Ubuntu Discussion on Ubuntu on the Dell Inspiron Mini range of netbooks.

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OwenW OwenW is offline
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Default Wireless Woes - 05-05-2009, 02:34 AM

Several days after I installed the 9.04 Netbook Remix, the wireless manager asked for my password. I dutifully entered it, and poof! no more wireless connection. The network manager can see my network and the signal is strong, but I cannot connect to it. I took it to work, and it hooked right up to the wireless there. I have no idea how to troubleshoot this. When I check the box to 'Show password', it looks nothing like the one I entered. I assume that it is a hash of some kind.
I don't know if it is a driver issue, a hardware issue, or if Ubuntu just decided to be a pain. Any ideas where to start?


Obsidian Mini 9 - 2GB, 4GB, BT, DellUbuntu
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Shawhan Shawhan is offline
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Default Re: Wireless Woes - 05-09-2009, 12:33 PM

Yeah, i have to say i'm having similar issues. I updated the dell mini this morning after i noticed i had many (190) updates to install. We could not get any wireless on it last night at all. Now i have this new interface that seems much more similar to my windows experience and when i enter all the correct settings it still doesn't connect wirelessly.

I checked the driver for the broadcom wireless adapter and it was not enabled. When i did enable it the computer needed a restart. Before the restart i noticed it had connected to the wireless. I checked and i could get to gmail.com just fine. When i restarted the machine i'm back to where i started.

Please help.

Shawhan
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Matt_H Matt_H is offline
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Default Re: Wireless Woes - 05-09-2009, 12:45 PM

Did the network manager ask for your wireless network password, or your Ubuntu sudo password? If those two are different, perhaps you entered one when you thought you should enter the other?

For testing purposes, I would try to delete your wireless network profile and start from scratch. Or change your wireless network password in your wireless access point and then change the password in network manager to be the same - anything to try to re-establish the connection. You know your hardware works and the software can make a connection, so it's just a matter of straightening out the "confusion" between your computer and your access point. Good luck.


Obsidian Black Dell Mini 9 | Ubuntu 9.04 | 64 GB Runcore SSD | 2 GB KINGSTON HYPER-X RAM | A05 BIOS | US-International Keyboard | Intel WiFi Link 5350 with third antenna | Orange Neoprene Sleeve
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Shawhan Shawhan is offline
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Default Re: Wireless Woes - 05-09-2009, 01:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_H
Did the network manager ask for your wireless network password, or your Ubuntu sudo password? If those two are different, perhaps you entered one when you thought you should enter the other?

For testing purposes, I would try to delete your wireless network profile and start from scratch. Or change your wireless network password in your wireless access point and then change the password in network manager to be the same - anything to try to re-establish the connection. You know your hardware works and the software can make a connection, so it's just a matter of straightening out the "confusion" between your computer and your access point. Good luck.
I have made sure that the passwords are correct and different. The dell D620 i have from school operates just fine on the 'same' wireless settings given that windows and linux call the same things different names in some places. I also had the OP's concern where the passphrase on my router says one things but when i go back into the manager on the mini it shows a completely different passphrase. Has this passphrase been converted to something like hex?

I also noticed you are running BIOS A05. Could this have any impact on my wireless issue.

I tried getting into the bios but when i press '2' on that screen nothing happens.

Shawhan
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Matt_H Matt_H is offline
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Default Re: Wireless Woes - 05-09-2009, 01:42 PM

Unfortunately, I don't have my mini or any other Ubuntu laptop with me (wife borrowed it for an out-of-town conference), so I can't tell you right now if the password gets scrambled if you uncheck "show password." Honestly, I would hope that it does get scrambled if it is originally entered with that option deselected. Imagine a guest coming over to my house and asking to hook his laptop up to my wireless network. I say "no problem, but the password is sensitive so I'd like to type it in myself." I type it in without the "show password" option selected, but then my guest can simply check that option and see it? I'd hope not. My guess is that the behavior you see is the correct behavior, not that your password somehow got mixed up.

As for BIOS A05, my wireless worked flawlessly with A04 and A05. I'm not sure why you can't get in to your BIOS. That's strange.


