[ale] Wifi problem with Linux

Geoffrey esoteric at 3times25.net
Mon Aug 15 20:19:06 EDT 2005

Joe Knapka wrote:
> Jim Lynch <ale_nospam at fayettedigital.com> writes:
>>I just got back from a long trip around the country and had my laptop 
>>with a wireless card along to keep up with email.  In a few cases I was 
>>never able to get connected at hotels that advertised access.  I wasn't 
>>able to run Windows 'cause I screwed up the networking settings by 
>>installing an Earthlink POS that appears to have trashed something and 
>>now my wireless card isn't recognized by windows any longer but that's 
>>another story.
>>The question is, "Is there something that would prevent me from getting 
>>a connection on Linux?" 
> Yes. Having the SSID set to the wrong value will do it. The SSID is a
> string value that identifies a network; each access point and NIC that
> participates in a particular wifi link needs to share the same
> SSID. In Windows XP, the OS tells you which SSIDs are available and
> lets you pick one to connect with. In Linux, there are tools to let
> you do that (I guess iwlist and kismet are two, though I've never used
> them). From the command line in Linux, the "iwconfig" command (with no
> args) will tell you the configuration of each wifi card in your
> system, and
>   iwconfig wlanX essid "NETWORK NAME"
> will set the SSID for adapter wlanX to NETWORK NAME, and
>   iwconfig wlanX essid any
> will disable SSID checking and let the card attach to any
> available network.

But that doesn't list available networks.  I was talking about 
identifying available networks.  By doing this, you can at least see if 
there's anything out there to connect to.

If you want the gui version, kwifimanager does a pretty decent job of 
managing your card and search for existing networks.  Gives a good 
'picture' of the card status.

for the command line, iwlist gives a good bit of data based on available 

iwlist interface scan

kismet is a whole different animal.  It requires setting up and configuring.

Until later, Geoffrey

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