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Old 09-12-2018, 09:19 AM   #1
bitfuzzy
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Question Slackware 14.2 hidden Wirless


I've upgraded my sons laptop from Slackware 14.1 to 14.2 (clean install) for school, primarily to eliminate the browser limitations of 14.1

He needs this for class, so when he came to me after his first day to tell me he couldn't connect to the schools wireless because it was hidden I looked into it.

Sure enough Network Manager in 14.2 doesn't seem to see hidden networks


Oddly enough, Windows 10 laptops seem to see it with no problem

I'm looking for suggestions to a "simple" work around for this.

Please note:

This isn't a request to hack anything. He's got permission but can't see it to connect to it.

Thank you
 
Old 09-12-2018, 09:55 AM   #2
Lysander666
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When I click on network manager in my system tray it gives me an option down the bottom - 'connect to hidden wi-fi network'. This brings up the attached box. Does this not appear for you?

EDIT: a further thought, have you upgraded all the packages in 14.2? I seem to remember an update for NWM in there somewhere, which may have included this option if it was not there before.
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Last edited by Lysander666; 09-12-2018 at 09:57 AM.
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:06 AM   #3
bitfuzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
When I click on network manager in my system tray it gives me an option down the bottom - 'connect to hidden wi-fi network'. This brings up the attached box. Does this not appear for you?
No, all that is listed is "seen" networks

I can go in and manually create a "new" connection and list it as hidden, when connected to the hidden network will appear and you can connect to it.

But from what he indicates, the teacher could not tell him what the name (ssid) of the connection was
[The kicker is this is a computer class]

Quote:
EDIT: a further thought, have you upgraded all the packages in 14.2? I seem to remember an update for NWM in there somewhere, which may have included this option if it was not there before.
Yea, after the install was completed, slackpkg update was configured and ran

I'm hoping to find a simple way for him to do this, but I'm starting to think I may want to write up a walk-thru for him to follow to do it manually :\
 
Old 09-12-2018, 11:07 AM   #4
Lysander666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitfuzzy View Post

I'm hoping to find a simple way for him to do this, but I'm starting to think I may want to write up a walk-thru for him to follow to do it manually :\
I dare say that a manual walkthrough would be a useful learning experience.

I see what you're saying though. I've attached a ss of what I see when I click on the NWM system tray icon - it's strange that you don't see something similar. Maybe someone else here can help with why this is.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:42 AM   #5
bassmadrigal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitfuzzy View Post
But from what he indicates, the teacher could not tell him what the name (ssid) of the connection was
[The kicker is this is a computer class]
It's been a LONG time since I've dealt with hidden SSIDs (they are woefully inadequate for securing wireless networks), but from my memory, you need to know the SSID to connect to it, whether that is on Windows or Linux. Are you saying that Windows users don't need to know the SSID?
 
Old 09-12-2018, 12:15 PM   #6
bitfuzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysander666 View Post
I dare say that a manual walkthrough would be a useful learning experience.

I see what you're saying though. I've attached a ss of what I see when I click on the NWM system tray icon - it's strange that you don't see something similar. Maybe someone else here can help with why this is.
Yea... Makes no sense, I've setup my phone to act as a hidden hotspot and even logged in as root it's not seen

Click image for larger version

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But even if it were, w/o knowing the SSID he's still in a pickle..

I suppose he could get a user of one of the connected PC's to give him the SSID. I'm at a loss why a technology class instructor couldn't provide (or think) of this

(Sites like this irritate me to no end)
 
Old 09-12-2018, 12:20 PM   #7
bitfuzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmadrigal View Post
It's been a LONG time since I've dealt with hidden SSIDs (they are woefully inadequate for securing wireless networks), but from my memory, you need to know the SSID to connect to it, whether that is on Windows or Linux.
You'd be correct in needing to know the SSID. There are ways to "attempt" to obtain the information, but I don't want to teach him these methods, much less want him to be the cause of the network going into lock down lol

Quote:
Are you saying that Windows users don't need to know the SSID?
Yea, from what he told me, the windows 10 users only need to click on a connect button and they're in

I'm thinking it's some sort of windows centric thing [yet another thing network admins do that irritates me]
 
Old 09-12-2018, 02:28 PM   #8
kjhambrick
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bitfuzzy --

I use wicd because NM won't stay connected to my AP.

