[svlug] need a linux/wireless guru...
Joe.Buck at synopsys.COM
Sat Feb 25 14:59:17 PST 2006
On Sat, Feb 25, 2006 at 12:57:53PM -0800, bruce wrote:
> i'm trying to configure a wireless card for my dell laptop, running
It's not rocket science; with a supported card it just works (you will
not need to rebuild a kernel if you have FC4). You'll be in much better
shape with FC4 than with many distros because it has very new kernels
that have cured many past problems with wireless support. For example,
for Orinoco or Prism cards you want at least a 2.6.14 kernel.
> the basic steps i need:
> -what card to get
See http://linux-wless.passys.nl/ for a description of working wireless
devices. It's important to check the details, as companies sometimes
change the chip they are using without changing the product name.
> -what software to get (rpms/etc...)
The needed packages are all in the Fedora archives, ready to be installed
> -how to integrate the software into the linux os
> (i really don't want to rebuild the kernel as some sites imply)
You'll want to install the wireless-tools package at least, also see below.
> -how to "see/access" the card
Do "System Tools -> Hardware Browser" to see if your card is detected
properly. If it isn't, either the card isn't supported or you might need
to mess with the database.
> -how to properly configure the software/system/card
> -how to have the system/card detect the wireless router/network
The older way is to just run the network configuration tool; use the
System Tools -> Network Device Control menu item. Select Configure
on your device; choose Edit, and you'll get a set of tabs including
"Wireless Settings". You can set up the ESSID, encryption, etc.
The disadvantage of that approach is that you either have to know the
ESSID, or if you select "Automatic" it will try to connect to the
strongest network. OK for home use, could be a problem when there
are multiple networks.
The newer way is to install the NetworkManager and NetworkManager-gnome
packages. The setup is a little more involved than what I'm willing to
type in here, but you wind up with an applet that allows you to choose
from the available wireless networks, much like what Windows XP or
Mac OSX gives you. It will automatically connect you to the "best
network": wired is preferred to wireless, networks you've chosen to
connect to before are preferred.
If you have a Prism-based wireless card, you need a very new kernel to
have the scanning support that NetworkManager needs; this is no problem
with FC4 if you do "yum update", but forget it with RHEL, their kernels
are too old.
> -how to potentially troubleshoot issues with the
The wireless-tools package has a number of command-line tools that can
give you details on what's going on with your wireless device: useful
commands are iwconfig and iwlist.
> i'd like to create a basic document of my experiences so that others might
> not have to go through this process...
> compensation/lunch might be cool if you're in the bay area!!!
I'm in the Bay Area but I don't think I've earned lunch here.
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