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Old 01-07-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
gsd4me
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MEPIS Linux and BT Home Hub (2.0) connection - UK


Having tried miserably to get some info. on other boards (inc. BT) I now resort to trying here! Postings sort of dried up on one or two, as a lot of people were seemingly having a conversation with each other, using my posting as a notice board rather than an area to help me.

I need an idiot's guide as to how to connect my v8.5 MEPIS (+ Vista) dual-boot machine to my BT Home Hub (v2.0). The hub works perfectly in Vista but, as I am a *complete* Linux novice, I need my hand to be held and guided through what I need to do so that I can connect to the Internet.
I have tried various things on MEPIS but am basically fumbling about in the dark not knowing what I am supposed to be doing.
Any help would be much appreciated
 
Old 01-08-2011, 06:55 AM   #2
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
I need an idiot's guide as to how to connect my v8.5 MEPIS (+ Vista) dual-boot machine to my BT Home Hub (v2.0).
Sorry, I don't have one of those, but that doesn't exclude the possibility of progress. However, a bit more information would be helpful.

How do you connect to your Home Hub; ethernet (wired), USB (wired) or wireless (if so, which standard)?

Do you know the IP address of the router (and, if you don't, probably Vista does)? does the home hub hand out IP addresses to clients via DHCP (there is probably a menu option on the home hub to control whether it does this)?

Your Mepis, is it set up to use KDE, and do you run some variety of 'networkmanager' (eg, knetworkmanager)?
 
Old 01-08-2011, 07:29 AM   #3
archtoad6
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salasi,

Do you have access to a running copy of MEPIS 8.5? I am still running MEPIS 8.0, & I fear the the differences between versions & the US/UK differences may make my advice bad.

Are you already familiar w/ the the BT Home Hub? I'd appreciate a link so that I can follow the discussion.


gsd4me,

Have you found the MEPIS Network Assistant? -- The solution may be right there (w/ our help).

I would normally ask: Laptop or Desktop?
If a Laptop, what make & model?
If a Desktop, what is your mobo?
Less important, in ether case, what is your WiFi chip; or card if you don't know what the chip is?
 
Old 01-08-2011, 04:27 PM   #4
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archtoad6 View Post
salasi,

Do you have access to a running copy of MEPIS 8.5?
No, I don't. If push comes to shove, I might have a live CD somewhere, but really I was hoping that if we go through the networking stuff, step by step, something obvious will pop up. Hopefully, generic networking stuff and not too specific to the Home Hub or Mepis, but even if it was specific, I'd have given the OP a free bump and collected some useful information for someone truly knowledgeable, so it wouldn't be a total bust.

Quote:
Are you already familiar w/ the the BT Home Hub? I'd appreciate a link so that I can follow the discussion.
Well, here is the wikipedia page (no, I didn't know, either), although this or this or the user guide here is probably more useful. Although the annoying, tree-slaughtering b??t???? do insist on giving me a flyer telling me that it has the best range of any isp (just because the others give away non-n equipment with their contracts???) every time I buy a newspaper.


gsd4me,

Quote:
Have you found the MEPIS Network Assistant? -- The solution may be right there (w/ our help).

Less important, in ether case, what is your WiFi chip; or card if you don't know what the chip is?
My feeling was
  • if it is an ethernet connection, solving the problem ought to be fairly easy, with the sole exception that there is a distant possibility that the ethernet chip on the motherboard/add in card might be seriously obscure, which could slow things down a bit
  • there is a stronger chance of the chipset causing a bit of a hiatus if it was a wireless connection (and therefore a driver for a wireless chipset is involved); while Mepis really ought to autodetect and configure all the common options, it is easier for this to go wrong than the wired case...and then there is whatever encryption is in use, which can also slow down getting a working configuration

Having said all that, the network assistant probably is the place to start.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 07:18 AM   #5
archtoad6
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Over to you, gsd4me.
 
