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Ubuntu and wireless access

waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Ubuntu and wireless access

Not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes.
I have a dual boot desktop PC running XP and Ubuntu. Until recently I was connected by ethernet cable to my router. Following a line problem, the BT engineer installed a new Openreach box with separate sockets for phone and ADSL. This is located at some distance from the PC so I now have to access via wifi.
I am using a USB Zonet ZEW2500P which connects OK on XP. However, on Ubuntu although it can see my own network (and three others), when it tries to connect it asks for my WEP Passkey, which I have tried entering as 128 bit hex and 128 bit ascii. But neither will work. I have double checked with the router (via XP) that I am using the correct code, but have not managed to get it to connect at all.
Does anyone have any suggestions please?
17 REPLIES
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,826
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

This looks like a driver issue. Check out this link. Right at the bottom is a link to some instructions for the drivers.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/WirelessCardsByVersion
waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

Thank you both.
axisofevil - I have the wireless connection working perfectly under XP, but not with Ubuntu. The only difference in the link you gave is that they are suggesting WPA and I am using WEP.
denzil - unfortunately, the link consists of 99 pages. After reading a number of them it seems that the guidance given doesn't work for everyone, and on page 99 there are still people with outstanding problems similar to mine. I am a complete novice with Ubuntu and don't feel confident enough to make significant changes which might have to be reverted.
At present I have no internet access to Ubuntu as the router is on a different floor and there is no practical way of connecting by ethernet.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,826
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

OK
Due to lack of linux drivers. Ubuntu allows you to use a Windows driver - presumably XP?
I haven't done it myself as Ubuntu handles wifi with Atheros (and some others) chipsets.
You may want to try:-
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=205026
The individual steps are very simple - do you know how to use sudo in Ubuntu?

waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

axisofevil - I've spent most of today trying to get it to work from instructions at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/Driver/Ndiswrapper#head-6a606ccd9c2c4db72ac726891bd5d7cba...; using the same driver as I use on XP for that device.
As far as I can tell, it has installed successfully, as I can see the driver associated with the hardware. However, when I boot up, it doesn't search for any networks. I've used the command    'sudo ndiswrapper -m' (which I believe associates an alias for startup?) and get the response    'module configuration already contains alias direction'.
File '/etc/network/interfaces' contains the following -
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wireless-key HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
wireless-essid XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
(with the correct SSID and key of course)
So far I haven't been able to find out how to start the network.  So one step forward and two steps backward!
To answer your question, I know how to enter sudo commands as long as they are specified in full. I don't profess to understand what they mean.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,826
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

If you prefix a command with sudo (and enter your password) it allows you root access to enable you to write etc to system files.
Have you tried using a fixed ip address?
My /etc/network/interfaces file reads (ignore the ======):-
===============
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
iface ath0 inet static
address 192.168.0.5        <-- My IP address
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.0.1        <-- My router address
wireless-essid SSSSSSS
wireless-key KKKKKKKKKK    <-- In hex
wireless-rate 54M
# Next 4 lines are for disconnected ethernet
iface eth0 inet static
address 192.168.0.6
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.0.1
auto ath0
================
Note that interface names (ath0, eth0, wifi0...) seem to be very variable.
I downloaded ndiswrapper and entered
ndiswrapper --help
It said:-
usage: ndiswrapper OPTION
-i inffile      install driver described by 'inffile'
-a devid driver  use installed 'driver' for 'devid' (dangerous)
-r driver        remove 'driver'
-l              list installed drivers
-m              write configuration for modprobe
-ma              write module alias configuration for all devices
-mi              write module install configuration for all devices
-v              report version information
This sounds slightly different to sudo ndiswrapper -m
I have never used this - but I would be tempted to tentatively!!! try
ndiswrapper -l
sudo ndiswrapper -ma
reboot
Stop at the ndiswrapper -l if it doesn't show what you expect though!
If it's any consolation Netgear (PCI card) work without any configuration.
P.S. If you have a 64 bit Ubuntu, the procedure is slightly more complicated for ndiswrapper.

waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

I did try using fixed IP addresses when I first installed the router but had some problems, so changed to DHCP. I am running XP on my desktop, and Vista on the laptop. Occasionally friends visit with their laptop which means dynamic IPs are more realistic.
I have some work to do on XP this morning, but will check it out again this afternoon.
Thanks.
waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

axisofevil ---
ndiswrapper -l displayed
    rt2500usb: driver installed
    device 148f:2570 present (alternative driver: rt2500usb)
ndiswrapper -ma displayed
    module configuration information is stored in /etc/modprobe.d/ndiswrapper
Windows Network Drivers shows
    rt2500usb
    Hardware present: Yes
However, when I look at Devices - Network Tools, I notice the following -
in the drop-down menu for Network Device, there is an entry
    Wireless interface (wlan0)
but the Interface information shows as 'not available' on every item.
If I select 'Configure' it displays 'wlano Properties' with all the fields correct
Also in the drop-down menu (immediately under the wlan0 entry) is another entry
    Wireless interface (wlan0:avahi)
the Interface information shows the correct Hardware (MAC) address, Multicast: Enabled
MTU: 1500, Link speed: 11 Mbps, State: Active.
However, selecting 'Configure' for this item displays "Interface does not exist - Check that it is correctly typed and that it is correctly supported by your system".
I don't know how AVAHI crept in, but somehow the information seems to be split between the two entries.
As it stands at present, when I boot up, the network doesn't try to connect. The Network Settings show Wireles Connection enabled.
waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

I've been doing some more checks from information I found on the Ubuntu Forums. Not sure whether the following is any help.
lshw -C network
  *-network
    description: Wireless interface
    physical id:  1
    logical name:  wlan0
    serial:            (my MAC address)
    capabilities: Ethernet physical wireless
    configuration:  broadcast=yes driver=ndiswrapper+rt2500usb driverversion=1.45+Railink, 05/21/2004, 1.00.01 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11g
iwlist scan
    wlan0  scan completed
It then shows wireless networks of the neighbouring property and my own:-
    Cell 01      ESSID AAAAAAAAAAAAA
    Cell 02      ESSID MYNETWORK
    Protocol      IEEE 802.11b
iwconfig
    wlan0  IEEE 8022.11g  ESSID  MYNETWORK
                                            AccessPoint: Not Associated
                                          Encryption Key:  MYMACKEY
Hope this information is helpful
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

Hmm, it has gone beyond my knowledge at this point! If you are relishing the challenge of getting it to work then carry on, but you might like to consider how much time you are prepared to spend on this, and instead spend a few £ on a Ubuntu compatible wifi card, ideally PCI rather than USB.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,826
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

It's very difficult to diagnose wireless problems at a distance; almost certainly it's possible to fix it.
The USB connection doesn't help though.
My Netgear WG311T (a PCI card) works (without any configuration) with my Netgear router.
It's worthwhile finding out the chipset a wireless card uses and checking with Google if any problems have been reported for either the card or the chipset.
If it's of interest  Sad
jeremy@HECTOR:~$ sudo lshw -C network
  *-network             
      description: Wireless interface
      product: AR5212/AR5213 Multiprotocol MAC/baseband processor
      vendor: Atheros Communications, Inc.
      physical id: 8
      bus info: pci@0000:05:08.0
      logical name: wifi0
      version: 01
      serial: [MAC ADDRESS]
      width: 32 bits
      clock: 33MHz
      capabilities: pm bus_master cap_list logical ethernet physical wireless
      configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath_pci driverversion=0.9.4.5 (0.9.3.2) ip=192.168.0.5 latency=168 maxlatency=28 mingnt=10 module=ath_pci multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11g
Works fine for me.

waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

When BT attended for line problems, they installed a new master socket which splits off ADSL where it enters the house. This is too far from my desktop pc for a wired ethernet connection, which I always used before. Unfortunately I don't have any spare PCI slots available. So unless I can get the USB connection working, it looks as if I shall have to abandon Ubuntu, which is useless without an internet connection.
waldron
Grafter
Posts: 348
Registered: 28-07-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

Well, after trying everything else I could think of, as a last resort I decided to comment out the entries for wlan0 in /etc/network/interfaces, and see if I could start over.
I rebooted, and the network came up like a dream and connected to my router. So I am now able to access the internet again.  I have no idea why, but I am going to leave well alone.
Many thanks for your help.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,826
Thanks: 250
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Ubuntu and wireless access

I'd be interested to know what the contents of your new /etc/network/interfaces are.