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Author Topic: Wireless network won't do anything  (Read 5458 times)
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« on: September 18, 2007, 08:43:33 pm »

A couple of weeks ago I set up a wireless access point so I could connect to my home network and the Internet wirelessly with my new laptop. The access point is a wireless router whose routing funtions have been disabled. The actual router for the system is a wired router. Windows Vista is working like a champ with the new wireless network. Signal strength is always high.

But...
VectorLinux 5.8 Standard is another story. The wireless chip is a Realtek RTL-8185. There is a native Linux driver of questionable quality and an XP driver that can be used with ndiswrapper. I use fixed IP addresses for all computers and print servers on my home network and WPA encryption on the wireless.

I have gone through the Wireless Networking HowTo numerous times being very careful to make sure everything is done properly. I have tried both the native driver and ndiswrapper with the XP driver. Everything looks okay, ifconfig shows the wireless wlan0 with the assigned IP address and if I run iwconfig wlan0 scan, it shows up just the way it should. After I run wpa_supplicant -B -Dwext -iwlan0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf I try to ping my router and my wireless access point. The response is Destination Host Unreachable. This happens whether I use the native Linux driver or ndiswrapper. I'm sure that the information in wpa_supplicant is correct. I have definitely disabled the VL firewall; my wired router firewalls the network through NAT.

I'm thinking the problem is WPA. What do you think?

I'll test this out by getting rid of all encryption and seeing if I can connect, and also with WEP. But that's just curiosity because I want the security of WPA.

This isn't a life and death matter because I have a very nice VL 5.8 Standard installation in a VirtualBox virtual machine running under Windows Vista. (I'm writing this from VL in the virtual machine.) I have no connection problems there because the hardware is virtualized and VL thinks the NIC is an Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] 79c970 [PCnet32 LANCE]. But it seems to me that I'm close to having my wireless network working in VL on a "real" partition but I don't know how to get the network functioning.

If I run wifi-radar, it sees the network, it sees the network, has the right ESSID and encryption key, but if I click on Connect, it just looks and looks and never stops and I have to kill wifi-radar.

What am I missing and what should I try?
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
bigpaws
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1856


« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 09:31:39 pm »

You are on the right track by turning off encryption and testing that way.

I have always start basic and then expand which takes things in a logical order
and also reduces hair loss.

Bigpaws
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3184



« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2007, 03:34:16 am »

you may also try to look for problems with the driver itself. dmesg l grep Radio
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 07:56:39 pm »

I have officially given up.

I disabled all encryption in the access point and got the exact same results I had when I was using WPA. I tried with both the native Linux driver and ndiswrapper with the XP driver.

Either way, the network is seen and appears in ifconfig and the details in iwconfig are correct. It shows up in wifi-radar and even says it's connected, but I can't ping my router or the access point and I can't connect to the Net. When I try to ping, I get "Destination Host Unreachable."

I've checked everything many times--dmesg, system logs. Nothing looks amiss.  But it doesn't work. I can't ping anything or go online.

So I'm done. I've spent many, many hours on this with no results. I'm pretty much disgusted. It shouldn't be so hard.

The wireless network is the number one problem, but close behind it is the inability to hear any sound. The problem is frequently reported on the Web. I've tried all suggested solutions, but nothing works. I've given up on that, too. No more time to fool with it.

So I'll continue using VL in my VirtualBox virtual machine under Vista. I have enough computer power and RAM that there is no perceptible performance hit. Best of all, everything works.

I've discovered that I like the virtual machine so well that I'm going to put it on my XP computers, too--although they have VL partitions that are working perfectly. With the virtual machine, everything is at my fingertips. I can run Linux most of the time, but if I need a Windows program (as I sometimes do), I don't have to fool with Wine or leave Linux and boot to Windows.

I'll leave the Linux partitions as they are and when 64-bit VectorLinux gets farther along, I'll install it and beta test it. Maybe a newer version will work with this hardware.

