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Old 12-26-2003, 10:09 PM   #1
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Talking How I got my wireless to work/SuSE 9.0

This is a bit kludgy, but at least it's working. Originally I loaded SuSE 9.0, configured the wireless card (in my case a Siemens SpeedStream 1024) with YaST, downloaded the pcmcia package (although it's not a PCMCIA card), and added myself to the "www" group in the /etc/group file so that I would have privelege. Well that worked great until I rebooted, but I could never get it to work again. My guess is that the problem is due to the order that everything is booted up and I just got lucky the first time. I never did get SuSE 8.1 to work.

What I did to get it working again:

1) Used YaST to configure wlan0, but not eth0 since my ethernet card is not being used and it was grabbing control of DHCP. You can also comment out the "alias eth0" line in /etc/modules.conf. YaST added the line "alias wlan0 hostap_pci" to modules.conf and should add the appropriate driver to yours. I could also have set channel and ESSID through YaST, but didn't because I get intermittent errors at boot up.

2) Although the SuSE literature said that I didn't need to change resolv.conf, I did. It looks like this:
domain local

3) I configured the default gateway through YaST -> network services. The /etc/sysconfig/network/routes file looks like this:
default - -

4) The configuration file /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-wlan0 looks like this:

Note that my router's ESSID is "default" and its channel is set to "6". However, if I check ifconfig after boot up it doesn't reflect these values. I have to manually change mode to "Managed" before I can set the ESSID and channel using iwconfig. The literature for SuSE 8.1 said that the last variable had to be set to "yes", but 9.0 literature didn't tell me that however, that proved to be the last piece of the puzzle. YaST set WIRELESS_MODE, WIRELESS_ESSID, and WIRELESS_CHANNEL instead of MODE, ESSID, and CHANNEL, however those were giving me errors at boot up...sometimes. ifup is looking for the WIRELESS_ versions, I think so they don't get set with this file, but I got tired of screwing around with it! After I post this, I will comment them out and reboot and see if that works.

5) I left the files /etc/sysconfig/network/config and /etc/sysconfig/network/dhcp unmodified.

6) I added my user name to the "www" line in /etc/group:
(actually I added my name to all of the lines in the file. It's my computer damn it)

7) To get the whole thing going I run the following script:

#! /bin/bash

ifdown wlan0
iwconfig wlan0 mode managed
iwconfig wlan0 essid default
iwconfig wlan0 channel 6
ifup wlan0 -o dhcp

/etc/init.d/network restart

After the script executes, it takes a few seconds for the network connection to be established. If I were cool, I would put a little sleep time at the end of the script. Once it is going the /sbin/route -n command shows the following:
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface U 0 0 0 wlan0 UG 0 0 0 wlan0

I hope this helps someone.
Old 12-26-2003, 10:34 PM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2003
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I commented out the ESSID, CHANNEL, and MODE=Managed lines in ifcfg-wlan0 and rebooted. That did not work even though I'm setting those variables manually. I suspect that their absence goofs up the ifup-wireless script.

After uncommenting those line and running my little script, I didn't get an IP address or a routing table until the second time I ran the script. I think there is still a timing problem. I've had that happen before, but a second restart fixes the problem.

Anyway, the bottom line is that the above method, while a little on the inelegant side, is functional. I suppose that it will be a good learning exercise to make this work "right", but not tonight....


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