Old 01-09-2011, 12:35 PM   #6
gsd4me
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I have tried the MEPIS network assistant but there are options to be filled in that I am not sure about - specifically areas such as the options presented for "W1 Broadcome device", "b43 Broadcome device", "ndis wrapper win device" and so on.

I have clicked on KnetworkManager but the GUI then just disappears and doesn't seem to do anything at all - I get no prompts, no message box, nothing. Is this normal?

In winows I used to conect to the Home Hub via wireless as that is the whole raison d'etre of the beast - it supplies wireless connectivity to the home. I haven't yet tried connecting via ethernet cable to the telephone socket mainly because disconnecting the home hub means that it takes a long time (up to several days) to settle back down to optimal dynamic configuration (according to BT that it)

What is the different between KDE and non-KDE? I *think* you are taking about the interface (KDE v Gnome?) but I am so new to Linux that I wouldn't be ablt to tell the difference I'm afraid.

As for dynamic/otherwise IP addresses - I'm afraid I don't know again. The whole set up was pretty much automatic and non-user interactive in Windows - it just connected itself and away it went.

The user guides mentioned and referenced I have seen but not made any real effort to follow as my machine connected very easily using Windows so I was assuming that the Linux connectivity would be as simple. If Linux was 'user friendly' then I would have assumed that a doing such a routine and basic task would be automated to the point where a simpleton such as myself would have most of the decision making taken away from me and the onus placed on the connection wizard.

Sorry to be so simple minded about all this but to be mind something that should be so simple to do is turning out more complex than I envisaged - or is this what happens with Linux installations - that 'suck it and see' is what happens? Once I have established the settings etc. on my laptop I have my desktop to do next!
 
Old 01-09-2011, 03:53 PM   #7
rokytnji
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Hmmmm. Probably asking for trouble/headache because of

Quote:
The user guides mentioned and referenced I have seen but not made any real effort to follow as my machine connected very easily using Windows so I was assuming that the Linux connectivity would be as simple.If Linux was 'user friendly'. Sorry to be so simple minded about all this but to be mind something that should be so simple to do is turning out more complex than I envisaged - or is this what happens with Linux installations - that 'suck it and see' is what happens? Once I have established the settings etc. on my laptop I have my desktop to do next!
I see a lot of misconceptions in your above statements. Which makes me dread/tread carefully here.

Quote:
- In the MEPIS Network Assistant, on the General page, change the selection from Enable Ndiswrapper and Broadcom wl driver to Enable Broadcom b43 and b44 drivers.

- Reboot. Unfortunately, you will find that Mepis is still using the wl driver...

- Edit / etc / modprobe.d / blacklist and at the end of the file add blacklist wl.

- Reboot. Now you will see that the b43 drivers are being used. The most obvious difference is that Knemo shows a wireless icon instead of the typical wired icon. Odd that is was showing the wired icon when the wl drivers were being used, I suppose that is a side effect of the style of driver. Unfortunately, even though Knemo tells you that the wireless interface is connected, it still won't work.

- In the MEPIS Network Assistant, on the Interfaces page, interface wlan0, select Start at boot. This was selected by default for the wl driver, I don't know why it isn't for b43.

- Reboot. The world is a wonderful place.
From http://www.mepiscommunity.org/node/412

Not sure if above instructions are for you. Not enough info.

I am just a tattooed Linux Biker home user. Self taught AntiX user. You need to post from terminal (as root)
Code:
lspci
Because no one here knows what

Quote:
v8.5 MEPIS (+ Vista) dual-boot machine
translates into. No mind readers here. We can't guess or assume (which I did with what little info provided) between your "it works in windows, etc........"

Happy Trails, Rok

Edit: Not sure if inxi script is in Mepis 8.5. You can try it as non root in terminal. will look like this.