Thanks to everyone who tried to help.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
newt
Vectorian
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Posts: 1132



« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2007, 07:24:02 am »

I can certainly understand getting to the "give up" point on; it can be immensly frustrating to spend so much time on what should be such a simple task and still not achieve success.  However, the rewards of actually getting the hardware to work make the whole process less painful Wink

I know you said that you disabled your VL firewall but did you ever adjust it for your local network range?  The PERMIT= line in '/etc/rc.d/init.d/firewall' is what I adjust to fit my local network since it defaults to 192.168.0.x and I use the x.x.1.x range.  Just an idea.

Also, I recently spent a couple days trying to get a wireless card setup and working in 58std.  It's a USRobitics 54g Turbo PCI card (acx111 chipset).  I tried several time, using different drivers, to get networking up and going.  It finally came down to grabbing the latest drivers from USRobotics, unpacking them with winpack (installshield cabs), and then redoing the wireless setup process.  In the end it finally worked -WPA and all.  The thing that kind of annoyed me was that I was visually looking at the little wireless card icon (xfce) and it remained red the whole time (i.e. no device present).  I finally decided that it must just not work with my card/ndiswrapper/etc.  Once I actually got connectiviity and the wireless icon was still red I remembered that it can indicate connectivity for several network adapters; sure enough, I had eth0 selected rather than wlan0 DOH!.
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 05:27:26 pm »

I know you said that you disabled your VL firewall but did you ever adjust it for your local network range?  The PERMIT= line in '/etc/rc.d/init.d/firewall' is what I adjust to fit my local network since it defaults to 192.168.0.x and I use the x.x.1.x range.  Just an idea.

How would adjusting a totally disabled VL firewall help? I'm curious. I made all the files involved with the firewall non-executable--in fact, I did that before I even started messing with the wireless because I don't use software firewalls.

Quote
The thing that kind of annoyed me was that I was visually looking at the little wireless card icon (xfce) and it remained red the whole time (i.e. no device present).  I finally decided that it must just not work with my card/ndiswrapper/etc.  Once I actually got connectiviity and the wireless icon was still red I remembered that it can indicate connectivity for several network adapters; sure enough, I had eth0 selected rather than wlan0 DOH!.

The icon on the panel indicated that I was connected with a top-quality signal. I never relied much on that, though. Also, I got rid of eth0 and nothing but wlan0 was available except for the local loopback. Given that I couldn't ping anything and I couldn't connect to the Internet, I'm forced to believe something was not working as far as getting on the network was concerned.

At this point it's just a matter of curiosity because I've switched to virtual machines for my Linuxes.on my laptop and main desktop.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
newt
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1132



« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2007, 11:23:46 pm »

You're absolutely right; adjusting a totally disabled firewall will not help.  I've just had issues with the VL58std firewall such that I thought (at least) setting it to the correct local network range would ensure that if, by chance, the firewall was staying enabled it would be configured for the correct ip range.  However, taking into consideration the lengths you went through to disable your firewall(s), it shouldn't make a lick of difference.

I was merely trying to share a successful experience I had thinking that perhaps it would spark something in you that you may have overlooked.  I can certainly understand finally giving up on a task like this.  Hopefully bobbears trials with a new kernel will prove successful - maybe that'll spark some hope Cheesy

Take care!
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2007, 12:23:01 pm »

I've given up on the Linux r8180 driver and if I get wireless going, I think it'll be through ndiswrapper. I did modprobe -r to remove the r8180 module and it does not appear in lsmod. However, I'm getting this block of messages in dmesg (copied here from syslog):

Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_reset_queue
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol alloc_ieee80211_rtl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_essid
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_encode_rtl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_wap
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_rate
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wake_queue
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_power
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_freq
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_encode_rtl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_mode
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_mode
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_essid
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_get_beacon
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wpa_supplicant_ioctl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_scan_rtl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_power
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_rawtx
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_softmac_stop_protocol
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_is_54g
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_stop_queue
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_ps_tx_ack
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_rate
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_set_scan
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_wap
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_name_rtl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_is_shortslot
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_rx_rtl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wlan_frequencies
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol free_ieee80211_rtl
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_softmac_start_protocol
Sep 25 01:11:06 Gateway kernel: r8180: Unknown symbol ieee80211_wx_get_freq

Where are they coming from and how can I get rid of them? They don't appear in lsmod, just dmesg and syslog.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2007, 06:14:41 pm »

I just can't let this go.

