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Tech Help

This is where you can find tech help related to Linux on campus in the near future.

Connect to SDSM&T WiFi without NetworkManager

I've heard a few people are having trouble with things like the wireless consistently not connecting. This technique will absolutely help with that, and may also solve the ATH9K-related kernel panics, but it is not for the faint of heart or those who cannot handle a terminal. First, make CERTAIN that you have the following packages installed:

  • Network Tools (net-tools in yum and apt)
  • WPA Supplicant (wpa_supplicant in yum, wpasupplicant in apt)
  • Either dhclient or dhcpcd (name should be the same in yum/apt)

They SHOULD be, but if you disable NetworkManager and THEN find out you forgot something, you're SOL until you get something to configure your network with again.

With that out of the way, you'll need a wpa_supplicant.conf file that has been properly configured to allow login. For right now, if you just want a quick and dirty method, copy the following into a text file and save it as wpa_supplicant.conf in a directory you can easily find it.



You will want to replace the bracketed text with your personal information, as you would log in to your student account on a lab computer or your Windows partition. For example, if your student ID number is 1010101 and your password is "ReallyBadPassword01#", you would want to ammend the identity and password lines as follows:


Once you have the file in place, you will want to disable NetworkManager. This can be done either temporarily or permanently. To just temporarily disable it, type

sudo service network stop

into a terminal. You may be prompted for your password. If the command fails with something about a sudoers file, you should probably come in and talk with one of us (or google it yourself if you feel confident enough) to get sudo set up correctly.

If you prefer to permanently disable NetworkManager, you can issue this command IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE to keep it from starting on boot:

sudo chkconfig network off

This will cause the system to ignore the entire network script at boot; in the future we may start passing a corrected network script to start with.

Once NetworkManager has been stopped, you can proceed to configure the network. This happens in two steps: Authentication and DHCP (Yes, there are technically more steps, but those are the two that users need to know about to do this). First, issue the following commands with root privileges:

export WPACONF="/path/to/wpa_supplicant.conf/"
wpa_supplicant -iwlan0 -c$WPACONF -B

Now you will have to wait for a moment; it takes some time for wpa_supplicant to chat with a router and get connected. After some time has passed, you will want to issue the command

wpa_cli status

and if you see something like

Supplicant PAE state=DISCONNECTED

You just need to wait a bit longer. After about a minute, you should see

Selected interface 'wlan0'
key_mgmt=WPA2/IEEE 802.1X/EAP
Supplicant PAE state=AUTHENTICATED
selectedMethod=25 (EAP-PEAP)
EAP TLS cipher=AES128-SHA
EAP-PEAPv0 Phase2 method=MSCHAPV2

which means you are connected. Now you just need a dhcp address, which you can get with

dhclient wlan0


dhcpcd wlan0

Depending on which program is installed. Fortunately, dhcp takes a couple of seconds, at most, so if you're waiting to get your prompt back for more than about ten seconds, you should press Ctrl+C to cancel the DHCP and check to see that wpa_supplicant is still connected. Once dhclient or dhcpcd exits, that's it! You're connected to the network! Feel free to do all those internet-related tasks that you need to do.

For more help

If anyone runs into trouble or just generally wants help with this method, feel free to stop by the ACM office (McLaury 211F, by the vending machines on the main floor) and ask for Christopher Jensen. I'm usually around, and have official office hours from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Reaver 1.1

I found this on TecNetSol the other day, an interesting chink in the armor of WPA/WPA2.  You can download and compile the source and everything.  Discussion?

TacNetSol's Reaver1.1