Code:
 inxi -F
System:    Host biker Kernel 2.6.32-1-mepis-smp i686 (32 bit) Distro antiX-M8.5 Marek Edelman 11 April 2010
CPU:       Single core Intel Celeron M (-UP-) cache 512 KB flags (nx sse sse2) bmips 1800.09 clocked at 900.044 MHz 
Graphics:  Card Intel Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller X.Org 1.7.7 Res: 1024x600@59.5hz 
           GLX Renderer Mesa DRI Intel 915GM GEM 20091221 2009Q4 x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version 1.4 Mesa 7.7.1 Direct Rendering Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 82801FB/FBM/FR/FW/FRW (ICH6 Family) High Definition Audio Controller driver HDA Intel BusID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Version 1.0.21
Network:   Card-1 Atheros AR5001 Wireless Network Adapter driver ath5k v: 0.6.0 BusID: 01:00.0
           Card-2 Atheros L2 Fast Ethernet driver atl2 v: 2.2.3 BusID: 03:00.0
Disks:     HDD Total Size: 20.2GB (32.0% used) 1: /dev/sda ASUS 4.0GB 
           2: /dev/sdb ASUS 16.1GB 
Partition: ID:/ size: 3.7G used: 1.8G (51%) fs: auto 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 52.0C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 1590 
Info:      Processes 96 Uptime 5:59 Memory 212.1/2016.8MB Runlevel 5 Client Shell inxi 1.4.21
See how my computer specs with Network cards and drivers show up. Worth a try on your end. Save a text file and move to USB and post in Windows. Same for lspci readout.

Last edited by rokytnji; 01-09-2011 at 04:02 PM. Reason: remembered something
 
Old 01-10-2011, 04:29 AM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
I have tried the MEPIS network assistant but there are options to be filled in that I am not sure about - specifically areas such as the options presented for "W1 Broadcome device", "b43 Broadcome device", "ndis wrapper win device" and so on.
Well, if you are unsure, we will be even more unsure untill you give a simple and clear list of which interfaces you are trying to use, etc.

Quote:
In winows I used to conect to the Home Hub via wireless as that is the whole raison d'etre of the beast - it supplies wireless connectivity to the home. I haven't yet tried connecting via ethernet cable to the telephone socket mainly because disconnecting the home hub means that it takes a long time (up to several days) to settle back down to optimal dynamic configuration (according to BT that it)...Once I have established the settings etc. on my laptop I have my desktop to do next!
So, you are currently trying to connect a laptop and you are trying to connect via wireless? In passing, I'll note that wired ethernet is often easier and can be useful to establish which bits are working and which not as an intermediate step on the way to get wireless working (but, obviously, is not directly convenient if the computer being connected cannot be within wiring range of the router device).

Quote:
I have clicked on KnetworkManager but the GUI then just disappears and doesn't seem to do anything at all - I get no prompts, no message box, nothing. Is this normal? What is the different between KDE and non-KDE? I *think* you are taking about the interface (KDE v Gnome?)...
It is the user inteface; in KDE, lots of stuff starts with a K, and if you float the mouse cursor across the Icon used for starting programs and it says 'Kicker', for example, or if 'Help' starts the KDE Help Centre, that will be kde.

The Knetworkmanager disappearing may be a bug, or it may be an (unwanted) interaction with the network assistant. Are you sure that it doesn't start an icon on the task bar? Do you have a system tray where odd little icons go?

Quote:
I haven't yet tried connecting via ethernet cable to the telephone socket mainly because disconnecting the home hub means that it takes a long time (up to several days) to settle back down to optimal dynamic configuration (according to BT that it)
The ethernet cable goes into specific connections on the hub, which look similar to, but are not identical with, the connection used for the 'PSTN' (BT) line. the issue with the 'optimal dynamic calibration' occur if the Home Hub is powered down (for which there is no need) or, possibly, if the PSTN network is disconnected for an extended period (again, no need).

Quote:
As for dynamic/otherwise IP addresses - I'm afraid I don't know again. The whole set up was pretty much automatic and non-user interactive in Windows - it just connected itself and away it went.
If windows connected without you ever entering an IP address, the likelihood is strong that your router is set up to use Avahi/mDNS/Bonjour and DHCP to help automatic configuration of the interfaces. Linux may need to be told that (there is an alternative, fully manual, method of setup that some people prefer, but for home usage, trying the semi-automated method first makes sense).