I did a fresh reinstallation of 5.8 Standard Gold and tried to get the wireless network going. iwlist wlan0 scan shows the access point, essid, etc. perfectly. I use WPA encryption. I followed the VL wireless HowTo meticulously but I can't ping anything or connect to the Internet--in other words, exactly the same problems as in my prior installation. I am using ndiswrapper with the rtl8185 Windows XP driver.

Cutting to the chase--
I tried a LiveCD with the latest PCLinuxOS. I used PCLinuxOS's very easy setup for wireless networks. after which I was able to go on the Internet! This was with my fixed IP address, WPA and all. Exactly what I haven't been able to achieve with VectorLinux--and not just Vector. Knoppix couldn't connect either and Ubuntu Live couldn't even load. PCLinuxOS got the network up quite easily, so at least I know it's possible to get a WPA connection with this wireless chip. I have established that it's not incompatible with Linux.

I tried to discover what PCLinuxOS was doing that VL Standard was not. wlan0 looked the same with ifconfig. I copied the wpa_supplicant.conf file that worked in PCLinux to VL in hopes that would make the wireless work in Vector (there were minor differences in the files). Alas, that didn't help. I didn't yet bother to check what version of ndiswrapper or wpa_supplicant was used in PCLinuxOS.

I figure if it works in PCLinuxOS, it should be able to work in VL. Or am I mistaken? How can I find out what's different in PCLinuxOS?

By the way, PCLinuxOS failed miserably with the sound, which I can't get to work in VL, either.

Do I have to mention how frustrating this all is? I've never been totally stumped by hardware in Linux before, except on one computer I was using that probably had a BIOS incompatibility with Linux because no distro or LiveCD was able to install on it (the BIOS was a final beta that added large drive support).
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
bigpaws
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1856


« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2007, 05:37:24 am »

I have had hardware that I was not even able to get
slackware or any other distro to install. That was a
15 month trial and error.

It is even more frustrating when one distro works and
others are not.

If your are seeing the network then your card appears
to be working. I also had some problems with wireless
cards in the beginning. Starting with Ndiswrapper site
and following the instructions helped.

If it works on PCLinuxOS then it will work in Vector.

Here is a way to step by step that my help:

1.  Compare the kernel config
2.  Compare lsmod
3.  Compare dmesg
4.  Compare wpa_supplicant (which you did)
5.  Compare network configuration files

HTH,

Bigpaws
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Tigerwolf
Vectorite
***
Posts: 152



« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2007, 09:14:20 am »

Quote
I tried to discover what PCLinuxOS was doing that VL Standard was not. wlan0 looked the same with ifconfig.

If the iwconfig and ifconfig info looks ok, and wi-fi radar shows connected,  and there's no encryption, it sounds more to me like a routing issue than a link one:  thus the 'unreachable' errors.

Double check what the routing tables show at each stage of bringing up the wireless interface, and be sure things like netmasks properly match and that the default route gets properly set.  Also be sure the proper interface is being used, since wireless drivers seem to vary widely in what they name the interface.

I've had tons of problems with 'I'm smarter than the user' stuff in scripts and config files  that tend to clobber routing tables, especially when most things assume a dhcp setup and you're trying to do static ip.   Something trying to get a dhcp address after a static IP is set can often mess up routing tables when it tries (and fails) to get an IP assignment.