Obsidian Black Dell Mini 9 | Ubuntu 9.04 | 64 GB Runcore SSD | 2 GB KINGSTON HYPER-X RAM | A05 BIOS | US-International Keyboard | Intel WiFi Link 5350 with third antenna | Orange Neoprene Sleeve
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bowill bowill is offline
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Default Re: Wireless Woes - 05-09-2009, 03:08 PM

I don't see any mention of which type of wireless encryption your network uses. Is it WEP or WPA?

A number of people (including me) have reported problems using WEP with the mini 9. I encountered a WEP-enabled wireless access point at a hotel that I simply could not connect to after trying every suggestion that I could find ... at least, every suggestion that didn't require reconfiguring the WAP.

If you're using WEP and it's your home network, I recommend that you switch to WPA. Your connectivity problem will most likely be solved _and_ you'll have much better wireless security. If you're using WPA already, then this is a new problem that I haven't encountered before.
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Shawhan Shawhan is offline
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Default Re: Wireless Woes - 05-09-2009, 03:34 PM

I'm using WPA (WPA-TSK is what it says on the netgear router) and the earlier suggestion that it would encrypt when you go to show the characters makes sense.

I'm using the default ubuntu from dell with the most recent updates through the update manager.

Ok, good news bad news time.

I was able to get it back on line. here is what i did.

I rebooted the router with no change on the mini's connection.

I flashed the bios through DOS to A05 with no change in connection status

I disabled the broadcom driver using the System -> administration -> hardware drivers . rebooted as requested. no change in connection status.

re-enabled the broadcom driver and before i could go to reboot the connection found the network. now its connected but asking to reboot because of the broadcom status change. I am certain that if i reboot again it will lose the network (which makes no sense)

So i'm not sure what the hell is going on with it.

Does anyone know if you NEED the broadcom driver enabled for this to work? I don't ever remember needing to enable it before to get it on the wireless. I wonder if the updates and/or the bios flash caused it to become disabled. Keep in mind the wireless was dead before i did any of the updates or bios flash.

TIA, Shawhan
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torchredraider torchredraider is offline
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Default Re: Wireless Woes - 05-12-2009, 01:00 AM

I registered to give my $.02 on this issue.
The Dell default Ubuntu wireless works perfectly.
XP, Windows 7, and OSX wireless works perfectly. (Quad-boot)

Ubuntu 9.04 has only worked once or twice by accident in about 50 reboots.
Yes, 50, and I have reinstalled around 10 times.
I have made no changes to my router, as I feel its not the issue, Ubuntu is.
I am beginning to think either lots of folks have unsecured wifi or a broadcasting ssid with wep/wpa.
Makes no sense.

My setup
router\hidden ssid\wpa-psk w tkip

I have used ndiswrapper to no avail.
I have recompiled the Broadcom linux drivers, insmod'd them, blacklisted all default Broadcom I could locate. No avail.

I am thinking its an issue with the WPA or TKIP.
I do not think it is the hidden ssid, as "wlist scanning" finds the router. (SSID:"" which is interesting, but the MAC matches to my hardware.)
It is either that or the specific combination of Router and Broadcom.
I even purchased a BCM4328 (Dell 1505 rev 3) to see if it would make a difference, nope.

Any chance someone thinks the Dell Broadcom drivers could be ported over to 9.04?


Obsidian Black Mini 9, Mar 09 build, 4G, 512K, BT, 1.3cam. Upgrades: 64G Runcore, 2G Corsair, Dell 1505 wireless-N. OS: OSX 10.5.6, XP SP3, Win7, Ubuntu 9.04, (room for moblin/puppy/other)
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OwenW OwenW is offline
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Default Fixed, I think - 05-17-2009, 12:33 PM

After finally getting the updated deb installer for the desktop switcher issue, I deleted the .gnome2, .config, and .gconfd folders from the Home folder. This, of course, wiped out most of my system configurations, including the malfunctioning wireless account.
I then rebooted, and switched desktop modes from the UNR desktop to the Classic, which forced Gnome to rebuild those files. The wireless manager then allowed me to reconnect to my home network.

