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sam.j
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Joined: 11 Mar 2012
Posts: 8
Location: New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:54 am    Post subject: Wireless Troubles Reply with quote

Greetings

I'm a big fan of Gentoo, and have played with it on and off for a while, but I seem to be having troubles with configuring my wireless interface. When I run the Gentoo LiveDVD, wicd can find and allow me to configure my wireless network, but after having emerged wpa_supplicant, wicd, and who knows however much else, I simply cannot get the network to even scan.

I have tried running iwlist wlan0 scan, and it reports that the network is down. I don't know how to tell it to turn the damn thing on. I have search the net for ages, looked up many forums and man pages, but I just can't do it.

My wireless network is WPA2, I thought I could configure wpa_supplicant (but it just keeps telling me there's no such file or directory without telling me what file or directory it's having trouble with), and wicd seems to be absolutely useless - just doesn't show anything in the network list (I'm guessing this is because it's an interface for other utilities which are reporting things like the network is down).

Can someone please point me towards what I have to do to get something to be able to scan for SSID's so I can configure my network??? THIS IS DRIVING ME MENTAL!

Thanks in advance. :)
Sam
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cach0rr0
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 4123
Location: Houston, Republic of Texas

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the general wireless checklist

-what wireless chipset? ergo, what driver, and does it require firmware?

-modprobe the driver (wireless tends to do best as a modle). cat /proc/net/dev and see if it exists after modprobe. if not, check dmesg for errors

-ifconfig <interface> up, and check dmesg for errors

if you can get that far without error, your kernel is fine, and the rest is userspace configuration. I'm suspecting youre missing either driver or firmware, though.
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sam.j
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Joined: 11 Mar 2012
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Location: New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cach0rr0 wrote:
the general wireless checklist

-what wireless chipset? ergo, what driver, and does it require firmware?

-modprobe the driver (wireless tends to do best as a modle). cat /proc/net/dev and see if it exists after modprobe. if not, check dmesg for errors

-ifconfig <interface> up, and check dmesg for errors

if you can get that far without error, your kernel is fine, and the rest is userspace configuration. I'm suspecting youre missing either driver or firmware, though.

Sorry, I should have thought to post these...

Chipset: RaLink RT61
Module: rt61pci is listed in modprobe -l
-- I actually had the driver built into the kernel originally, but I heard some hardware needs the driver loaded in a module, so I recompiled the driver into a module and loaded it through conf.d/modules. Also note that when compiling, menuconfig complained about an EEPROM driver in 'Misc Devices', so I ensured that was also compiled in and the error went away. Sorry I can't remember exactly what it was.
ifconfig wlan0 up: reports no such file or directory.

Sorry for the paraphrasing - I'm dual-booting Win7 and having to type all this up from memory.

The thing that gets me is that the LiveDVD has no trouble with it whatsoever - Log in to the desktop, open NetworkManager (wicd), and the wireless network(s) are listed there and all I have to do is enter the PSK. I've even tried copying what configs from the LiveDVD environment for wicd and wpa_supplicant I could but it made no difference.

-Sam
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cach0rr0
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 4123
Location: Houston, Republic of Texas

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

already merged this?

Code:

* net-wireless/rt61-firmware
     Available versions:  (~)1.2
     Homepage:            http://www.ralinktech.com/ralink/Home/Support/Linux.html
     Description:         Firmware for Ralink rt61-based PCI/PCMCIA WiFi adapters (rt61pci module)


the livedvd is intended to be automagic. your real install takes a touch of elbow grease!

if it's saying wlan0 doesnt exist, i defer again to cat /proc/net/dev and see if the device is listed anywhere. Dont need any details from this bit, just a yay/nay on whether the interface actually shows up

i would expect to see eth0,lo, maybe sit0, and then your wireless interface. Maybe rt61pci names it something other than wlan0? dunno

anyway, if it aint in /proc/net/dev the driver aint loadin' successfully.

doing the driver as a module means that you dont have to jump through hoops to embed the firmware within the kernel itself, it can be loaded/unloaded at will, you can pass special flags to modprobe (for drivers that support such a thing) etc. Much nicer as a module IMHO

anyway, firmware - installed or no? if no, emerge. If yes, go back, rmmod rt61pci, modprobe -v rt61pci, and check dmesg for errors

as far as being able to share logs/diag data: if you built your kernel with FUSE support, you can merge ntfs-3g, mount your windows drive, and then take your diagnostic logs and whatnot, copy over to the windows install's desktop or somewhere memorable, boot into windows, share that way (pastebin, ideally)
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sam.j
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Joined: 11 Mar 2012
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Location: New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cach0rr0 wrote:
already merged this?

Code:

* net-wireless/rt61-firmware
     Available versions:  (~)1.2
     Homepage:            http://www.ralinktech.com/ralink/Home/Support/Linux.html
     Description:         Firmware for Ralink rt61-based PCI/PCMCIA WiFi adapters (rt61pci module)


the livedvd is intended to be automagic. your real install takes a touch of elbow grease!


That was basically it - I didn't realize that there was firmware I had to emerge for my card (it's an old card and I figured everything would probably be generic for it). Still issues with wicd (unexpectedly) but I managed to get the interface up with wpa_supplicant.

Thanks heaps for this! You've made me a really happy man! XD
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cach0rr0
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008
Posts: 4123
Location: Houston, Republic of Texas

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

regarding the wicd issues, there's an issue that i ran into a while back, that was a "known issue", that may have already been resolved but since ive been away from the forums for a bit busy with work, i may have missed its resolution.

</caveat>

The old issue was with sys-apps/net-tools
in order for wicd/wpa_supplicant to play nicely with each other, this "known issue" meant that sys-apps/net-tools had to be built with the "old-output" USE flag enabled.

I would check with an "emerge -pv sys-apps/net-tools" and see if the pretended output shows the old-output flag enabled.

If not:

Code:

mkdir -p /etc/portage/package.use
echo "sys-apps/net-tools old-output" >> /etc/portage/package.use/wireless
emerge -v sys-apps/net-tools


Then try restarting wicd (/etc/init.d/wicd stop ; /etc/init.d/wicd start) and see if you dont have a bit less grief (there will always be *some* grief with wireless - wireless is the flakiest thing ive come across! )

Disclaimer regarding the above; wicd/wpa_supplicant may have already received some kind of fix that means the old-output flag is no longer needed, which would mean the above workaround isnt needed, is no longer relevant, etc, and that whatever wicd issues youre hitting are unrelated.
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