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I believe you. I don't believe you are trying to start any flame wars about KDE, but are reporting what is happening to you.
Thank you. At least someone now believes me.
You verified that running Xfce or a window manager environment does not kill the network connection. In the short term that would be one work-around solution. You also mentioned that everything worked in 13.1 --- specifically KDE 4.4.3. Reverting to 13.1 would not provide you the latest KDE, but that would be another short term work-around.
Of course, the preferred solution is to discover why KDE 4.5.5 kills your wifi network adapter. You are using KDE because you want to.
Yes back in 13.1 I never had the issue at all. This is only a recent thing with 13.37. The only thing I can think of is that a component of 4.5.5 is shutting down the network even though dhcpd and other networking services are still claiming to function properly.
As mRgOBLIN mentioned, the KDE network manager never has been Slackware compatible. In past Slackware releases, sometimes that app worked and sometimes not. Possibly you were fortunate the KDE network manager worked for you in KDE 4.4.3, but at least for you, that no longer is the case with KDE 4.5.5.
Browse the forum and notice a common remedy to configure a wireless network adapter in Slackware is to use wicd. If you are a KDE user then that possibly is somewhat irritating to use a GTK app in KDE. Yet that is a common remedy in Slackware.
Sadly Wicd is what I am using but it still can't keep the connection alive after KDE loads. Once KDE loads the networking is dead, and totally dead until I can reboot. Even restarting the dhcpd daemon doesn't help.
I appreciate the resistance to changing ways. I'm an "old school" computer user and don't like the way some things are evolving in the computer industry. I suspect many Slackers are that way in one respect or another, which is one reason many of remain with Slackware. Yet sometimes we have no choice but to adapt to different software to achieve our purposes.
Consider temporarily running Xfce or a window manager and running wicd from there. At least then you can focus on correctly configuring wicd without the KDE network manager interfering. Then disable the KDE network manager from running and launching. That might require you to run KDE more than once, which will kill the network adapter interface and rebooting, but eventually you should be able to run KDE without your adapter dying. And you'll already have wicd configured and ready to go.
As of now I'm forced to use XFce. I want to upgrade it to 4.8 (I'm looking for a SlackBuild script ATM) although doing so requires adding a lot of packages from Gnome, but that's not biggy as I often have to install a lot of extra Gnome, GTK, and such packages anyway for what I use.
Since KDE Network manager doesn't ship with Slackware there's nothing I can do about it for now. Wicd doesn't help because it can't keep the connection alive either.
I honestly don't know what I'm doing wrong, because 13.1 worked out of the box with zero extra configuration done other than installing Wicd which is the same thing I did with 13.37 and Current (8-27-2011 ISO).
Created a new user and carefully checked out everything. KDE Network manager is not able to be ran because Slackware doesn't include it. Made user a member of netdev and allowed Wicd to work. Switched desktop from Xfce to KDE, loaded X and KDE. Network died again.
The KDE Network Settings dialog box always pops up that it can not Parse the XML file the configuration is stored in. That's the only thing I have found that has any anomalies with the system, even as Root.
I do not have such a tab in my SystemSettings -> Network Settings. I only have Proxy, Connection Preferences and Service Discovery. I have also installed the KDE Wicd Manager I mentioned before, so that is the fourth entry in the list. Are you sure that you haven't installed something else which is causing this to appear?
Note that I am not using 13.37's KDE (I have AlienBob's 4.7), so things might be different for this reason.
Got it installed (upgraded really) and the network seems to work now KINDA... connection tends to not be stable now, dropping off every 10-15 minutes, but I can restart dhcpd now and get connectivity back.
Oddly the option is not there but as stated, the connectivity is not stable by a long shot. I can only get a sustainable connection if I use XFce, so maybe it's just something not registering right, but I'm really at a loss again.
Just curious but is there a way to disable the KDE Services from running at startup.