it's a netgear WG511T and I did successfully manage to ping from and to it. However my netgear WG311T pci card (also an atheros) gets detected in ad-hoc but I can't ping to or from it... Oh and it seems the only way (as far as I could find out) to access a remote UNIX computer under linux is via NFS but you might wanna verify this.

Last edited by Chikne; 10-18-2006 at 09:25 PM.


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