LinuxQuestions.org
Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Networking > Linux - Wireless Networking
User Name
Password
Linux - Wireless Networking This forum is for the discussion of wireless networking in Linux.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 10-01-2007, 02:01 PM   #1
mamadu.bwana
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 31

Rep: Reputation: 15
Could it be that my wifi adapter is too old for WPA


Dear friends,

I am having a really hard time trying to get linux to work with a WPA secured wifi network. First, it turns out that Ubuntu cannot work with WPA. So I tried Mepis, and that seems to work (at least the WPA option is there on the network config).

Mepis saw my adapter and I entered all the correct info (essid, WPA key, adapter, etc.) and all looked fine until I realized that I had connected to the totally open network of my neighbor even though his signal was way weaker than my home wifi. I can only imagine that somehow my adapter, a Linksys WUSB540G ver. 4, could not handle WPA. Is this possible?

(I checked my wifi network with my Nokia N800 Internet Tablet and everything was fine, the singal was strong, and I could connect to the router with no problems)

My other choices are a Linksys WUSB11v4, a NETGEAR PCI WG311T and an old Ashton Air Dash WRUB-2011i model WN220.

That's 4 adapters I have been buying off ebay and this is becoming very depressing. I really would appreciate some help with this!

Kind regards,

Mamadu
 
Old 10-01-2007, 02:38 PM   #2
raskin
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Russia
Distribution: NixOS (http://nixos.org)
Posts: 1,893

Rep: Reputation: 68
The situation with WPA in Linux is the following: there are some devices incapable of WPA; there are lots of devices which have drivers with working unsecured access but without WPA; there is a program (namely, wpa_supplicant), that works on top of any configured WiFi card driver and makes it work with WEP/WPA/WPA2. It is rather easy to install and configure (I compiled it, copied needed options from example configuration - it will never work if you edit example configuration file, it refers to drivers for features like security smart cards etc which you probably don't have - and entered network-specific data very quickly and without any problems the first time I needed it). In Windows there really is the notion 'a card too old for WPA', maybe it has somehing to do with what you have, but in Linux WPA is usually done by CPU, not the card.
 
Old 10-01-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
mamadu.bwana
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 31

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Dorogoi Raskin,

I am really having a hell of a bad time. I tried wpa_supplicant with Ubuntu and Mepis and with the former it only works with fixed IP and with the latter it does not work at all (at least with my cards). So I want to try something different:

Can you reccommend a wifi adapter and a distro which, for sure, would work with DHCP and WPA1? I do not care what the distro is as it is for an old computer (Celeron 500MHz, 256MB RAM) which I only need to have my kids browse the net so *any* distro will do. If you can reccommend a network adapter (USB or PCI) I will purchase it and I will download and burn a cd with whatever distro you reccommend. Can you do that please?!

Bratok - vyruchai!

Mamadu
 
Old 10-01-2007, 09:23 PM   #4
2Gnu
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Slackware 14.0
Posts: 1,874

Rep: Reputation: 49
Mamadu,

Almost any 802.11G device will handle WPA. The only exception being cards using a driver which is not fully functional - the bcm43xx driver for Broadcom, for example, was in that category for a while.

Most of the 802.11B devices will not work with WPA, in spite of what you heard above. The internals are simply not capable of doing the calculations necessary for WPA.

Your USB device *should* work with NDISwrapper & WPA. Check the NDISwrapper wiki to be sure.

Alternatively, you could use a wireless router in bridge mode. That allows you to connect directly to your PC's Ethernet port - no wireless driver needed and WPA performed internal to the bridge. ZyXEL P-330W and Buffalo are two that provide this capability out of the box and they are relatively inexpensive.
 
Old 10-01-2007, 09:37 PM   #5
raskin
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Russia
Distribution: NixOS (http://nixos.org)
Posts: 1,893

Rep: Reputation: 68
Most distributions try to avoid ndiswrapper. This limits set of available cards greatly. I am not ready to advice anything non-bloated along with exact modelt of a WiFi card.
What I have now working is the following: I have a not-very-well supported WiFi card, I compiled fresh ndiswrapper, I followed the manual page to install Windows drivers for my card (ndiswrapper takes Windows drivers and executes them, while pretending to be a Linux driver for the card - relaying all the work to the Windows drivers); I loaded ndiswrapper; I compiled wpa_supplicant and created a configuration file by copying a paragraph from example; I run it - and it was enough. I think thhat with at least 2 of your 4 cards you'll get the same result.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 10:12 AM   #6
mamadu.bwana
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 31

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
@2Gnu: let me see if I get this right. What you are suggesting is that I purchase a ZyXEL P-330W router or a Buffalo router (you mean this one, right?) to which I would then connect my computer with a regular ethernet card and cable and then that this router would connect to my wifi as any wifi adapter would. In other words, I would use this router as an external wifi adapter, right?