Quote:
In winows I used to conect to the Home Hub via wireless as that is the whole raison d'etre of the beast - it supplies wireless connectivity to the home.
I'd argue that it is versatility, but each to their own.

Quote:
The user guides mentioned and referenced I have seen but not made any real effort to follow...
At least, the links that I gave were largely to help archtoad6, who had made a specific request for information on the BT Home Hub 2. He probably knows more about recent versions of Mepis than I do, so it seemed worth keeping him in the loop.

Quote:
...as my machine connected very easily using Windows so I was assuming that the Linux connectivity would be as simple. If Linux was 'user friendly' then I would have assumed that a doing such a routine and basic task would be automated to the point where a simpleton such as myself would have most of the decision making taken away from me and the onus placed on the connection wizard.
Linux does try to be user friendly, but you must remember:
  • manufacturers of wireless devices don't really support Linux in the same way that they support windows. Ultimately, various slightly kludgy responses to this may be necessary, but for most people most of the time this isn't necessary, but there may be more work to do here than on Windows where you may have to load a driver disk (you could try asking the manufacturer of the wireless card for their Linux driver and configuration disk, but don't expect a worthwhile answer)
  • in extremis, there can be security issues with the automated networking set-up, so some Linux users will want full control over everything; that has to be an option in configuring Linux networking
  • and, I am afraid, most Linux users are somewhat knowledgeable about networking, and the user friendly aspect probably does still have some distance to go


Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
I have tried the MEPIS network assistant but there are options to be filled in that I am not sure about - specifically areas such as the options presented for "W1 Broadcome device", "b43 Broadcome device", "ndis wrapper win device" and so on.
These options are concerned with particular Wireless device manufacturers, whose product is more difficult to use under Linux. No use in going there until we have found out what your wireless device actually is. lspci (see previous post) may give a clue...unless you are using a USB device (lsusb).
 
Old 01-10-2011, 12:31 PM   #9
gsd4me
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Still attempting to connect - was going to try the old ethernet cable from laptop to BT socket connection just to see what happens there, and see if I can at least get onto the internet via Linux that way, but I need an RJ45 to RJ11 connector for this (my BT plate has two sockets, one for the telephone, the other for the hub/broadband connection). Of course, neither of the PC shops in town had one in stock


Been thinking about all this, and looking at other postings and bits and pieces, is ther a clue in the fact that

KNetworkManager simply seems to DO NOTHING when I select it? I would assume that there has to be some sort of interaction with the user but the GUI just goes when I select the program


Am (sort of) running out of time here as She Who Must Be Obeyed needs the laptop for business for about 3 weeks from this week. (Memo to self - buy another one)
 
Old 01-10-2011, 01:28 PM   #10
archtoad6
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salasi, jump in if I'm wrong ...

At least in the US, you would never connect RJ-45 to RJ-11. The specs salasi linked to show that a regular ethernet cable is supplied, & that the Hub has 2 or 4 RJ-45 ports to plug it into.

Do you have a LUG nearby, or other way to meet a fellow Linux user face to face?

I am working on some MEPIS 8.0 screen shots for you. OTOH, can you make & post a screen shot (KSnapshot) of the window only of your MEPIS Network Assistant? Remember, I don't use MEPIS 8.5 yet, & it is a bit different. -- Long term a huge improvement, short term different enough to learn slowly.
 
Old 01-10-2011, 03:38 PM   #11
rich_c
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd4me View Post
Still attempting to connect - was going to try the old ethernet cable from laptop to BT socket connection just to see what happens there, and see if I can at least get onto the internet via Linux that way, but I need an RJ45 to RJ11 connector for this (my BT plate has two sockets, one for the telephone, the other for the hub/broadband connection). Of course, neither of the PC shops in town had one in stock
You cannot just plug an ethernet cable into a wall socket, even if it does physically fit due to an RJ11 adaptor. If you want a wired connection then you MUST plug your computer into the home hub.
 