Often it's simpler to disable *all* the fancy automated network setup scripts/routines, and just put a few lines into rc.inet1 or rc.local to set up the  interface and routes.
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=^_^=  Tigerwolf

Running: Vector Linux 5.8 Standard   12-16-2006
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2007, 05:35:09 pm »

Here is a way to step by step that my help:

1.  Compare the kernel config
2.  Compare lsmod
3.  Compare dmesg
4.  Compare wpa_supplicant (which you did)
5.  Compare network configuration files

Thanks. When I feel the inspiration, I'll carefully compare those. What are the network configuration files I should compare? lsmod lists ndiswrapper for both, which is the relevant driver. ndiswrapper is using the same Windows XP files, since I pointed both PCLinux and Vector to the same directory for the XP driver.

I have been starting the wireless network with fixed IP this way:
ifconfig wlan0 192.168.2.12

When I run ifconfig after that, wlan0 shows up with the correct fixed IP address. Am I doing that the right way?
--GrannyGeek
Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2007, 05:50:53 pm »

If the iwconfig and ifconfig info looks ok, and wi-fi radar shows connected,  and there's no encryption, it sounds more to me like a routing issue than a link one:  thus the 'unreachable' errors.

There's WPA encryption--the toughtest kind to get going in wireless problems, it seems. At first I suspected that ndiswrapper with this XP driver couldn't do WPA, but then I got it going in PCLinuxOS. I did try it once with no encryption at all, but even then, I got a "network is unreachable" error. With everything I've tried, everything looks fine until I try to ping the router or the access point. And I can't connect to the Internet, of course, because I have to be able to communicate with the router and access point in order to do that.

Quote
Double check what the routing tables show at each stage of bringing up the wireless interface, and be sure things like netmasks properly match and that the default route gets properly set.  Also be sure the proper interface is being used, since wireless drivers seem to vary widely in what they name the interface.

I have no idea how to check routing tables or do anything about them. The netmask is 255.255.255.0. What's the default route? By "proper interface" I assume you mean ndiswrapper. I have to use ndiswrapper. It is loaded in both PCLinuxOS and Vector, as seen in lsmod.

Quote
I've had tons of problems with 'I'm smarter than the user' stuff in scripts and config files  that tend to clobber routing tables, especially when most things assume a dhcp setup and you're trying to do static ip.   Something trying to get a dhcp address after a static IP is set can often mess up routing tables when it tries (and fails) to get an IP assignment.

I've done the Vector setup "by hand." The only thing that has worked is PCLinuxOS's specific network setup graphical interface. I'm lost when you talk about routing tables, but tell me what to do about that and I'll follow the directions.

Quote
Often it's simpler to disable *all* the fancy automated network setup scripts/routines, and just put a few lines into rc.inet1 or rc.local to set up the  interface and routes.

I'd be very happy to put those lines in if I knew what they were.

Thanks for the help. Sorry to have to ask for more!
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
saulgoode
Vectorite
***
Posts: 340



« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2007, 12:15:07 am »

The 'route' command will list your routes and gateway ('route -n' for numeric IPs). You should see output similar to:

Code:
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface
192.168.0.0     0.0.0.0         255.255.255.0   U     0      0        0 wlan0
127.0.0.0       0.0.0.0         255.0.0.0       U     0      0        0 lo
0.0.0.0         192.168.0.100   0.0.0.0         UG    0      0        0 wlan0

If you only see the loopback line (the middle one) then you should try restarting '/etc/rc.d/rc.inet1' (or whichever inet# is your wireless). Also, check that your settings in that file are correct. Mine are set to:

DEVICE=wlan0
DHCP=no
IPADDR=192.168.0.20
NETMASK=255.255.255.0
GATEWAY=192.168.0.100
PROBE=no




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A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2007, 04:33:00 pm »

Thanks very much. I'll try this as soon as I have time. I'm very curious to compare VL and PCLinux and hope I'll find something that explains why VL isn't connecting.
--GrannyGeek
Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
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