[nSLUG] smu wireless setup

Jack Warkentin jwark at eastlink.ca
Sun Oct 28 21:12:20 ADT 2007

Hi Tyler

I recently installed Debian Lenny on my laptop and discovered that the 
driver for my wireless card *was not* included in either the 
installation kernel or the installed kernel, so the card was not 
detected. So your first step is to make sure the driver is correctly 

In my case, the wireless card uses the Ralink RT2500 chip set. To 
install the driver I had to install its source code, compile this, 
install the resulting object code, and install the driver into the 
kernel, as follows.

apt-get install <driver source code package>

module-assistant prepare  ## this installs the necessary kernel headers

m-a build <driver source code package>  ## m-a is an abbreviation for 
######## module-assistant

dpkg -i <object code package created by m-a>

modprobe <driver>

For my card, there is a special file, /etc/Wireless/RT2500STA/RT2500STA.dat
that contains all of the config information for WPA TKIP, but in most 
cases, the wpasupplicant package must be used. The kwlan package 
provides (they say) a nice gui frontend for wpasupplicant. The actual 
lines that cause the WPA TKIP stuff to work are incorporated into the
/etc/network/interfaces file, after the lines similar to

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

with no blank lines in between.

(By the way, I presume you meant eth0 and not ath0 in your initial post.)

Hope this helps.


Tyler Smith wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 24, 2007 at 12:13:21PM -0230, Jonathan Anderson wrote:
>> Sounds a lot like MUN.
>> What distro are you using? On recent versions of Ubuntu, NetworkManager can 
>> handle WPA/TKIP/PEAP/MSCHAPv2 automagically.
> I'm using Debian Lenny with Fluxbox. I've installed network-manager
> and network-manager-gnome, but it's not working out of the box.
> nm-applet reports that NetworkManager is not running, but ps -e shows
> that it is. I've asked on the Debian list for help. Do you have any
> idea how to get Network Manager to work on Fluxbox?
> Thanks,
> Tyler
>> #!/jon
>> On October 24, 2007, Tyler Smith wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> Does anyone know how to set up wireless using the system at Saint
>>> Mary's? At my last university I just ran the following script, opened
>>> a browser and entered my user id and password, and then I was off to
>>> the races:
>>> #! /bin/bash
>>> ifconfig ath0 down
>>> iwconfig ath0 key off
>>> ifconfig ath0 up
>>> iwconfig ath0 ap any
>>> dhclient ath0
>>> It's a bit more involved at SMU. From what I gather from the
>>> instructions for using XP, they have WPA network authentication, TKIP
>>> encryption, Protected EAP (PEAP), Secured Password (EAP-MSCHAP v2)
>>> authentication method. The full instructions are in a pdf:
>>> http://www.smu.ca/administration/itss/wireless/WirelessBrochurev2.pdf
>>> If anyone has already worked out how to set this up on linux, or can
>>> point me to any useful resources, that would be great.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Tyler
>> -- 
>> Jonathan Anderson
>> jonathan.anderson at ieee.org

Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at eastlink.ca
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6

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