Old 01-11-2011, 12:44 PM   #12
gsd4me
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OK folks – a summary of today (drawing together ideas from the 3 different forums that I have been in contact with over this problem)

I connected my ethernet cable to my home hub – thanks to the people who pointed out that it should plug into the hub itself and not the phone plate (even though I thought that the 'other' (non-phone) RJ11 connection was the one required).

Played about with the settings using MEPIS Network Asssistant and – lo! And behold! - internet access. So connection finally done, but via ethernet. However, just what I needed – another cable trailing about the house!

So I played about with the Network assistant again – and still couldn't get the wireless connection to work.

On the General tab of the Assistant, the ethernet connection went green when live but the wlan0 will not move beyond grey and its status says that it “ started but failed to connect” and no matter what I did (using Konsole, GUIs) it simply wouldn't play ball.

Some points to ponder that I obtained that may get the grey matter of you experienced folks:
According to Network Assistant (Troubleshooting tab), “List Linux Drivers” gives:
RTL8187 25058 0
R8169 26775 0
mii 2658 1 r8169

“List Windows drivers” gives:
airplus
bcmwl5
bcmwl5a
lstinds
mrv8k51
net8185
netr33x
prismnic
wlannic
wlanuig
wlipnds

Mean anything to anyone?

“iwconfig” from Konsole gives:
l0 – no wireless extensions
eth0 – no wireless extensions
wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg Mode:Managed Access point:Not associated
Tx-power = 0 dBm
Retry long limit : 7 RTS thrff Fragment thr: off
encryption key: off Power management: off

“ifconfig” gives
eth0 – link encap ethernet
wlan0 – link encap ethernet Up Broadcast Multicast

“ifup wlan0” gives
ignoring unknown interface wlan0=wlan0


So to answer some questions and points raised on the forums – apologies but I am just going to cut and paste this onto each of them:

JBOMAN on the MEPIS Community forum (http://forum.mepiscommunity.org/view...258228#p258228) pointed out that he couldn't get v8.5 to connect to his wifi, where v 8.0 had worked. I too am running v8.5, obtained on a disc from an outlet.

IanC on the BT Forum (http://community.bt.com/t5/BB-in-Hom...tion/m-p/99093) asked what version of MEPIS – 8.5 as per above paragraph.

Chatan (http://forum.mepiscommunity.org/view...258228#p258228) – the connection security is WPA2 Personal

Also thanks to everyone else who posted things for me to try.

SO – I can use my ethernet cable to connect to the internet but not my Home Hub, which was the main point of the question.

HOWEVER – I thought (as I mentioned elsewhere in one of the posts) – perhaps I DID make the wrong choice – how does any other Linux flavour work?
So I inserted the distribution disk that I have for Ubuntu and ran it from the CD. The wireless connection wizard was SO much simpler than MEPIS and after 30 seconds – the WI FI CONNECTION WAS ESTABLISHED – no messing about, straight in.

Therefore – it seems that something about MEPIS or MEPIS v8.5 does not like my BT Home Hub (or vice versa?).

Once again many thanks to all the contributors – I really am most appreciative of the time and effort that you all have made to try and help this Linux Virgin and for suggesting different approaches for me to try.

I am going to leave this question as now 'solved' (after a fashion) as my wife needs the laptop for business but what I shall eventually do is remove MEPIS, use its CD as a coffee coaster, and install Ubuntu. Pity because I liked the way that MEPIS was set up but wifi access is what I need.
 
Old 01-11-2011, 01:11 PM   #13
rich_c
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As I've mentioned over on the Mepis forums, I think this might be a kernel module conflict issue as I'm getting a similar 'started but failed to connect' message - as per my post about issues with 2.6.36 kernels. Again, as per on the Mepis forum, could you post the output of(Or relevant parts of...)lsmod so that if there is a conflict someone can suggest how to unload and blacklist the offending module(s).
 
