Wireless PCMCIA Connection:


Forum: Networking
Topic: Wireless PCMCIA Connection:
started by: mourafa

Posted by mourafa on May 14 2008,21:21
I am comfortable with networks/wireless networks under MSWindows but I'm a D(amn) S(tupid) L(owprofiled) newbie in Linux and DSL. So, please have patience - any helping enlightenment for my situation below will be much appreciated:

- I have DSL frugal installed to HD running fine, accessing the Internet through internal LAN (wired) card. The PC is a Dell Latitude c600 notebook, with 256Mb and 750mhz PIII.
- After unsuccessfully trying PCMCIA wireless card "Encore ENPWI-G2" (it didn't even lighted up), I found it in the forum listed as not working with DSL.
- As I also found in the forum that card "Encore ENPWI-SG" would work "out of the box", I got it and I'm trying it, but so far not so successfully. (I can't remember right now the setup options' names but I tried the available ones in DSL but never established any connection)
- Booting with card, one led lights up; the PCMCIA tool list a card in the slot; and commands "lspci" or "cat /proc/pci" result displaying ATHEROS, which I believe is the chipset of the card and how the card is recognized by DSL.
- So, my questions are:
1) Which are the needed steps to complete the activation of the card?
2) Do I still have to find/get and place somewhere a driver?
3) Do I have to edit any files with related information about driver, card, IP addresses, etÁ?
4) Is there a tool, like for windows, where I can see and select available networks? Or, necessarily, I must be informed of "some"  right available network? In this case, how would I know which is the right SSID in an WiFi area?

Thanks a lot in advance for any help ???

Posted by roberts on May 14 2008,23:01
Many atheros cards do work with DSL without any other drivers nor ndiswrapper.

First type then command iwconfig

Hopefully you will see something like the following:
dsl@box:~$  iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

wifi0     no wireless extensions.

ath0      IEEE 802.11b  ESSID:""  
        Mode:Managed  Channel:0  Access Point: 00:00:00:00:00:00  
        Bit Rate:0kb/s   Tx-Power:0 dBm   Sensitivity=0/3  
        Retry:off   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
        Power Management:off
        Link Quality:0/94  Signal level:-95 dBm  Noise level:-95 dBm
        Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
        Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

If you see something similar to the above then that is a good sign, you have an "out of the box" detected but unconfigured ath0.

That is exactly like mine. Using iwconfig gui changing eth0 to ath0 and specifying wep and essid works for me.

You should probably boot with nodhcp so that you don't have a pump (dhcp request hanging)

You still may have in irq conflict, but lets hope for the best.

You can use iwconfig commands directly or use the gui, if using a wep key enter as colon separated pairs, i.e., 12:34:45:99:..

Some wireless card balk at the pump command and you must use a static ip. But lets hope that using iwconfig or its gui works for you.

Posted by mourafa on May 15 2008,03:30
Thanks a lot so far!

After command 'iwconfig' I got exactly the same screen you posted, so my card has been correctly detected.

I had to run this time DSL with the CD, and besides the NODHCP, you suggested, I also wanted to run DSL TORAM. So, I entered for the boot: "DSL TORAM NODHCP"

I'm not sure if this could be done ... please confirm how I should have entered the two commands (TORAM and NODHCP) at the same time, for the boot (with the CD).

Anyway, using the iwconfig gui I changed eth0 to ath0, entered ssid, channel and no wep ... but still not working. So, at this point what should I try next?

In addition, please, also explain how to obtain help for a particular command. I can't remember anymore but during the time I dealt with DOS 6.22(I believe) I used type /?, or /h, or something like this, next to the DOS command name and I would get the command help.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Posted by Juanito on May 15 2008,03:42
you get help by typing "command --help" or "command -h", for example "iwconfig --help"
Posted by roberts on May 15 2008,03:44
Enter commands all in lowercase.

dsl toram nodhcp

Summary help is usually with --help

iwconfig --help

Look at this one:
iwlist --help

Try iwlist ath0 scan
Some cards will scan, some won't. But try.

Using no wep and a sid of "" in the iwconfig gui will connect to strongest signal, I use this at hotspot when I don't know the sid.

Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on May 15 2008,03:47
Quote
Anyway, using the iwconfig gui I changed eth0 to ath0, entered ssid, channel and no wep ... but still not working. So, at this point what should I try next?
I think you need to assign an IP address either via dhcp or statically.

