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-   -   so many config files for wireless (

Z038 10-22-2006 04:47 PM

so many config files for wireless
I'm trying to get my laptop working wireless connections, and I'm confused by the plethora of different files that I could configure. It seems like a lot of the WLAN info can be stored in various places, and I'd like to understand the pros and cons of each.

My laptop is a IBM T43 with Intel PRO/Wireless 2915abg. I'm running Slackware 11.0. I've downloaded the IPW2200 firmware and installed it in /lib/firmware. The IPW2200 and IEEE80211 drivers were already included in the 2.6.18 kernel, so I didn't have to install them.

The "iwlist scanning" command shows six reachable cells in my area. Two of them are mine, one AP on each of two different ISP connections that I have. The other four belong to nearby neighbors, and one of those is completely open. When I boot my system, it connects to the open AP with no problem. I can use the internet, no problem, except that it's a little slow. I have no idea which of my neighbors owns that open access point. I wouldn't mind connecting to a open access point at the library or at a hotel or airport, but I don't really want my system to connect to my neighbors unsecured WLAN. I want to connect first to either of my two secured wireless access points if I'm within range.

Both of my two wireless routers are set up using WPA. I installed wpa_supplicant from Slackware /testing.

Now here's my real dilemma. Which config file to use?

I understand I can set up my WPA parameters in /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf using WLAN_xxx keywords, or in /etc/rc.d/rc.wireless.conf using iwpriv keyword, or in /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf using the keywords on the network statement. Also, many other parameters, like SSID, are duplicated in various configuration files, and I'm not sure where it is best to code them.

I don't understand why I'd choose one config file versus another to configure my wireless network. I think I'd prefer to leave the rc.inet1.conf file alone. What are the pros/cons of using each? Or do I have to modify all three of them? Do I need to comment out the sample parms in one config file if I use another? For example, I think I can code the WPA parms on the iwpriv keyword in rc.wireless.conf. If I do so, should I comment out everything in wpa_supplicant.conf? Or should I code a null value for iwpriv in rc.wireless.conf and put those details in wpa_supplicant.conf? If so, how do I make sure that wpa_supplicant.conf is read?

I'm just trying to make sense of all these seemingly duplicate config files, and trying to come up with a logical approach to specifying my parameters. I'd really rather not have to maintain more than one config file for wireless settings, if possible.

Z038 10-22-2006 09:02 PM

Nevermind. I got something that works now, even if it does seem a bit cludgey to have to code configuration settings for wireless in three different places.

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