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Old 01-09-2011, 02:50 PM
thenrie thenrie is offline
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Default Been away for a while...back. wifi connection problem
I've been away from PCBSD for a while, running straight FBSD. I recently bought a Netgear WNDR3400 wireless router to replace a Netgear WNR854T that was acting up. Everything in my house hooked right up with no changes to any settings, except my FBSD laptop. After fiddling with every setting I know how to change, I decided to upgrade my FBSD to 8.1-RELEASE while I was messing around. That led me back to PCBSD. I like what I have seen so far....except that I still can't connect. I disabled all the lagg failover stuff while I try to figure this thing out.

Computer is a Toshiba P15-S409 (dang thing just won't die) with an Atheros 5212.

Anyway, ath0 says associated, wlan0 says associated, set to WPA DHCP in rc.conf,

wpa_supplicant is set to
network={
ssid="*****"
psk="*****" (my passkey is a simple 10-letter word of ASCII characters with a couple numbers and a capital letter)
}

rc.conf is set to

wlans_ath0="wlan0"
ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"

My router shows my laptop is connected, shows the mac address, but does not assign an address and does not see the hostname. Router's security setting is WPA-PSK[TKIP] + WPA2-PSK[AES]. I have checked and double, triple, etc, checked the passkey.

ifconfig on my computer shows the following for ath0:

ath0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 2290
ether 00:**:**:**:**:** (my machine's mac address)
media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11g
status: associated

wlan0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 2290
ether 00:**:**:**:**:** (my machine's mac address)
media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet OFDM/54Mbps mode 11g
status: associated
ssid ******** channel 6 (2437 MHz 11g) bssid e0:**:**:**:**:**
regdoman 100 indoor ecm authmode WPA2/802.11i privacy ON
deftxkey UNDEF TKIP 2:128-bit txpower 20 bmiss 7 scanvalid 450 bgscan
bgscanintvl 300 bgscanidle 250 roam:rssi 7 roam:rate 5 protmode CTS
wme burst roaming MANUAL

Now, I would have just connected the ethernet cable and pasted the whole thing here, but my Realtek won't hook up either, so I have no Internet communication on my laptop.

I have tried to connect with no encryption at all, completely open, and get the same thing with both rl0 and ath0. Associated, but no info passing. Can't ping (no path to host), router sees the mac address, but not the hostname and won't assign a DHCP address. I have even tried static addresses for both ath0 and rl0 (192.168.1.5) with the same results.

I'm pulling my hair out here. Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by thenrie; 01-09-2011 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:07 PM
semin semin is offline
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Try this (very odd) workaround:
  1. Before start up the PCBSD machine make sure that network cable (or usb network adapter) is plugged onto the laptop
  2. Start up the PCBSD machine
  3. Wait until PCBSD and KDE are fully launched. At this stage the network device status shows "associated" but the Internet is not working on this laptop.
  4. Unplug the network cable/usb network adapter
  5. Right click on the network icon in systray, pick "Restart the Network" and enter root's password.
  6. Plug the network cable or usb network adapter back to the laptop
  7. Wait for 5-10 seconds (?). Or launch a browser to kill your time.
  8. See if you can now browse websites or if your Internet is working or not.

If this "unplug/restart network/replug" method works, you are having exactly the same problem as mine, of which the reason is still of mystery. See this thread for more information.

Also in my trial I also noticed that disabling lagg failover stuff results in no address being assigned to the machine even if the "unplug/restart network/replug" method is deployed, so just leave your rc.conf as is.

Last edited by semin; 01-09-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:42 PM
thenrie thenrie is offline
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Thanks, I'll give that work-around a shot and see if it gets my ethernet working at least. Since things were working with the wnr854T, but not with the WNDR3400, I expect it is something with the router, even though the box indicates it is compatible with unix.

As I read the 8.X FBSD documentation, it appears the NICs now need either wlans or vlans to function, so if you disable the lagg, etc in rc.conf, you need to create a vlan for the ethernet adapter to function. That's why my rc.conf has the wlans_ath0="wlan0" line, per the example on the wlans man page.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:34 AM
thenrie thenrie is offline
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Update: I worked all evening, trying everything I could find that might possibly be an issue. Nothing worked on ath0 or rl0. I finally tried enabling the guest account on my router with no encryption and my wifi hooked right up. Still can't seem to get rl0 to connect. The issue must be with the router's encryption protocols. So, until I figure this out, I am on the Internet with no encryption. No big deal right now. Nothing on my system to be worried about yet. Hope I figure it out soon, though.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:48 AM
Ole Juul Ole Juul is offline
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I haven't done the search for this, but are you absolutely sure that the driver supports the wireless encryption you are trying to use? I'm not very experienced with wireless, but I recently set up a couple of wireless USB devices on Debian systems. On one device, the driver was iffy and wouldn't do a number of functions such as scanning. On another, it supported WPA1 but not WPA2. It took me a bit of trial and error to find that out. Anyway, my point is that open source drivers for these things can have varying functionality. It's not what the device can do but what the driver can do.

Edit: I see you've covered the WPA/WPA2 thing in your first post. Although I suppose it could still be the driver, here is another "out of the blue" idea. I notice on the Kubuntu forum that at least half of the networking (mostly wireless) problems which people come with are solved by simply uninstalling Knetworkmanager. I'm not familiar enough with PC-BSD yet (and currently only connected with a terminal) but is the same software incorporated here? If so, it is highly suspect in screwing up networking in mysterious ways. (It is unknown exactly what the bug is and the developer is not looking into it.)