Old 01-11-2011, 02:19 PM   #14
gsd4me
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RICH_C As per your request for the lsmod ouput

[root@mepis1 ~]# lsmod
Module Size Used by
uinput 4668 1
binfmt_misc 4847 1
rfcomm 24983 0
hidp 8436 2
l2cap 21673 10 rfcomm,hidp
bluetooth 36035 5 rfcomm,hidp,l2cap
ppdev 3974 0
lp 5490 0
parport 21766 2 ppdev,lp
cpufreq_userspace 1416 0
cpufreq_stats 1928 0
cpufreq_powersave 578 0
cpufreq_conservative 3994 0
fuse 43423 1
dm_crypt 9027 0
arc4 950 2
ecb 1381 2
snd_hda_codec_realtek 163094 1
snd_hda_intel 15353 2
joydev 6724 0
snd_hda_codec 44409 2 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel
rtl8187 25058 0
snd_hwdep 3930 1 snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm_oss 27745 0
snd_mixer_oss 10241 1 snd_pcm_oss
mac80211 122668 1 rtl8187
led_class 1717 1 rtl8187
snd_pcm 45612 3 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_seq_midi 3288 0
snd_rawmidi 12033 1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq_midi_event 3564 1 snd_seq_midi
cfg80211 86249 2 rtl8187,mac80211
snd_seq 34783 2 snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_timer 12034 2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
i2c_i801 6310 0
rfkill 9976 2 bluetooth,cfg80211
snd_seq_device 3625 3 snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
pcspkr 1183 0
wmi 3523 0
psmouse 31971 0
eeprom_93cx6 931 1 rtl8187
evdev 5573 13
i2c_core 12449 1 i2c_i801
processor 26435 2
battery 3698 0
ac 1552 0
usblp 7579 0
serio_raw 2884 0
snd 32475 15
snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm_oss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_ra wmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
soundcore 3350 1 snd
snd_page_alloc 4773 2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
dm_mirror 9587 0
dm_region_hash 5363 1 dm_mirror
dm_log 6273 2 dm_mirror,dm_region_hash
dm_snapshot 17646 0
dm_mod 45302 4 dm_crypt,dm_mirror,dm_log,dm_snapshot
raid10 16701 0
raid456 42140 0
async_raid6_recov 3946 1 raid456
async_pq 2563 2 raid456,async_raid6_recov
raid6_pq 77787 2 async_raid6_recov,async_pq
async_xor 1846 3 raid456,async_raid6_recov,async_pq
xor 12493 1 async_xor
async_memcpy 810 2 raid456,async_raid6_recov
async_tx 1246 5
raid456,async_raid6_recov,async_pq,async_xor,async_memcpy
raid1 16019 0
usbhid 26344 0
raid0 5609 0
hid 50289 2 hidp,usbhid
multipath 5077 0
linear 3195 0
md_mod 66541 6 raid10,raid456,raid1,raid0,multipath,linear
video 14589 0
output 1116 1 video
r8169 26775 0
mii 2658 1 r8169
uhci_hcd 15885 0
intel_agp 20141 1
button 3506 0
thermal 9118 0
fan 2566 0
thermal_sys 9326 4 processor,video,thermal,fan
 
Old 01-11-2011, 04:22 PM   #15
rich_c
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Well, nothing stands out there I'm afraid. At least, not to me...

I don't know if it'll help any, but try doing more /var/log/messages | grep -i wlan0. This results in the following on my system:
Code:
Jan 11 20:56:07 bumblebee kernel: [   19.459500] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Jan 11 21:01:19 bumblebee kernel: [  401.423466] ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Jan 11 21:05:12 bumblebee kernel: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Jan 11 21:07:20 bumblebee kernel: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready
Jan 11 21:07:20 bumblebee kernel: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_CHANGE): wlan0: link becomes ready
The 20:56 and 21:01 entries are after reboots with 2.6.36 kernels. The 21:07 link becomes ready is with a 2.6.32 kernel. It might be useful to know what you get...
 
  


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