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Old 08-20-2008, 12:15 PM   #1
eleifsp
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[FIXED] Odd problems connecting to college's wifi


I just started my Freshman year of college, and have a brand-new laptop to tote around campus (I'm attending community college for my Freshman year, but that's really not that important).

I installed Ubuntu on it (although it should be similar for any distro with gnome on it). I have my wireless card running correctly, because I can get my home's wifi just fine. However, campus wifi is interesting.

They have a confusing security setup that makes it difficult to connect with even a Mac or Windows (and if you have XP, you have to find a tech guru just to understand the instructions they give you!). The page for wireless connection help is found here: http://www.stchas.edu/help/wireless.shtml. They only give instructions for XP, Vista, and OS X. I've got Vista, and have that running. I tried using the Vista instructions to get the thing running, but it still won't work. I think it's the wireless certificates.

When I connect under Vista I can run a wizard to save the certificate in a few different encryption formats, and I tried to use the one that sets it in a .cer file. I can't explain too terribly well what the problems entail, and since I don't have internet on my distro, I can't post details that I'd like to. If there's anything I can run that will help you, ask, but I'll be slow in responding, probably because I'd have to run it at school, save it, and post it when I get home and have internet.

EDIT:

I took a screenshot of the wireless config screen. I uploaded it to my webserver Here.

EDIT 2:

I asked for help at the help desk, and they fixed the problem. I detailed the method at a later post.

Last edited by eleifsp; 08-22-2008 at 11:29 PM. Reason: New info, problem solved
 
Old 08-21-2008, 05:37 AM   #2
jomen
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I found this while looking for "wpa with certificate ubuntu":
http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php...43&postcount=2
which leads here:
http://www.cs.umn.edu/help/network/w...-linux-wpa.php

HTH
 
Old 08-21-2008, 05:38 AM   #3
blackhole54
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I've not yet had the joy of authenticating this way. But I did a search on the terms peap, authentication, and ubuntu. Among others I found these instructions for LSU, which I believe is the same type of authentication as your school. See if it is any help.

Of course, you will substitute your certifcate rather than downloading theirs. And you will use the name of your school's access point rather than lsusecure. And, of course, follow your shcool's instructions for username and password. The rest I would think (hope) would be the same.

I note their certificate name ends in .crt. I am not familiar enough with these certificates to know if that indicates a particular format for the file.

They suggest making the certificate world readable. In case you don't know, you can do that by:

Code:
sudo chmod 644 <path>/<filename>
I would guess you would also want this owned by root. If it is not already:

Code:
sudo chown root: <path>/<filename>
(There might something better for owner, but if it is world readable, as LSU recommends, then root should work and keep normal users from changing it.)

Sorry that I am not more knowledgeable about this. But since nobody else had responded I thought I would give it a shot.. I hope this gets you started. And if you do figure it out, you might want to consider posting an entry on LQ's wiki about how to do this. My impression from the Internet search is that a lot of schools might be using this. So such a wiki article might be useful to a lot of students.

Good luck.
 
Old 08-22-2008, 11:29 AM   #4
eleifsp
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Let's see. I've got the wireless close to getting on (or at least that's how it seems). This campus uses the Thawte Server CA certificate, which is in /etc/ssl/certs/Thawte_Server_CA.pem (or possibly the premium version of said file, I'm not sure). I use my login credentials and add the certificate, and most of the time my laptop will say it has connection to the Wireless itself, but not the internet. Either I need a client file or my login credentials are being typed in wrong (but I'm pretty sure it's the client file, because I can use the login elsewhere).

Thanks so far for the help. I think that either I'm going to randomly have it start working and have no idea what I did (which usually happens), or I'm going to need someone who's done some of the programming on the WPA Enterprise security method. Or the one who set up this campus' wifi.
 
Old 08-22-2008, 06:53 PM   #5
blackhole54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleifsp View Post
and most of the time my laptop will say it has connection to the Wireless itself, but not the internet.

Would you post the exact message(s) you get?

Last edited by blackhole54; 08-22-2008 at 06:54 PM.
 
Old 08-22-2008, 11:27 PM   #6
eleifsp
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Ahh, no, I meant that the wireless monitor had bars on it.

Actually, I caved and went to our schools help desk. To my surprise (and I'm still shocked), the person there knew all about Linux and Ubuntu. He got my wireless working fast.

It turns out I was trying too hard. With Linux, for some reason, it seems to be (and this may not be true in most cases) that the certificate files actually do more harm than good. So actually all I had to do was put in my username and password and I was all set.

If this post will help anyone, the school has a Thawte-Server-CA certificate. If you have a Thawte server and your connections not working, try this.
 
Old 08-25-2008, 06:11 PM   #7
blackhole54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleifsp View Post
With Linux, for some reason, it seems to be (and this may not be true in most cases) that the certificate files actually do more harm than good.
Amazing!

Glad you got it working.
 
  


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