If yes, just one more question: is it hard to configure such an external router to connect to my wifi (I do not have a single Windows machine in the house: all I have is GNU/Linux and some BSD live-CDs)

Many thanks for your time and patience in helping me!

Mamadu
 
Old 10-02-2007, 12:04 PM   #7
2Gnu
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Slackware 14.0
Posts: 1,874

Rep: Reputation: 49
Yes, you have it right.

There are dedicated wireless Ethernet adapters (sold under various names - wireless bridge, wireless Ethernet extenders, etc.), but they tend to be expensive. The ZyXEL is often available for $30US or less after rebate. It's a router, but can be configured in bridge mode. You can do the same with some Linksys devices, but they require third-party firmware.

Setup should be very simple. I've configured the ZyXEL unit for a friend. Assign an IP address, set up security and you're off. He took it back to his house where he had an existing wireless setup (Linksys router and some unreliable Belkin USB adapters on his kids' PCs. He plugged in three PCs - one Linux and two Windows - and he was off to the races.
 
Old 10-02-2007, 01:06 PM   #8
mamadu.bwana
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 31

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
2Gnu - ok, thanks. I will get the ZyXEL. Many, many thanks!
 
Old 10-02-2007, 08:27 PM   #9
mamadu.bwana
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 31

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
May I add one more question?

Since my wifi router is configured with DHCP, how can he "give" an IP to the ZyXEL (which I already have ordered). I would see a fixed IP for my computer but what IP would the ZyXEL have? A fixed one? But then how do I connect him to my router which is designed for DHCP? One from my router? But then how do I tell my computer "where" the ZyXEL is?

How does one "mix" fixed IPs and IPs given by a router configured with DHCP?

Many thanks again,

Mamadu
 
Old 10-02-2007, 09:34 PM   #10
2Gnu
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Slackware 14.0
Posts: 1,874

Rep: Reputation: 49
Assign a static IP to your PC, compatible with the ZyXEL (I think its default IP address is 192.168.1.1, so you'd give your PC, say, 192.168.1.100 with ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.100).

Plug your PC directly into one of the LAN ports of the ZyXEL.

Point your web browser to the ZyXEL. Log in and configure it - all but the IP address of the unit itself. Set it to wireless bridge mode, set up the wireless ESSID, WPA security, change the default user name and password, etc. and apply the changes.

Change the IP of the ZyXEL to something different than, but in the same subnet as the existing wireless router (let's say the wireless router is 192.168.0.1 - don't know for sure, so please check). You'd set the ZyXEL to 192.168.0.2 and apply the changes. You'll lose the connection, but you don't care at this point.

Reboot the unit. Change your PC back to DHCP and re-run dhcpcd or dhclient or whatever your distro uses to get a new IP address. You should be good.
 
Old 10-07-2007, 03:08 PM   #11
mamadu.bwana
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 31

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
2Gnu,

I have received the unit and I tried over and over and over to make it work, but to no avail. Each time I reboot the configured ZyXEL I get the same problem: I can reach neither the ZyXEL, nor my router, not the Internet. The feeling that I have is that there are more options to configure on the ZyXEL than just doing "set it to wireless bridge mode, set up the wireless ESSID, WPA security, change the default user name and password, etc. and apply the changes". For example, I did find I field to introduce the essid to access my home wifi, but it is not in the security menu in which I had to enter my WPA key. Each time, like for the WPA key, there are many options which I do not undertand. Simply put, I really, really, would need a step by step walkthrough about how to configure the ZyXEL to act like a brigde between my computer and my wifi router.

Could you please, please, help me with that?!!

FYI - my router is a Linksys WRT54Gv8 with the IP 192.168.1.1 and the computer which I want to connect to my wifi has an IP of 192.168.10.2

The original IP of the ZyXEL was 192.168.10.1 which I changed to 192.168.1.7 (after which nothing worked).

If you give me an email address (mine is mamadu.bwana@gmail.com) I can send you the PDFs of the user manuals for of the Linksys WRT54Gv8 and the ZyXEL P-330W.