Odd thing is, if I set my WAP to run without security, the connection worked fine. I'm not sure that this is a driver issue.


Obsidian Mini 9 - 2GB, 4GB, BT, DellUbuntu
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tetonca tetonca is offline
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Default Running wifi with limited or no GNOME support - 05-18-2009, 06:02 PM

I wanted to see what it was like to run without GNOME
support, so I gutted (some of) GNOME from one of my
Mini 9's. Both my mini 9's have the Dell Ubuntu (as shipped).

I found I was going to have to start wireless from the
command line, and/or learn a lot more about how the
different programs in Dell's Ubuntu interact. So I just
pretended that minimal assumptions were in place (assumptions
here means expected programs installed).

I found I needed to modprobe wl to get the broadcom wifi
NIC operational -- since the wl module was in fact present
this seemed a lot easier to me than researching ndiswrapper
(which I'd done for another wifi USB dongle recently for
another Linux distrib-fed box here).

So I needed either the wl module for my kernel, or ndiswrapper,
but not both.

Then I needed to configure wpa_supplicant manually, since
I did not like the way Ubuntu makes some 'gnome keyring' or
what-have-you act as some kind of gatekeeper between the
human and it's desire to establish a password that wpa_supplicant
can make use of.

I did not know (or care) if wpa_supplicant was already configured
correctly. It possibly could have been, but I found there were
interactions with 'gnome keyring' or 'seahorse' or some other horse
droppings. I figured to bypass that mess, which I succeeded in
doing.

The price for all this is I have to 'sudo ./startnet.sh' to connect to
my WPA-enabled wireless gateway (Netgear) every time; and I have
not paid much attention to how to link up to an open wireless
router when on the road.

But it works and is understandable.

What follows was transcribed by hand so there
may be typo's. Treat as such.

Code:
$ cat ./startnet.sh
#!/bin/sh

ifconfig eth0 down

modprobe wl

wpa_supplicant \
  -Bw \
  -Dwext \
  -ieth1 \
  -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

dhclient

#eof
Code:
$ cat /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant

network={
  ssid="myuniquenet"
  scan_ssid=1
  proto=WPA RSN
  key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
  pairwise=CCMP TKIP
  group=CCMP TKIP
  psk=462f08f643869b80e1f2bdaa057b98cfe07d3938d62afd1fd7c85ec81fa894e1
}
open www browser and look at

[ http:--preview.tinyurl.com/that-wpa-sup-ubu-teto-18-may ]

which this BBS editor interprets into:

[ TinyURL.com - shorten that long URL into a tiny URL ]

for details on generating the hex psk string and other hints
on wpa_supplicant use.


Comments on startnet.sh

Note that I used ifconfig to disable eth0 (the wired NIC). I've had
some luck in simplifying the system by doing so; 'netstat -rn' cleans
up nicely as a result. It may not strictly be necessary to bring down
the wired NIC but since I am not using it, there's no penalty to me
to do so.

I don't quite understand the relationship between dhclient and
wpa_supplicant, but it was clear enough after trial and error that
wpa_supplicant was prerequisite to dhclient for the case where
WPA was used. I think you simply omit the call to wpa_supplicant
when communing with an open wireless router -- dhclient has the
smarts to get a wireless NIC talking to open routers; and/or the
kernel driver (module) 'wl' handles this when asked to by dhclient.

I think the usual GNOME based system uses all that I used, but
adds complexity in at least two ways. One is the interposing of
'keyring' security to keep the WPA password secret -- this seems
prone to random glitches and is probably where most people are
being hosed by a too-clever operating system trick. The other is
the agressive re-connection scheme (I think 'Network Manager
applet' or somesuch takes on this job). Again, a bit of overkill
to get a player-piano experience at the expense of more complexity
and possibly a dismal implementation.

Note that gkrellm gives a useful interface for monitoring some
aspects of wifi NIC performance; since my wireless gateway is
only 5 feet from the Mini 9 in most cases (and 20 feet in the others)
I don't really need 'bars' to watch signal strength. I would rather
have imitation activity LED's and a history of throughput, which
gkrellm provides.

gkrellm is available via synaptics or apt-get or dselect.

tetonca
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