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Old 06-02-2003, 11:00 AM   #1
billlee
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Wireless Network configuration


I've spent some time over the past few days working on getting the wireless connectivity running here at home. I have a Netgear wirless access point and a PCMCIA card for my laptop.

Here's the way I have it set up:

ISP
|
56k Modem
|
SMC Router-----NetgearAP.....Delta(laptop)
| | |
Alpha/Beta/Gamma
(other computers in the house)

(Hope the ascii art works: view it with a fixed pitch font.)

I downloaded the drivers from the Netgear site, found they were linux-wlan-ng-0.1.15 Installed on the laptop according to the directions included.

There are several things that still are not right.

1) The NetgearAP is supposed to act as a DHCP server for all of the wireless connections. I haven't been able to get Delta to get an IP address via that route yet. The SMC router is a DHCP server for everything that is attached to it, and it even properly assigns an IP to the NetgearAP.

2) When I unplug the standard ethernet card and plug in the Netgear PC card, it is recognized properly and makes a connection with the AP (signified by a light on the PC card). But no IP address, and Delta doesn't automatically "up" the wlan0. I have to assign a static IP and then "up" the device. Also I must add the "default gw" route, pointing at the SMC router.


3) Plugging the standard ethernet card back in (which is cabled directly to the SMC router) works just fine: IP address assigned, default gateway, etc., all done properly.

I am sure this is a simple configurartion problem on the laptop (Delta). Have tried to work with the network configuration tool (I think it's called "neat".) with no apparent success. ifconfig and iwconfig and route all give valuable information but I still can't figure out why the PC wireless card isn't automatcally configured as is the PC standard ethernet card.

Can anybody give me some pointers?

Thanks.

Bill Lee

(PS: System is a QLI laptop, essentially the same as a Dell Inpiron 5000 running RH 7.2)
 
Old 06-02-2003, 11:47 AM   #2
tangle
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Are you sure that the AP's DHCP is working? It seems to me that the reason you wlan card is not going up is because it is not getting an IP address.

Also is this setup possible. Your SMC router is more than likely is assigning all the addresses in a class C network. Then your AP is also assigning all addresses in a class C network. So you will have 2 devices assigning the IP addresses for 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.254 or both are assigning IP addresses for differnet class C networks. Is there a way to make the AP function like a hub or a bridge? This should eliminate your problems.
 
Old 06-04-2003, 03:01 PM   #3
billlee
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tangle;

Thanks for the feedback. I've spent the past few days climbing a learning curve!

Yes, you are right, the AP is NOT doing DHCP. It is configured as a simple bridge. In order to make the system work, I had to create a "network.opts" file in /etc/pcmcia and code the proper DHCP server IP address there.

Still was not totally successful. Could not get the system to bring the wlan0 up when the card was inserted. Was manually doing an "ifconfig" followed by a "route" to define the default gateway IP.

Discovered that I need to have an "ifcfg-wlan0" file properly filled out in the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts directory. Now the card can be brought up with "ifup wlan0", and it properly initializes when I take the card out and then simply reinsert it into the PCMCIA slot.

My one remaining problem is that the card is not properly initialized at boot time. When the system boots, the pcmcia interface is started, I hear it (high) beep once, then a second time, and initialization appears to be o.k. The card is showing connected to the AP. But if I look at "ifconfig -a", it shows that the card has not received an IP address from the DHCP server. If I follow the boot process with an "ifup wlan0", everything is just fine.

Anyone have any ideas what it will take to get the "ifup wlan0" to be run at boot time?

Regards,

Bill Lee
 
Old 06-04-2003, 08:52 PM   #4
tangle
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What does you /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wlan0 script say? Can you post it? Also what does your /etc/sysconfig/network script say?

I am not real familiar with RH boot files, but you could also add the command "ifup wlan0b" to your /etc/rc.d/rc.local file. In Slack this is the last file to execute. I think that it is the same for RH.
 