Quote
In addition, please, also explain how to obtain help for a particular command. I can't remember anymore but during the time I dealt with DOS 6.22(I believe) I used type /?, or /h, or something like this, next to the DOS command name and I would get the command help.
Usually -h or --help (sometimes even -help). †There are also "man" and/or "info" pages you could use.

EDIT: heh, looks like I'm late in replying :P

Posted by jpeters on May 15 2008,06:13
The pump command has always worked for my ath0s cards.

So for mine:

sudo iwconfig ath0 channel 52 essid "Wireless"
sudo pump -i ath0

Substitute your own channel and essid, of course, and include wep if used in hex format as Robert noted (pairs separated by colons).

In some cases it's necessary to freshly insert the card before issuing the iwconfig commands, which can be done manually or include in the script:

sudo cardctl eject
sudo cardctl insert

Posted by kejava on May 29 2008,14:45
For those of you that have had success with cards using the Atheros chipset, did you ever get wpa working using wpa_supplicant?  On my Dell Inspiron 2600 laptop I'm using an SMC cardbus adapter that I believe uses the AR5212 chipset.  I've also tried it on a Dell Latitude C600.  Both can associate with APs without encryption but wpa_supplicant always fails under DSL.  However, on those same laptops it will work when running Puppy or Ubuntu.

This is what happens on mine when I try to associate to my WAP from the command line:
Code Sample
dsl@box:~$ sudo wpa_supplicant -Dmadwifi -iath0 -cwpa_supplicant.conf
Trying to associate with SSID 'ManayunkNeedsMoreDrunks'
Trying to associate with 00:c0:49:fe:06:a0 (SSID='ManayunkNeedsMoreDrunks' freq=2412 MHz)
ioctl[IEEE80211_IOCTL_SETMLME]: Argument list too long
Association request to the driver failed
Authentication with 00:00:00:00:00:00 timed out.
Trying to associate with SSID 'ManayunkNeedsMoreDrunks'
Authentication with 00:00:00:00:00:00 timed out.


This is what's in my wpa_supplicant.conf file (fake key, same length):
Code Sample
ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
# Search for hidden SSIDs
ap_scan=2

network={
ssid="ManayunkNeedsMoreDrunks"
scan_ssid=1
proto=WPA
key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
pairwise=TKIP
group=TKIP
psk="WRqNjQnGt1b8OpiZbNJ2IIzraJQLdnPIxNF0eRZIiLgHvMcrEs0LhvFCv6KgPyt"
}

Posted by setecio on June 11 2008,19:30
Quote (kejava @ May 29 2008,19:45)
For those of you that have had success with cards using the Atheros chipset, did you ever get wpa working using wpa_supplicant?

I had no luck with WPA and also found it worked in Puppy.
Using the Netgear WG511T (atheros chipset) it works fine in WEP but I can't get it working in WPA. I have just retried my experiences last year with the new DSL 4.4 but the results are exactly the same †:(

< http://damnsmalllinux.org/cgi-bin....t=19378 >

It would be good to have people post detailed instructions on how they got WPA working so that we may, hopefully, work it out.

Here are few posts which may point a way ....
< http://damnsmalllinux.org/cgi-bin....1;st=20 >
< http://damnsmalllinux.org/cgi-bin....t=18457 >

Posted by kejava on June 11 2008,20:04
hi setecio,

thanks for those links.  glad there are other people in the same boat.  unfortunately, they all suggest the use ndiswrapper.  dunno about you but I plan to get that damn madwifi driver working.  i feel like the first message that I get "ioctl[IEEE80211_IOCTL_SETMLME]: Argument list too long" has got to be a clue as to whether this is an issue with wpa_supplicant or the kernel modules.  since the card works with WPA on every other OS, my guess is that it's the kernel modules.

i have a ralink card that won't work in DSL because the kernel was compiled with SMP support.  I wonder if there's something similar going on here with the madwifi modules.

Posted by setecio on June 11 2008,22:12
Yes I don't want to have to use ndiswrapper.

I wonder what the successful process looks like to get other cards to work.

I'm not technical enough to be of much use but I'll do a bit more forum searching.

Posted by lucky13 on June 11 2008,22:25
Quote
my guess is that it's the kernel modules

Or the kernel version, the compiler version, wireless extension version, etc.