Anyhow ...

When I open the wicd GUI and Click [Network]->[Find a Hidden Network] and then leave the Network ESSID Empty and click [Connect], wicd rescans and then I see hidden networks in the listing.

See attached ...

Maybe it would work in NM the same way ?

Or maybe worth trying wicd ?

HTH

-- kjh
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:51 PM   #9
bassmadrigal
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That is weird. I wasn't aware Windows had that capability. You could have your son contact the IT department. When I was in school, they had a department that was able to help students through minor computer issues, and they would/should be the ones that can provide the SSID.

As far as the technology class instructor, I've had some teachers in the past who only knew what they read in the lesson plan. They had no experience with what they were actually teaching, which made it difficult if you ran into a problem, because they can't do any more than what steps the lesson/book provides for that goal. It's a sad, but real issue at some colleges.
 
Old 09-12-2018, 02:54 PM   #10
bitfuzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjhambrick View Post

When I open the wicd GUI and Click [Network]->[Find a Hidden Network] and then leave the Network ESSID Empty and click [Connect], wicd rescans and then I see hidden networks in the listing.
Maybe it would work in NM the same way ?
Good idea, but no. NM won't save a profile with an empty ESSID

Quote:
Or maybe worth trying wicd ?
Actually my work laptop running 14.1 used to use wicd. I had to switch to NM because there were some networks I couldn't connect to. The issue is likely more related to my older laptops card(s), but NM resolved the problem
 
Old 09-12-2018, 02:57 PM   #11
bitfuzzy
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Welp, Here's an update

Installed Linux Mint on my son's laptop. It still doesn't show hidden works, but connecting to one is slightly easier to figure out (for him)

He came home and handed me a sheet to read and sign.

The school has "Chrome Books" for him to borrow and use lol

My saying I'm agitated right now would be a serious understatement
 
Old 09-12-2018, 03:00 PM   #12
bitfuzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmadrigal View Post
That is weird. I wasn't aware Windows had that capability. You could have your son contact the IT department. When I was in school, they had a department that was able to help students through minor computer issues, and they would/should be the ones that can provide the SSID.

As far as the technology class instructor, I've had some teachers in the past who only knew what they read in the lesson plan. They had no experience with what they were actually teaching, which made it difficult if you ran into a problem, because they can't do any more than what steps the lesson/book provides for that goal. It's a sad, but real issue at some colleges.
I fully agree

This is High School (his senior year), but what's upsetting the most is that he's had Slackware on his laptop for years, and has done nothing to learn it. (aside from playing games)

Now I'm scrambling to come up with easy ways for him to do what he needs to do in class
 
Old 09-12-2018, 04:17 PM   #13
individual
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You could try using a combination of iwlist and nmcli.
Use
Code:
sudo iwlist <INTERFACE> scan
to find the MAC address. Since it's a hidden network it should have an empty ESSID.

After doing that (according to this post), you can use nmcli to connect to a BSSID (MAC address).
Code:
nmcli d wifi connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

Last edited by individual; 09-12-2018 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Removed '-' from nmcli.
 
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Old 09-12-2018, 05:11 PM   #14
bitfuzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by individual View Post
You could try using a combination of iwlist and nmcli.
Use
Code:
sudo iwlist <INTERFACE> scan
to find the MAC address. Since it's a hidden network it should have an empty ESSID.

After doing that (according to this post), you can use nmcli to connect to a BSSID (MAC address).
Code:
nmcli d wifi connect XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
I came across that myself, but it's not what I was focusing on and it really doesn't help seeing as he's in an environment that likely has several hidden wireless connections. My luck he'd be suspended for trying to hack their network :\

All I was looking to accomplish was finding a way to give him a easy way to connect to the hidden network.

He could do it with NM under slack 14.2 and from what he's told me he did everything except check the "hidden network" box

Just replaced slack 14.2 with Mint (meh) and it does make connecting to a hidden network slightly easier to figure out with a button labeled "Connect to hidden network". He'd still need the ESSID, but any fellow student currently connected to the network could easily give him that information

But it was all for nothing as he came home with a form to use a school provided Chrome Book
 
  


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