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I am ALWAYS going to hate wireless networking in Linux
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curmudgeon
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:28 am    Post subject: I am ALWAYS going to hate wireless networking in Linux Reply with quote

I suppose I could stick this in "Installing Gentoo" (because that is what I am trying to do, but it seems it belongs here).

Booted up the most recent install DVD and started network manager (wicd).

It shows the network (good). Entered the passphrase and hit connect. Did not connect (bad).

Turned on debug and tried again (multiple times).

After about five seconds, I get "validating authentication," and after about forty seconds from the beginning, I get "connection failed: bad password." It is inot really a bad password, because if I deliberately put in an incorrect passphrase, I get "connection failed: bad password" in less than five seconds.

The log file on the machine (/var/log/messages) shows lots of "link not ready" lines (but always accompanied by "ipv6" on the same line).

Every other device in the universe can connect without any problem.

Why is it so hard (after all these years) just to establish a simple wireless connection?
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keenblade
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I switched to networkmanager and nm-applet from wicd, and for a long time they never failled. Probably live dvd has them,too to try
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general, wireless cards are more complex than wired cards. Add in that many vendors refuse to ship open firmware and/or refuse to provide proper documentation for the card and you end up with Linux poking at the card based on what seems to have worked for some prior tester.
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i92guboj
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please, provide the whole dmesg log, as well as the results of lsmod, lspci, lsudb or whatever you think it's relevant, depending on the kind of device you are using. Some times a given firmware version has to be used instead for a concrete revision of a chip and/or a given kernel version.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: I am ALWAYS going to hate wireless networking in Linux Reply with quote

curmudgeon wrote:
The log file on the machine (/var/log/messages) shows lots of "link not ready" lines (but always accompanied by "ipv6" on the same line).

curmudgeon ... you mean that it can't aquire an internet layer address before the link layer is aquired? How strange.

curmudgeon wrote:
Every other device in the universe can connect without any problem.

They must have really good quality antennas ...

curmudgeon wrote:
Why is it so hard (after all these years) just to establish a simple wireless connection?

Its just you, so your special ... and your unamed device is also special, as really, technical specifications aside, it should just work.

best ... khay
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i92guboj
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That post was uncalled for. It has no purpose other than increasing your post count.

The fact that he can't get an ipv6 link is irrelevant, and quite normal even. That's nothing to do with the problem.

And wifi in linux is *quite far* from "just working". It depends on the concrete chip that you own.
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khayyam
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i92guboj wrote:
That post was uncalled for. It has no purpose other than increasing your post count.

i92guboj ... if curmudgeon makes a post that basically amounts to "why doesn't it just work ... it works for every other device in the universe", and provides zero information that might give some idea of why the connection isn't established then reminding him/her that their complaints alone aren't valid *is* called for.

i92guboj wrote:
The fact that he can't get an ipv6 link is irrelevant, and quite normal even. That's nothing to do with the problem.

Yes, and thats what I was saying, the "link not ready" is a sign that the link layer isn't established and so there is no chance of aquiring an IP.

i92guboj wrote:
And wifi in linux is *quite far* from "just working". It depends on the concrete chip that you own.

Yes, and none of this information was provided, so, far from just working. But, again, if the post amounts to little more than a complaint what else can be said.

best ... khay
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jamapii
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My "best" guess would be that the driver (in the kernel) is slightly broken.

dmesg or /var/log/messages or /var/log/syslog might contain some hints.

I would use /usr/sbin/lspci or lsusb to find some description of the hardware, then google for it with "linux" to find out if there are known bugs. /usr/sbin/lspci should show "Kernel driver in use" and "Kernel modules", these strings might help searching too. With this information, you may decide to buy a cheap known-good USB adapter, or find some other workaround ...

Maybe a more recent kernel does the trick.

Next best guess, it's possible that the bug is in networkmanager. I had an old netbook, where after an update networkmanager would no longer store any passwords. I use just baselayout/openrc and wpa_supplicant for networking, no networkmanager. You just do

cd /etc/init.d
ln -s net.lo net.wlan0 # if the device is called wlan0

edit /etc/conf.d/net to contain the lines

modules_wlan0="wpa_supplicant"
wpa_supplicant_wlan0="-Dnl80211,wext" # this should usually work,
# see man wpa_supplicant /AVAILABLE DRIVERS

edit /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf according to
man wpa_supplicant.conf, this will contain the passwords
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curmudgeon
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally finished that installation - it was the install from hell that literally took over a week (for a lot of reasons, but using sneakernet - transporting files to the machine via usb flash drives because networking wouldn't work was certainly a major part of that).