Last edited by Ole Juul; 01-13-2011 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:58 PM
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kmoore134 kmoore134 is offline
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Default Been away for a while...back. wifi connection problem
I know Dru has mentioned she has a wireless chipset where the driver
doesn't work properly with encryption. But there are a lot of fixes in
8.2 / 9, so maybe this is already fixed in a newer cut?
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:57 PM
thenrie thenrie is offline
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I guess I'll try try 8.2 and see. Nothing to lose at this point. I've had to reinstall PCBSD twice now, since I keep crashing it because of the wifi/reboot bug, so there isn't any info on the computer to lose.

I don't really think it is a FreeBSD or PCBSD issue, although I'm not sure, because everything was fine with my Netgear WNR854T, except the router kept dropping connections. The kids were complaining. When I installed the Netgear WNDR3400, all the windows and Apple computers hooked right up, but my FBSD8.1-RELEASE computer would not hook up to the new router, neither wired or wireless. After working with that for a few days, I crashed it and decided I would take a look at PCBSD again (my first version was 1.5, I think). I was quite pleased with what I saw and installed it, but with the same results. As I stated above, I finally got it to hook up wireless on the "guest account" with no encryption, but I can't see anything else on the network, even though I can ping the other computers and my NAS. Still can't get ethernet connection.

I reinstalled PCBSD again last night and got ethernet connection, but as soon as I used the network setting utility to change the hostname, I lost it and no matter what I did I could not get it back. So that, in fact, might be a PCBSD issue, although I had the same experience with straight FBSD8.1 on the new router. I can get "active" in ifconfig, but no data passes. Yesterday, before my last crash, I was, in fact, able to get some data to pass on the ethernet by setting ath0 to one static IP and wlan0 to another. My router showed both connected, showed both IPs, I could ping other components on my network, but still no Internet connection. Goofy. Then I changed a couple things, trying to get Internet, like eliminating the IP from one then the other, and ended up losing the connection and never got it back....then the wireless reboot bug kicked in and crashed the system.

As for wifi, I don't think there is any permutation of settings in rc.conf that I have not tried. I keep getting "associated" with ath0 and wlan0, but no IP and no data. That says encryption problem to me, but I don't have the expertise to say for sure. It could be a firewall setting in the router, but if so, there is no way to fix it, because I have shut off all encryption and firewall settings on the router and still cannot get any data to pass on the 2.4GMHz local user network channels. Again, unencrypted, it hooks right up on the "Guest network" channel.

After working through everything I know how to do, and trying a few suggestions that are beyond my working knowledge, and after a couple new crashes and reinstalls, I figure my old laptop is costing me more time than it is worth to keep trying. I have to admit that my infatuation with FBSD and PCBSD is more like playing a video game than actual productivity, and I am spending way too much time playing with it:] I've had fun learning to use FBSD, though. I'm no IT person, and not very smart, but it has been fun.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:59 AM
Ole Juul Ole Juul is offline
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I have done a bit of searching and realize now that PC-BSD does not use the Knetworkmanager. However, that does not mean that what it does use is perfect. I don't have any complaints myself but judging by what you say there could be a problem in your case.


Quote:
thenrie: I reinstalled PCBSD again last night and got ethernet connection, but as soon as I used the network setting utility to change the hostname, I lost it and no matter what I did I could not get it back.

You got an ethernet connection so we know it works. Then you tried to configure it and it didn't work. That does sound suspiciously like a configuration utility problem. Although user error is always a possibility, when using some program for configuration then that program could be suspect if something goes wrong.

Regarding changing hostname, I have PC-BSD experience with that. When I set up this system I did the easy thing and just let it do what it wanted and allow DHCP. Once I saw things working I changed what I wanted. Being a lazy sort, I quickly found that most of the information goes in /etc/rc.conf and I could just change things there - no muss, no fuss. There is an entry there like this:

Quote:
hostname="whaterveritwasbefore"
and I just changed that to my choice and there were no problems. I want static addresses for all my machines and the information for that went into that file too with no problems.

Anyway, I don't have the expertise to solve your problem, but just want to point out that everything you say hints at things related to the either the configuration manager or the hardware (chipset) interface. I'd try changing each of those (one at a time) in this particular case, but that's just my opinion.

Edit: I just re-read your last post and realized that you said you were re-installing the OS when you crashed. Perhaps I'm a bit thick, but what is the reason for doing that?

Last edited by Ole Juul; 01-14-2011 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:34 AM
Ole Juul Ole Juul is offline
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I was looking into it some more and I notice you didn't mention the /boot/loader.conf file. Also, there is a good thread regarding wireless on the FreeBSD forum. In fact you might want to post your problem over there.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:38 PM
thenrie thenrie is offline
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BTDT. I have tried using the network manager and using rc.conf. I read the thread you mentioned on loader.conf, and tried all the suggested settings, but no joy. Actually, I think all the things he mentions in that thread are already built into the kernel of PCBSD, so loading the modules through loader.conf is redundant.

Thanks for the effort, though. Whatever it is, it's beyond my level of expertise.
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