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Old 03-17-2010, 10:02 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2008
Location: Tacoma, WA
Distribution: Slackware64
Posts: 95

Rep: Reputation: 19
Anyone have trouble using Wicd to connect to Airport Wifi?


Over the weekend I spent too much time in the SeaTac and Long Beach Airports. In order to pass my time I thought I would take advantage of the free wifi offered at those airports. I fired up my laptop that is running Slackware 13 and used Wicd to scan available networks. I could "see" numerous hidden networks that Wicd would indicate were unsecured, yet no matter how many times I tried Wicd would tell me it could not obtain the IP address. This happened at both airports and even the cruise ship's wifi that I was on. I know from previous experiences with Windows and Mac laptops that usually you just open a browser that auto-detects a home-page of whatever the hotspot is and you connect through that interface. What I would like to know is has any Slackware users been successful at connecting to free Airport wifi, and if so did you have to do anything special to do so? I felt rather stupid at the airport being unable to connect.

On a side note i have no problem at home connecting to my wireless network using WPA encryption and my wireles card is an intel 5100

Thanks in advance for any help.
Old 03-18-2010, 03:09 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2007
Location: Farmington, CT
Distribution: Slackware64
Posts: 137

Rep: Reputation: 27
Originally Posted by BoydRice View Post
I could "see" numerous hidden networks that Wicd would indicate were unsecured, yet no matter how many times I tried Wicd would tell me it could not obtain the IP address.
I see this happen regularly with WICD. The interesting thing is that if I do
iwlist wlan0 scanning
on the command line I then see the same hidden networks but now they have their proper names. I can even connect to them if I just do it on the command line:
iwconfig wlan0 essid "network name"
dhcpcd -d wlan0
I should check to see if there is a more recent version of Wicd, maybe this has been fixed. I am using version
Old 03-18-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2008
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Distribution: Slackware12.2 & Slackware64-current
Posts: 263

Rep: Reputation: 40
WICD still does not handle hidden networks very well at all. I got it to connect to a hidden network by leaving it running and manually connecting as metageek posted. From there it was "un-hidden" to WICD and I could add the password and WICD would reconnect thereafter. Not sure if this trick would work for open networks. Hiding and open network is the dumbest thing I have heard yet in the hidden ssid saga.
Old 03-19-2010, 03:02 AM   #4
Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Dyserth, Wales
Distribution: Slackware 14.0, Slackware 14.1, Slackware-current
Posts: 306

Rep: Reputation: 33
WICD logging into networks

I have played with this on and off for the last 18 months. Lenovo laptop with Slack 12.1 and whatever WICD version the Slackbuild site tells you to use with 12.1. I have found two problems:
1. Something in the stack sometimes falls over if I put my laptoop to sleep and then re-start
2. dhcpcd fails to get an IP address because it thinks it already has one

I now solve both of these problems (when they occur, which is not always and a bit random) by doing the following:

1. Remove and re-install the driver for my wireless card
modprobe -r iwl3845
modprobe iwl3945
2. Re-start WICD
/etc/rc.d/rc.wicd restart
That nearly always seems to cure things. Very occasionally I also need to do
iwconfig wlan0 ap any
when accessing some new network and the iwconfig is set up for my home network with its password etc, but sometimes wicd seems to take care of all that itself.

All of these operations have to be done as root of course.
Old 03-20-2010, 10:09 AM   #5
Registered: Jul 2008
Location: Tacoma, WA
Distribution: Slackware64
Posts: 95

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 19
thanks for all the responses, next time I am traveling I'll have to give that a try.
Old 03-20-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Midwest USA
Distribution: Started with Slackware - 3.0 1995 Kernel 1.2.13 - Now Slackware 14.2 RC 2. Also some FreeBSD.
Posts: 116

Rep: Reputation: 52
I have found that I need to connect to a UN-hidden network first, then type in the name of the hidden network in the connect to a hidden network box. This works for me every time.


airport, slackware, wicd, wifi, wireless

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