I ended up trying two different wireless devices - a Linksys (atheros) pci card, and a usb (zydas zd1201) adapter. In both cases, they could see the router fine, but neither would authenticate.

I will post more information when I can (the machine is finally able to do some work now, and it will be a while before it is available again - likely around two weeks from now). Without networking, it was obviously difficult to post logs, but I will get those added to the thread.

The install media was from December 2012, so that is sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-3.6.8 and net-misc/wicd-1.7.2.4-r2 (the latter the same as the current version) according to the package list:

http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/pr/releases/20121221/livedvd-amd64-multilib-20121221.iso.PACKAGES.txt

I actually believe that wicd is to blame. It didn't seem to want to remember anything.

keenblade, I have heard networkmanager is good. I don't know why it isn't on the installation media.

khayyam, yes it should work (and the problem was not with the antennas - the signals were well above eighty).

khayyam, yes the original post was mostly a complaint (born out of a lot of frustration). I don't think it is too much to expect a wireless network adapter to connect without problems in 2013. Unfortunately, I couldn't post any information then (without a network connection), but I will follow up with that.

This could be one of those (thankfully rare) things that gentoo has just managed to screw up fantastically. That doesn't happen often, but I did have one machine that (in more than five years) I could NEVER get the sound to work on it using gentoo (either the live media or the installed system, but if I stuck in a live cd/dvd from any other linux distribution, it would work absolutely perfectly.

jamapii, the modules were loaded, and the router was visible. Since I absolutely avoid using wireless on linux unless there is a gun to my head (I will take a 100 foot patch cable any day), I didn't have any other working machines to use as a reference.
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_______0
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as some else said, impossible to debug your problem without logs:

lspci
lsusb
lsmod
dmesg
kernel config
iwconfig
ifconfig
wpa_supplicant -vv
etc..

linux wireless is fairly straight forward, versatile and cute.
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mimosinnet
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

curmudgeon wrote:
I actually believe that wicd is to blame. It didn't seem to want to remember anything.


I am successfully using wicd in different boxes, and there should be some prove (logs) before blaming. Can you connect to the router with manual configuration? (Have a look in the network section of the gentoo handbook). In this case, temporarily, use a WEP encryption to check the connection.

I find odd that wicd cannot keep the configuration settings, and it could point to some other issue going on in the system.

Cheers!
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curmudgeon
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mimosinnet wrote:
Can you connect to the router with manual configuration? (Have a look in the network section of the gentoo handbook). In this case, temporarily, use a WEP encryption to check the connection.


I can try to connect with any configuration that I can put down from memory or documentation, but I have no control over the routers, and have to work with the security policies and configurations currently in place (WPA2 with a pre-shared key).
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mimosinnet
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PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

curmudgeon wrote:
I can try to connect with any configuration that I can put down from memory or documentation, but I have no control over the routers, and have to work with the security policies and configurations currently in place (WPA2 with a pre-shared key).


What about using plain wpa_supplicant?

Cheers!
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curmudgeon
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mimosinnet wrote:
What about using plain wpa_supplicant?


I guess that is possible. At the time, I had no network access to look at online references, and (since I have never been able to get it to work reliably, I don't have any access to known working configurations). I don't know the consequences (never tested this) of bypassing the init scripts (ie. what happens as a result of "/etc/init.d/sshd start" when the startup script for net.wlan0 was not run in favor of working with wpa_supplicant directly).

While one of the reasons I use gentoo is to be able to overcome things that don't "just work," I still would have hoped that by this time wireless networking would no longer fall in that category.
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mimosinnet
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

curmudgeon wrote:
I don't know the consequences (never tested this) of bypassing the init scripts (ie. what happens as a result of "/etc/init.d/sshd start" when the startup script for net.wlan0 was not run in favor of working with wpa_supplicant directly).


sshd init script can be disabled if you do not have access to the network. In any case, it would not affect your system (it happened to me many times). Make sure that your have your wireless interface recognized. For example, in my case:

Code:
# iwconfig
enp0s25   no wireless extensions.

wlp2s0    IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:off/any 
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=0 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
         
lo        no wireless extensions.



curmudgeon wrote:
While one of the reasons I use gentoo is to be able to overcome things that don't "just work," I still would have hoped that by this time wireless networking would no longer fall in that category.


It will be possible to tell if your wireless networking will work if you can give the output of lspci | grep Wireless. For example, in my case:

Code:
# lspci | grep Wireless
02:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)


Cheers!
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