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-   -   Minimal network config [ wifi ] (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/minimal-network-config-%5B-wifi-%5D-4175473478/)

Feanor 08-15-2013 08:41 AM

Minimal network config [ wifi ]
 
Hi All

I am running Slackware 13.1 on my laptop. It's taken me a while to build knowledge of the various networking scripts and config files in order to connect to and switch between the various networks, home/work routers etc I have to deal with. While I am going places, I am still nowhere near mastery.

Due to all the silliness of Wifi-tracking dustbins (http://arstechnica.com/security/2013...d-from-london/), Streetview wifi snarfing and general bad behaviour by Brothers, Big and Little, I am looking to start minimizing the wifi broadcasting that my system performs - in other words, I want to be able to totally disable my wifi system, at as low a level as reasonably possible, whenever I'm not using it, and bring it up on demand with a console command or two. To guarantee it is off during boot would be nice (so i can turn on the laptop at a cafe for example, and be sure not to do the default broadcast for routers and dhcp requests)

I'm reasonably familiar with /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf, the various ppp files, start and stop scripts etc.

I must note that the hardware button for the wifi system is something I'd prefer not to mess with, as I'm afraid it will get stuck or broken too quickly, and it caused trouble with cross-os conflicts when I dual-booted. Software controls only please.

Any ideas?

WhiteWolf1776 08-15-2013 05:44 PM

Shouldn't be too difficult to do what you are wanting, if you don't mind doing it as root.

add to your /etc/rc.d/rc.local
Code:

ifconfig wlan0 down
and when you want to bring up your card, just type this in the console
Code:

ifconfig wlan0 up
If these aren't good enough, there is always the rfkill command as well. That will put a soft block on your device.

kikinovak 08-16-2013 12:58 AM

  1. Upgrade to Slackware 14.0.
  2. Use the graphical NetworkManager.
  3. Click on "Connect" whenever you want to connect to a wireless network.
  4. Click on "Disconnect" whenever you want to disconnect from a wireless network.

Keep It Simple Stupid. :)

Feanor 08-16-2013 03:12 AM

Hi and thanks to Whitewolf and kikinovak for your replies.

In terms of placing the ifconfig commands in rc.local:

Surely this is too late, because when booting up, the system already tries to connect to wifi networks before rc.local runs.
Maybe to guarantee no wifi on boot I need to edit something in /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf or rc.wireless.conf before I shut down?

In terms of upgrading and networkmanager - hehe - I don't call doing a full upgrade and installing extra packages 'keeping it simple', but I get your drift ;)

Thanks again.

Alien Bob 08-16-2013 03:57 AM

I would just run
Code:

/etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 wlan0_stop
to bring down the wireless interface and
Code:

/etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 wlan0_start
to make the wireless association and get an IP address again.

That does not disable the radio on the wireless card but the card should not be scanning when the interface is down.

Eric

kikinovak 08-16-2013 04:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Feanor (Post 5010244)
In terms of upgrading and networkmanager - hehe - I don't call doing a full upgrade and installing extra packages 'keeping it simple', but I get your drift ;)

Thanks again.

That's only because NetworkManager has been officially introduced in Slackware 14.0. Of course you can build it yourself (I did it at the time), but it's not a trivial operation.

Feanor 08-16-2013 08:23 AM

Hi Alien_Bob

Will these commands keep the interface down on the next boot?

Basically I want to be able to 'shut down wireless' before I pack up the laptop to travel, to make sure that when I boot it again (in an untrusted location) that it stays off, until I want to manually start it.

Many thanks again to all

thirdm 08-16-2013 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikinovak (Post 5010289)
That's only because NetworkManager has been officially introduced in Slackware 14.0. Of course you can build it yourself (I did it at the time), but it's not a trivial operation.

Which again shows you have a different idea of simple than some others do. If the config files, ifconfig and wpa supplicant are too complicated I'd suggest the place to simplify is there not in introducing a third program to the mix (with dependencies on things like dbus and consolekit, whatever that is). Depends on what you mean by simple, I guess, particularly on whether you consider the source code to be part of the user interface you're trying to simplify -- to me with free software the source code is part of the user interface.

Alien Bob 08-16-2013 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Feanor (Post 5010378)
Will these commands keep the interface down on the next boot?

No, at next boot the wireless interface will be started automatically again. I guess rfkill will be more appropriate when you want to permanently disable the wireless device.