I, too, have a card that lacks a native 2.4 driver and has, at best, limited function in 2.4. You have to accept that your purchase of any particular card can have consequences if you want to use it with any operating system not called Microsoft Windows. You can buy a card with open drivers, you can buy one with closed drivers. If you choose the latter, you have to accept that you may only have limited function from it in any other OS. (Edit: That goes for ANY hardware that has a proprietary MS-Windows driver and zero support for Linux.)

That said, wifi support in Linux 2.6 is MUCH better than in 2.4 and DSL's upcoming tiny core will make it MUCH easier for wireless users to use their respective hardware.

Posted by kejava on June 11 2008,23:47
Quote
I, too, have a card that lacks a native 2.4 driver and has, at best, limited function in 2.4. You have to accept that your purchase of any particular card can have consequences if you want to use it with any operating system not called Microsoft Windows. You can buy a card with open drivers, you can buy one with closed drivers. If you choose the latter, you have to accept that you may only have limited function from it in any other OS. (Edit: That goes for ANY hardware that has a proprietary MS-Windows driver and zero support for Linux.)

I'm well aware of this.  However, I think this is a different situation.  The native kernel modules for these cards are known to work - for a few years now and on a variety of distros.  Also, the madwifi drivers are bit different.  The driver itself is open source but depends on the proprietary Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) that is available in binary form only.  This is the case for almost all modern wireless cards now.  The only difference is that most need some form of closed firmware to be uploaded in order to function.  You did touch on one good point though, I bet it works with kernel 2.6 (DSL-n).  So far, the only distros it seems to work on are using kernel 2.6.x.

Posted by setecio on June 12 2008,07:52
It would be good to iknow if any of the currently available wifi cards work with the madwifi drivers and WPA so that anyone who wants to set up DSL and definitely wants a simply setup WPA connection that just works, can go out and buy these from online retailers on in the shops. The list that says what works 'out of the box' doesn't seem to include WPA, from this I went for the WG511T but sadly doesn't work with WPA. Hopefully a WPA gui similar to WEP's iwconfig will appear in DSL soon and then it would be a real advantage to be able to know what cards to go out and buy (for me in the UK, for others by other country) †and know it just works.

Lucky13 : "That said, wifi support in Linux 2.6 is MUCH better than in 2.4 and DSL's upcoming tiny core will make it MUCH easier for wireless users to use their respective hardware. "

I'm not aware of DSL's future plans, but are you saying DSL is moving to a 2.6 based core in the near future (v5 ? ) ?

Posted by lucky13 on June 12 2008,08:56
If you had WPA working in another distro, it's easy to copy your conf over to DSL, Again, though, the issue of getting it to work is a function the combination of tools available in DSL: kernel, driver, wireless extension, etc. I don't remember if there are any issues with wpa_supplicant like there are with other pieces of the puzzle.

As far as DSL's future plans, please search the forums for "tiny core." From what Robert has written, it will not be called "DSL 5." It will be 2.6-based, but very barebones.

Posted by kejava on June 12 2008,11:56
Quote (lucky13 @ June 12 2008,08:56)
If you had WPA working in another distro, it's easy to copy your conf over to DSL, Again, though, the issue of getting it to work is a function the combination of tools available in DSL: kernel, driver, wireless extension, etc. I don't remember if there are any issues with wpa_supplicant like there are with other pieces of the puzzle.

As far as DSL's future plans, please search the forums for "tiny core." From what Robert has written, it will not be called "DSL 5." It will be 2.6-based, but very barebones.

Quote
If you had WPA working in another distro, it's easy to copy your conf over to DSL,
Yep, got that covered.  Using the same wpa_supplicant.conf file from both Ubuntu and Puppy.  Also just booted up DSL-n and found they don't have wpa_supplicant.  No extensions either.  Did some searching and found madwifi modules definitely work with kernel 2.4.x.  I'm going to chalk it up as a loss.  Did some reading on the Madwifi site and they're coming out with a version of the kernel modules that is completely open (no proprietary ath_hal module).  Read more about it < here >.  Hopefully that will find its way into DSL 5.

Posted by lucky13 on June 12 2008,12:12
Quote
Hopefully that will find its way into DSL 5.

It will likely be available as an extension, I doubt it will make its way into the base. And the 2.6 tiny core will probably not be called DSL 5 because it's a completely different species.

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