I know that it's a lot to ask, but I really am stuck. I have tried out FOUR card already (Linksys WUSB11v4, NETGEAR PCI WG311T, Ashton Air Dash WRUB-2011i model WN220) and this router is my fifth purchase to try to get wifi to work with GNU/Linux. Frankly, I am of rather limited means and I simply cannot afford buying more hardware. According to the FSF, the Linksys WUSB11v4 should have worked out of the box, it never did, nor did any other of these "linux compatible" cards. I tried to make them work with Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Kanotix, Mepis, and Sidux on different computers, but never did one work. I am not writing all this simply to complain (though I am frustrated beyond words!), but only to explain why I am really desperate to get wifi working with GNU/Linux (I do not want to use Windows ever again) and why I am asking for a "step-by-step" for dummies kind of walkthrough.

Many thanks in advance for any help,

Mamadu
 
Old 10-07-2007, 04:00 PM   #12
raskin
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Russia
Distribution: NixOS (http://nixos.org)
Posts: 1,893

Rep: Reputation: 68
May I give step-by-step for Mepis and your card that only connected to your neighbour's WiFi?

1) You run Synaptic package manager and install wpasupplicant.
2) You ask network configuration to check available networks. The point is to force it to turn card on.
3) You go to root console, run
Code:
iwlist scan
and save the result to maybe post here if there are any problems later. It must show your network and even say something about it containing acronym WPA. It will tell a lot, be ready to post it (it bears nothing useful to reveal you passwords, and the output can be obtained by anyone who is in reach of networks in question, so it's not a big disclosure). Learn what interface is associated with all the data. Maybe you will need to run
Code:
ifconfig {WiFi interface name} up
before
Code:
iwlist scan
- also to make your card wakeup for sure.
4) Edit file /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf. Put the following in the file, replacing right parts of assignments:
Code:
# Simple case: WPA-PSK, PSK as an ASCII passphrase, allow all valid ciphers
network={
        ssid="Your ESSID goes there"
        psk="Your passphrasee goes here"
#irrelevant if you have only one network
        priority=5
}
and save it.
5) Run
Code:
 wpa_supplicant -Dwext -i{Your WiFi interface name} -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
It should say that it connects to your network. Post its output, too, if aything goes wrong.
6) Check if networking works.
 
Old 10-07-2007, 06:02 PM   #13
2Gnu
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Slackware 14.0
Posts: 1,874

Rep: Reputation: 49
mamadu.bwana,

I assumed that you knew how to set up WPA on the routers. The choices will probably say something like "WPA-Personal" or "WPA-PSK" (pick that one), "WPA-RADIUS or "WPA-Enterprise" etc. The WPA type and the password must match exactly between the two.

Try setting them up without any security to get the steps down, then add WPA.

Finally, I'm confused by this comment:

"FYI - my router is a Linksys WRT54Gv8 with the IP 192.168.1.1 and the computer which I want to connect to my wifi has an IP of 192.168.10.2

The original IP of the ZyXEL was 192.168.10.1 which I changed to 192.168.1.7 (after which nothing worked)."


Keep everything on the same subnet or it won't work - 192.168.1.x.
 
Old 10-07-2007, 07:35 PM   #14
mamadu.bwana
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 31

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Dear raskin and 2Gnu,

Thanks for your replies. I have to confess that while I am reasonably proficient with the GNU/Linux desktop, I know little about networks, and almost nothing about wifi. I will try to follow both routes you have suggested:

@raskin: I will do exactly as you said and come back in a day or so with the results. Thanks for your patience and time!

@2Gnu: I will give it another try with the same subnet and also let you know.

I will not have an opportunity to sit down and try this stuff out before Wed. morning, so please stay tuned until then.

Again, many thanks to both of you for your patience and kindness. Hopefully, this thread will be of some use for other wifi with GNU/Linux users in the future!

Kind regards,

Mamadu
 
Old 10-09-2007, 08:07 AM   #15
2Gnu
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Southern California
Distribution: Slackware 14.0
Posts: 1,874

Rep: Reputation: 49
A thread that I used as a reference that may help you:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,16552629

The ZyXEL forum on that site is a great resource if you get stuck.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
usb network adapter with ndiswrapper can't connect to wpa with wpa-supplicant AceofSpades19 Linux - Wireless Networking 8 03-30-2008 05:13 PM
wifi management WPA tagno25 Fedora 4 08-22-2007 08:52 AM
Kubuntu Wpa wifi issue DigitalBlue Ubuntu 13 04-14-2007 07:59 PM
USB Wifi with WPA out the box, possible? fregster Debian 0 11-27-2006 10:43 AM
Wifi and WPA mirto Debian 10 06-22-2006 03:15 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:30 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration