Linux - Wireless NetworkingThis forum is for the discussion of wireless networking in Linux.
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Good morning all, I am relatively new to wireless. Linux not a newbie. I have used wired networking for years, now that I have a newish laptop I am unable to connect wireless. well I take that back I can connect "unencrypted" but as soon as I enable wep and wpa 9it just sits there.
unsecured network is not a resolution.
also I have tried several distrobutions
3.ubuntu 6.6,6.10,7.10, 8.04, and 9.04. 9.04 is not compatible with the laptop. graphics does not work
And what version of firmware does it have? The firmware might be too old or (ha! ha!) the hardware might be too new for full support in Linux.
Try running "dmesg | less" from the command line and look through the text. I once bought a wireless card "guaranteed" compatible with Linux and it was, but it needed a firmware update before I could use encryption. It worked fine unencrypted but it would lock up after only a very small number of encrypted packets until I updated the firmware.
My current Linux laptop, running openSUSE 11.1, has a Broadcomm 43xx chipset for wireless and, at first, I had to use ndiswrapper and Windows drivers, but a subsequent kernel release incorporated support that works for it and I no longer ndiswrapper.
I don't think it has to do with the firmware. As the original poster mentioned, it works when the encryption is off, so the card itself is working.
I run OpenSuSE 11.1 myself with KDE 4.2 and since you mention being a newbie, I suggest using KDE and SuSE's networkmanager (located in /opt/kde3/bin/knetworkmanager). Just right click on the icon and setup a new connection. Fill in the keys and you should be ready to go.
I had a wireless card that worked with encryption off and failed with encryption on. Thanks to Google, I learned that the cardehad a known problem with encryption and needed a firmware upgrade. As I related in my previous post, that firmware upgraded did make the card work with encryption on.
It may not be the firmware in this case, but my experience contradicts you in that firmware can sometimes make a difference. It's something that needs to be checked.
I agree that knetworkmanager is worth a try. Alternatively, have a look at wicd (wicd.sourceforge.net).
I had the same WEP problem with my Dell Latitude D600 several months ago installing multiple distros. I could connect to a neighbor's unprotected access point but not my own. Since you are using much newer hardware, my reply may not be of much help but perhaps it will help another reader searching for a wireless solution
I am a Windows pro/Linux newbie. Now with practice behind me, when I install a new linux distro, wireless usually works seamlessly with both GNOME and KDE. I attribute my past problems with not configuring via the smoothest path and possibly selecting some wrong configuration choices such as "WEP 128 passphrase" instead of "WEP 40/128-bit key". If I ever use a different laptop, I'll probably have to start all over.
Here is what seems to work for me on the Dell D600 on the distros that provide the network connection icon in the system tray, or should I say right side of the "panel":
1. Install the disto without allowing any updates. However, since you probably already updated, the following should still work. I say this because I recently reinstalled openSUSE 10.3, 11.1 and 11.2, Debian 5.0.2, Ubuntu 9.04, and Mandriva 2009.1 Desktop and they all connected and I had not installed updates. FYI.. Gento0 Autobuild failed to get past hardware scanning and Gentoo Live CD 2008.0r1 failed to finish its install. I plan to try Gentoo Live CD again soon. I used GNOME in all the above without having installed KDE.
2. Go strait to the right panel "Network Connection" icon and left click it. If you see your wireless access point's SSID, click on it. If you don't see any access points, there is no point reading the rest of my reply, as I did not experience that problem.
3. If you are using WEP, make sure the security is listed as WEP 40/128-bit key, click the "show key" check box and cut and paste your WEP key into the text box and make sure it is correct. I maintain a wired connection during the install, so I can log into the access point to grab the WEP key. If you are working with multibooting, you can keep the wep key in a text document on your data partition which you'll have to mount. Make sure the connection is enabled and "connect automatically check box is checked . In Fedora 11, the wired and wireless connections are disabled. If things are working, right click the "Network Connections" icon and select "Edit Connections". If you plan to use networking at runlevel 3, be sure to click on "Available to all users". I learned this "init 3"tip through trial and error and do not know why it works if "Available to all users" is disabled. If you add another wireless connection, such as at a public cafe, "Available to all users" is not enabled by default.
Debian 5 required installing firmware. I used the most current version. You'll have to unzip, move files to a directory and run a couple of commands from the command line, and this is documented. From what I recall, I think an icon will then appear in the panel/tray, and you can proceed as described above. I don't recall if a reboot was necessary. During installation, Debian asked for firmware files on usb drive. I tried using them on a usb drive once, but I still had to manually add the firmware. By the way, firmware isn't the same here as in Windows. You won't be changing any "software/firmware" on your wireless network card. Firmware in linux is the same as "drivers" in Windows from what I can tell. I was worried at first I could mess up my network hardware with Linux firmware, if I dual booted back to Windows, but this was not the case.
From what I recall, I used Yast in Suse to configure the network. Just be sure to use "key" and not "passphrase". In some distros there is a "Network Connection" and "Network Configuration tool. Use the "Network Connection" tool. Also, I think it was one of the Suse's that provided firmware for ipw2200 in the Yast Software Management tool.
Even after you get a connection, remember to disconnect the wired network for testing and wait a few minutes so network packets will go to the wireless, or just reboot. You want to reboot anyway to make sure wireless functions on startup.
I hope this helps you and or others. It doesn't cover any issues that I didn't experience with the Dell Latitude D600, and my memory is incorrect often. I got so detailed, because I found so much help on this forum, though I had to fumble my way through wireless configuration and wireless trouble shooting.
strangest thing.. the ONLY distro I haven't tried was Knoppix and dreamlinux.
Dream connected ok in the live cd but the install failed. knoppix connected RIGHT AWAY. I am assuming from the last poster that it is a DE issue, since knoppix uses LXDE and every other distro i tried used KDE.
suggests that firmware is not an issue, so yes, that's helpful. It's not conclusive, but it seems more likely now that the problem is something else. It also reassures you that your wireless should work encrypted, it's just a matter of getting there.
Some good advice from homerun so I won't try to repeat anything there.
I still urge you to identify your wireless hardware. Try running the command "lspci". You might have to use "sudo /sbin/lspci" or if that doesn't do it, run "sudo su -" first and then "lspci". On my Linux laptop, it shows up as "Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4318 [AirForce One 54g] 802.11g Wireless LAN Controller (Rev 2)".
You may be pleasantly surprised when you take that info and Google it thus: "<hardware description> linux". For my older Linux laptop (still have it), I found out about that microcode was the problem by Googling "us robotics USR2410 linux". That was all it took! Similarly, on my new Linux laptop, I Googled "Broadcom BCM4318 AirForce One linux" and I found what I needed. A year ago, I found a download source for the right windows drivers to use with ndiswrapper. More recently, I did it again to learn to get rid of the old ndiswrapper configuration and how to get the new Linux drivers loaded properly. It was all surprisingly easy and you might find yourself just as fortunate. Give it a try.
I also could not get the wireless encryption to work for the longest while and I finally got it to work.
I used the solution posted by HOMERUN.
I'm glad my post was helpful.
Based on a more recent experience with wireless conversion from WEP to WPA, I think another reason I initially had problems configuring wireless networking was because on some network configuration windows, there was not an "OK", "Finish", "Continue", etc. button that saved the network configuration. Closing this/these windows may not have saved the new configuation. Again, if I recall, I had to use the menu bar, such as File/Save, before closing at least one window.
I just changed from WEP to WPA2. It was completely painless and simple on Linux and Windows, the access point and the wireless bridge. I had procrastinated because all the OS's on all my multibooting systems have to be changed along with a wireless bridge. However, remembering a WPA password is much easier than a WEP key, and of course, it is more secure. The WPA connection negotiation seems faster than WEP connections. I switched because downloads had become slower, and I made the assumption someone may have hacked my WEP key recently. I had removed MAC filtering about two weeks ago, so visiting inlaws could more easily connect to the access point.