Old 06-04-2003, 09:26 PM   #5
billlee
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I've tried a couple of things with the ifcfg-wlan0 settings. Seems the key is the parameter "ONBOOT". Almost every place I've seen it mentioned says it should be "ONBOOT=no", but setting it to yes seems to cause the interface to be initialized at boot time. Setting it to "no" means the wlan0 will not be upped at boot time and will have to have an ifup run for it somewhere.

Here is the file:

DEVICE=wlan0
ONBOOT=yes
BOOTPROTO=dhcp
USERCTL=no
TYPE=Wireless
PEERDNS=yes


The "/etc/sysconfig/network" file is this:

NETWORKING=yes
HOSTNAME=delta
GATEWAY="192.168.123.254"
GATEWAYDEV=""
FORWARD_IPV4="yes"

I had thought about putting something in rc.local, and will likely resort to that if I can't figure out how to do it otherwise.

Regards,

Bill Lee
 
Old 06-05-2003, 12:40 AM   #6
tangle
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I think that BOOTPROTO= should be dynamic instead of dhcp.
 
Old 06-05-2003, 10:46 AM   #7
billlee
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Hi, Tom;

I tried the " BOOTPROTO=dynamic" and it did not work the same as when using "dhcp". The IF came up, but there was no IP address assigned to it. Changing back to "dhcp' and it gets the IP address from the DHCP server as I would want.

To summarize what I had to do to get this thing working correctly:

1) Create a /etc/pcmcia/network.opts file with a proper(?) set of parameters in it.

2) Create the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wlan0

I also moved the pcmcia initialization in the rc5.d directory earlier in the boot process. Not sure if that was absolutely needed, but didn't seem to affect anything.

I only have one other problem that I will start a new thread to discuss (how to have the DHCP server give me the same IP adress regardless of whether I have the eth0 (wired) card inserted in the laptop or the wlan0 (wireless) card inserted.)

Thanks for your time and help.

Regards,

Bill Lee
 
Old 06-09-2003, 03:42 PM   #8
jbirkett
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Bill,
Glad I found this thread. I spent hous yesterday trying to get a Network Everywhere (owned by Lynksys, now owned by CISCO) card working on my Toshiba laptop. Never did get it going but found that I could not have both the built-in ethernet interface and the wireless PCMCIA card at the same time. That turned out to be an IRQ issue I think.
In regards to your DHCP address, you might be lucky and get the same address regardless of which card you are using if you boot all of your other systems on DHCP first and then never shut them down. That would mean that whenever you negotiate for an address from DHCP you might get the same one. I have started using static addresses because of that. The other thing is you might ask yourself 'why do I need the same address?' if you really think you need it, then use static for that system. I use static for my network printer because you use the IP to connect from other systems and always want it to be the same.
Anyway, thanks for the help you gave me with the correct formats and files to get my card up and running.
Regards,
John
 
Old 06-12-2003, 11:15 AM   #9
Nigel_Tufnel
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Re: Wireless Network configuration

Quote:
Originally posted by billlee
(PS: System is a QLI laptop, essentially the same as a Dell Inpiron 5000 running RH 7.2)
How do you like your QLI system? I've been trying to find someone who's purchased a system from them. How do you like it? Have you had any issues with it since getting it? I'm thinking the next machine I purchase is pre-installed with linux. I've been checking out the QLI web site and see they offer almost all the major distros. It seems Monarch only offers RH. It's only a matter of time until Dell and Gateway offer similiar systems.
 
Old 06-12-2003, 11:50 AM   #10
billlee
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QLI laptop

I have had my laptop from QLI since March 2002. It has traveled with me all over the U.S. and two trips to Europe in that time. It has worked flawlessly and the pre-installation never ceases to amaze me: everything "just works"!

As an example, last Christmas time I decided I needed to build a system using a web server and a SQL database for the data storage, using PHP as the language. I looked at the QLI and ... there was Apache and PHP and MySQL already there, already configured and waiting to go. All I had to do was add the httpd and mysql entries in the rc5.d script and they're up and running.

From my experience, I would recommend QLI instantly. Their responsiveness to my original purchase and several tech-support questions since then have been first rate.