Eric

BCarey 08-16-2013 09:28 AM

BTW, slackbuilds.org has a script to build NetworkManager for 13.1. I think 13.1 had wicd in /extra. Either of these will work and I think If you do a lot of roaming then it is much easier than creating a bunch of scripts for different locations.

Brian

kikinovak 08-16-2013 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thirdm (Post 5010394)
(...) to me with free software the source code is part of the user interface.

I'm not quite sure to understand this puzzling statement. Probably because I tend to draw a sharp line between administrating a system and actually using it. When I work, I ususally have half a dozen of terminals open, or a bunch of TTY's in init 3. On the other hand, my users (students, teachers, town hall and library employees) sometimes don't even know that the system they're using is called Linux, they just click on the icons and use the apps. And they don't want to know. Which I perfectly understand. And it's this "simplicity" I'm referring to. It's much work for me until it's simple for them.

kikinovak 08-16-2013 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thirdm (Post 5010394)
If the config files, ifconfig and wpa supplicant are too complicated I'd suggest the place to simplify is there not in introducing a third program to the mix

Of course, different ways lead to Saint-Bauzille-de-Putois, but if you want a no-nonsense approach, you'll use rc.inet1.conf on servers and workstations, and NetworkManager on laptops.

thirdm 08-16-2013 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikinovak (Post 5010409)
I'm not quite sure to understand this puzzling statement. Probably because I tend to draw a sharp line between administrating a system and actually using it. When I work, I ususally have half a dozen of terminals open, or a bunch of TTY's in init 3. On the other hand, my users (students, teachers, town hall and library employees) sometimes don't even know that the system they're using is called Linux, they just click on the icons and use the apps. And they don't want to know. Which I perfectly understand. And it's this "simplicity" I'm referring to. It's much work for me until it's simple for them.

I'm not saying your view is wrong, but it's different from my view since I'm a different kind of user than yours. I want to know how a program works so that when it doesn't work the way I want I can change it (and to some extent just to know how it works). I like it to be internally simple (few lines of code, few levels of abstraction, clean and elegant design, no redundant pieces or other flab) so that when the outer user interface and configuration fails me I don't need to spend hours and hours to understand how the program works so I can adjust it. That's what I mean by the source code being a part of the user interface. The interface to the software is 1. the graphical or command line UI, 2. the configuration files, 3. the source code. Pasting over complexity in an inner, hidden "expert only" program or library with another program whose outer interface is easier to deal with is antithetical to this view.

The trouble is that supporting these two views leads to different design decisions, which is why I've tended to avoid GNU/Linux in general and particularly all the Windows/Mac desktop knock-offs (I think the people making these like your kind of user better than my kind). Slackware seems to strike a fairly good balance for a Linux distro from what I've seen so far (only been using it a couple months). The wireless configuration does look like a slight pain point though, based on thread count and my own initial experience with it. In the threads I saw, having NetworkManager in the system complicated matters, IMO, because posters would flail around from thing to thing and that added a 2nd way to work that distracted them from understanding the startup scripts and the programs involved at that level.

kikinovak 08-16-2013 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thirdm (Post 5010426)
I'm not saying your view is wrong, but it's different from my view since I'm a different kind of user than yours.

I remember you now as the CWM user from another thread (my Slackware DE). Well, indeed, we are two different kinds of users, and I understand better what you meant above.

In my everyday work, I install Linux desktops mainly to a Joe-Sixpack-type of user, so even if it's Slackware and scripts and CLI under the hood, above the surface things look more like Mac OS X or Windows Seven (http://www.microlinux.fr/desktop_linux.php).

Cheers,

Niki

Woodsman 08-16-2013 12:22 PM

This thread interests me because I'm new to laptops and especially wireless.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I was thinking a simple approach (for mobile laptops and not fixed workstations) is to 1) disable rc.networkmanager, 2) use an empty rc.inet1.conf, 3) modify rc.inet1 so only the lo interface starts, and 4) start eth0 and networkmanager after logging in.

For me I'd have three basic NetworkManager options. Two would be for my home network: wired and wireless. I use static addresses in my home LAN and those two options already work nicely for me. I'm happily located in the remote rural boonies to avoid needing wireless encryption on my home router (keeps things a tad speedier :)).

I need a third option for DHCP for when I'm on the road, which should also be configured to use encryption. NetworkManager is supposed to be "intelligent" to always first look for and prefer wired availability and then wireless. In my case that seems to work well for the home network but I haven't yet tested the DHCP option away from the home.

Would this strategy succeed?


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