Hardware drivers in Linux

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Postby SiriusHardware » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:57 pm

greg.d wrote:Is your router set to WPA/WPA2 mixed mode? If so try setting it to WPA2 only. We had an issue with our wireless whereby older android phones would not connect to it if it was set to mixed mode, it may be something similar...

Greg


Hi Greg- interesting idea, easy to try so I forced WPA2_PSK mode on the router. It has changed the situation slightly - now, the Linux machine will appear to connect to it (and stay connected) but when I try to do anything on the internet, it doesn't work (site not found).

Summary so far:
Unsecured networks: Works fine, including internet

WEP (128-bit): Works fine, including internet

WPA/WPA2-PSK
-with the router set to mixed WPA/WPA2 mode, the Linux machine can not connect - behaviour is as though the passphrase is wrong (but it is not).
-with the the router forced to WPA2-PSK only, the Linux machine appears to connect successfully sometimes as though the passphrase is correct, but no internet communication is possible.

I'm going to try El Chapulin's suggestion of converting the key to raw hex and seeing if that makes a difference. I'll also post the latest results from dmesg later.
Last edited by SiriusHardware on Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SiriusHardware » Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:03 pm

Current situation: Still the Ralink card
-OK on Unsecured including internet access
-OK on WEP including internet access
-With router forced to WPA-PSK2 only, the Linux machine appears to connect and stay connected, but no internet activity is possible (site not found, etc).

This was the case using the original plain-text passphrase, and is exactly the same if the hashed (converted to a hex string) version is entered instead. On a whim, I tried connecting with a deliberately wrong password. Then, the machine tried to connect for about 20 seconds, after which the "Wireless Network Authentication Required" Box popped up, inviting me to try again. So it does seem to know the difference between the right passphrase and the wrong passphrase.

With the right passphrase, it appears to connect to the network successfully, but still not to the internet.

el chapulín wrote:If you're still using the ralink, this is a long shot, but verify that the firmware is being loaded:

Code: Select all
$ dmesg | grep -i firmware




Ok, the result of that is: Nothing (no result at all).

However, if I go into 'Connection information' while the wireless connection is supposedly connected, I see the following information:

Code: Select all

ACTIVE NETWORK CONNECTIONS

Auto (Network name)

Interface: 802.11 WiFi (wlan0)

Driver: RT2800pci

Speed: Highly variable, anywhere from single figures to 60-70MB or so - it changes every few seconds.

Security: WPA/WPA2

IP Address: 192.168.2.3 (The base IP of the router is 192.168.2.1)



So it gets as far as being assigned an IP address. If I look up the assigned ip addresses of two other (Windows) PCs connected to the network just now and ping them, I get an immediate response, for example

Code: Select all
ping 192.168.2.4


gives

Code: Select all
PING 192.168.2.4 [192.168.2.4] 56 [84] bytes of data


Any thoughts?
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Postby Ram » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:31 pm

Under Default Route:
Does it list your Primary and Secondary DNS IPs ?

lubuntu LXDE 13.10 running on AMD Phenom II*4; ASUS Crosshair III Formula MB; 4 GB Ram.....
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Postby SiriusHardware » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:06 am

Ram wrote:Under Default Route:
Does it list your Primary and Secondary DNS IPs ?


Can't answer that just now because I unpacked the new, alternative wireless card (A TP-Link TL-WN851ND version 1.1), put it in and it really did just work, just like that, on WPA-PSK2.

Since it replaced the Ralink card which was wlan0, it became wlan0 when I fitted it and it just picked up the configuration originally set for the Ralink card to use. Pretty fast, as well.

At £11, I have to say it seems to have been well worth the outlay - the surprising thing is that this card is not advertised as Linux compatible - there isn't even any mention of Linux on the box, but it uses an Atheros chipset which is evidently decently supported by Linux. I only chose it because several people on a review site mentioned that it 'just worked' for them in Linux.

I'll look at the Primary / Secondary DNS ips under the working card, and then put the Ralink card back in to see what they are, or if they are there at all. It would still be nice to crack the last hurdle with the Ralink RT3060 card - it is relatively modern and sold as 'Linux compatible', so this is likely to arise again some time.

I may have to try compiling the driver supplied (in compile it yourself form) on the Edimax disc. The firmware-ralink package (even the version 0.35 one from backports) - still does not specifically mention the RT3060, although it mentions practically every other device in the range.
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Postby el chapulín » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:00 pm

SiriusHardware wrote:
Code: Select all
$ dmesg | grep -i firmware


Ok, the result of that is: Nothing (no result at all).

Very odd, if you do install the card again you could try:

Code: Select all
$ dmesg | grep -i rt2800pci

It should have shown the driver requesting the firmware, even if the firmware was not found there should have been errors, but this can differ from one driver to the next.
SiriusHardware wrote:Driver: RT2800pci

At least the correct driver was in use. and perhaps in this case nothing is good.

A DNS problem was also a possibility. But it's strange that the new wireless card assumed an alias of wlan0 and just worked on the same config. (it should have been wlan1)
SiriusHardware wrote:...and sold as 'Linux compatible', so this is likely to arise again some time.

I wouldn't pay any heed to that, as it simply means that the manufacturer provides drivers, it doesn't mean that the drivers are any good or up to date (or will be kept up to date).

Atheros was probably a good choice. I would stick with it and leave well enough alone. £0.02
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Postby SiriusHardware » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:03 pm

el chapulín wrote:
You could try...



Code: Select all
$ dmesg | grep -i rt2800pci


I'll give that a shot when I do try the other card back in there. At the moment I'm just wallowing in the luxury of having a working Linux Wifi connection: But it annoys me that the other card has managed to defeat me thus far.

SiriusHardware wrote:...and sold as 'Linux compatible', so this is likely to arise again some time.


el chapulin wrote:I wouldn't pay any heed to that, as it simply means that the manufacturer provides drivers, it doesn't mean that the drivers are any good or up to date (or will be kept up to date).


You see, that's one of those annoying little differences between Linux and Windows that I mentioned earlier... when the manufacturer says it's Windows compatible it usually really does mean it.

I would say there is a tendency for Linux users to have to stay maybe a year or two behind the hardware leading edge, because it takes a while (understandably) for the Linux community to come up with what the manufacturer supplied for Windows on hardware launch day. That's the biggest problem with my Ralink card: It's too new at the moment.

Where Linux does score (I now realise) is the way it continually, eventually, tries to support every item of hardware known to man - if there is an item of hardware anywhere in the world, there are probably a few hackers / enthusiasts who want it to work on Linux and may even manage to make it so eventually. It hasn't happened with my Ralink RT3060 based Edimax card yet, but who knows? In the meantime I'll put it back in the Windows machine it came out of.

el chapulin wrote:Atheros was probably a good choice. I would stick with it and leave well enough alone. £0.02


Ah, that's your two pence worth? :)

I'm a hardware technician (electronics) by trade and I'm a strong believer in the maxim "If it isn't broken, don't fix it"... but I also hate faults which appear to be unfixable.

Anyway, thanks, you (and others) have been incredibly patient and helpful and I've learned quite a bit which will remain useful as I continue to forge bravely onwards into Linux-land, much appreciated.
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