Regards,

Bill Lee
 
Old 02-16-2004, 05:03 PM   #11
NerfRaider
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Re: Re: Wireless Network configuration

Quote:
Originally posted by Nigel_Tufnel
How do you like your QLI system? I've been trying to find someone who's purchased a system from them. How do you like it? Have you had any issues with it since getting it? I'm thinking the next machine I purchase is pre-installed with linux. I've been checking out the QLI web site and see they offer almost all the major distros. It seems Monarch only offers RH. It's only a matter of time until Dell and Gateway offer similiar systems.
I wouldn't recommend QLI Linux.

In September, 2003, the power regulator on my QLI Emperor Laptop went belly-up. I emailed QLI and they recommended that I send it to them for a repair estimate. On September 20th I did. I haven't seen the laptop since. It's now February, 2004.

At the end of September I wrote in to ask if they'd received the laptop, and they replied "your system is being evaluated, and we should have a repair estimate in the next 5-7 days." Three weeks later I wrote to ask about the estimate and was told "give us a day or two and with all luck we will have your estimate, and possibly even the parts needed."

Ten days after that (now we're at the end of October), they respond to my increasingly worried email: "The best info we've been able to gather on that unit so far is 'No Problem Found'... We will keep you posted as soon as we hear word."

This is starting to look bad. Over a month after receiving my laptop, they've gone from saying they're on the verge of having the parts needed to repair it to saying that they haven't found any problem. I call QLI and talk to a representative there who tells me that the motherboard will have to be replaced because the power regulator is part of the motherboard and can't be replaced separately. I ask them to send me a repair estimate for the motherboard replacement.

On November 11th, they finally send me an estimate: "The repair estimate is $475.00 to completely fix the system, as there is a motherboard/power connector problem." I decide to go ahead with the repairs and I PayPal the $475 to QLI the same day. I ask QLI: "Do you have any estimate for when the repairs will be complete?"

The response: "We ask, and get back to you later today or tomorrow. Our rough guess would be about a week."

They did not get back to me "later today or tomorrow" so on November 28th I asked again: "Do you have an estimate as to when the repair work will be done and I'll have my laptop back?"

On December 2nd they replied "Your system is at the manufacturers facility in China/Hong Kong. We have been charged for the replacement part, however that is their standard policy for any out of warranty service. We can drop a note to them and see how things are progressing.... As we are updated, we will pass information along to you."

I thanked them for the update, and waited until January before emailing again to ask if there was any change in status. My January 5th letter wasn't answered. Ditto January 16th, January 20th and January 23rd. I called the QLI toll-free number - it was down (and was still down a month later when I called again).

So I sleuthed around and found the owner's cell and home phone numbers and left messages for him there. That finally got a response: "We had to put in another call to the manufacturer. The word we have is the power board is not the cause of the problem, and they are now claiming it is the motherboard. We are waiting for a price estimate, and there is currently an amount on deposit, as you were charged a deposit fee from our records. The manufacturer was shut down for the chinese new year, we've just been getting caught up from the holiday rush, please excuse the delay."

Naturally, I was flabbergasted, and wrote back explaining that the $475 was not a deposit, that the motherboard had always been the problem, and that they'd had my laptop more than long enough to fix it and return it to me. It's mid-February. My laptop has been missing for almost five months now. I've put in a complaint to the Better Business Bureau (and that's when I found out I wasn't the first one).
 
Old 03-17-2004, 07:50 AM   #12
Nigel_Tufnel
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QLI has officially closed down:
http://www.qlilinuxpc.com/

This sucks for everyone who got screwed. Linux Journal published a letter from a pissed off buyer in their Feb issue:
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=7218

I've been thinking about getting a new machine and haven't made any decisions yet. I may get a barebone 64bit AMD box from Monarch who have a nice selection and have a very solid reputation:
http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv

Pogolinux may be another option:
http://www.pogolinux.com/

I might even try getting a G5 and have a dual boot with either Yellowdog or Gentoo. These guys will preinstall Apple systems with Yellow Dog:
http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com
 
  


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