Update "Wireless Communication from the sources"
Dr. Edgar Alwers
edgaralwers at gmx.de
Sun Apr 2 09:00:38 PDT 2006
I am re-submitting the hint. It passed the checkHintscript, was wrapped at 80
with "Kate" and the result looks very much like the example on
"howtowrite.html" , I hope it is now OK ;-)
Dr.-Ing. Edgar Alwers
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AUTHOR:Dr. Edgar Alwers <edgaralwers at gmx.de>
LICENSE:GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.2
SYNOPSIS:Wireless Communication from the sources
BLFS 6.x with kernel 2.6.15. Older kernels shoud work accordingly, with the
This is a Hint explaining how to prepare a PC for wireless communication with
the Internet and how to put it into operation. I solved this problem with the
help of hints and advices given by many persons, and working through lots of
papers, many of them not beeing actual anymore at this time.
The object I had to deal with is an 'Acer' TravelMate 291LCi with Intel
Centrino Mobile Technology, equiped with an Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG
(IEEE 802.11b/g) chip. The Laptop communicates with an 54 Mbps Wireless
Netgear ADSL Firewall Router DG834G as access point However, there are good
chances, that this hint may also be applied to other PC's with other drivers.
If you cannot obtain a native Linux driver for your wireless NIC, you may
want to try 'ndiswrapper', a package that will allow to load a Windows driver
The kernel compiled is version 2.6.15. This kernel includes already the driver
ipw2200-1.0.8 and the iee802 subsystem and you may ask, why to build this two
items additionally. I experienced serious difficulties not compiling them and
decided to become independent from the kernel.
This second issue of the hint deals with additional instructions, how to
operate a PC in a wireless field under a DHCP Server ( Dynamic Host Configura-
tion Protocol ) providing IP's to the clients. This is the probably situation
which will be found in most public locations, like airports, hotels etc.
Kernel v. 2.6.15
Configuring the kernel:
Generic driver options->
Hotplug firmware loading support
Network device support->
Wireless LAN (non-harmradio)->
Wireless LAN drivers & Wireless
ARC4 cipher algorithm (Modul)
compile and install the kernel according to the instructions of the book
'Linux From Scratch'
Scripts that react upon hotplug events generated by the kernel
Install hotplug according to the instructions given e.g. In the LFS-Book
SVN-20060125, Chapter 6.49
Programs for dynamic creation of device nodes
make DESTDIR=/ EXTRAS="extras=firmware extras/run_directory"
make DESTDIR=/ EXTRAS="extras=firmware extras/run_directory" install
install -m644 -D -v docs/writing_udev_rules/index.html /usr/share/doc/udev/
Check that 'firmware_helper', 'udev_run_devd' and 'udev_run_hotplugd' are
installed in the /sbin directory.
Download the new udev-rules developed by Jim Gifford's cross lfs team
Untar the file, change to the 'udev-cross-lfs' directory and enter
'make install'. This installs the new udev-rules in /etc/udev/rules.d
Kernel subsystem dealing with communications security
Untar the file, change to the ieee80211-1.1.12 directory and enter make,
Includes headerfiles in /lib/modules/2.6.15/net
Download the Firmware
Untar the file in the directory /lib/firmware. Seven files ipw-2.4-xxx.fw
will be found there after untaring
INTEL PRO/WIRELESS DRIVER :
Driver that works on the Intel hardware adapter PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network
Download the driver
Untar the file, change to the ipw2200-1.0.10 directory and enter make, make
install. ( as su )
I experienced serious problems compiling the new driver versions 1.0.12 and
1.0.13, so I would advice to stick to the above one for the time beeing.
The driver requires the firmware image as well as the ieee80211 module
installed. "sysfs" should be already mounted.
See also the INSTALL file for more instructions
THE WIRELESS TOOLS:
Set of tools that allows to manipulate Wireless Extensions
Download the wireless tools:
Untar the file, change to the wireless_tools.27 directory and enter make,
Seven tools will be installed in /usr/local/sbin: iwconfig, iwlist, ifrename,
iwevent,iwgetid, iwpriv and iwspy
Make a link from KDE_Prefix/bin to /usr/local/sbin:
ln -s /usr/local/sbin/iwconfig KDE_Prefix/bin/iwconfig
THE DHCPCD CLIENT SOFTWARE:
Software to connect a computer to a network which uses DHCP to assign network
addresses.There are two alternatives: dhcp, which includes also the server
software, and dhcpcd, an implementation of the DHCP client specified in
RFC2131. I prefered dhcpcd, wich seems to be more simple.
Untar, change to the dhcpcd-2.0.1 directory and enter
./configure --prefix="" --sysconfdir=/var/lib
and, as superuser, make.
The reason for the prefix "" in the configuration command is explained in the
blfs-book, version 6.1, chapter 14. Install the network service script
/etc/sysconfig/network-devices/services/dhcpcd as indicated in the same place
BOOTING THE PC:
If everything went right, the PC boots and loads firmware and wireless-driver.
The corresponding booting messages will look like
ieee80211_crypt: registered algorithm 'NULL'
ieee80211: 802.11 data/management/control stack, 1.1.6
ieee80211: Copyright (C) 2004-2005 Intel Corporation <jketreno at linux.
ipw2200: Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2200/2915 Network Driver, 1.0.8
ipw2200: Copyright(c) 2003-2005 Intel Corporation
ACPI: PCI Interrupt Link [LNKG] enabled at IRQ 10
ACPI: PCI Interrupt 0000:01:02.0[A] -> Link [LNKG] -> GSI 10
(level, low) -> IRQ 10
ipw2200: Detected Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection
There are many prrograms that allows the monitoring of wireless communi-
cations. I installed two of them: 'kismet' and 'KWiFiManager'.
'kismet' is a small wireless network detector, sniffer and intrusion
Download 'kismet-2005-08-R1.tar.gz' from http://www.kismetwireless.net/
untar the file, enter make and make suidinstall. Run kismet the first time
as root. Kismet runs on a shell console.
'kwifimanager' is a KDE frontend program used to configure and monitor
wireless LAN cards. 'kwifimanager' is part of 'kdenetwork'. Download
kdenetwork_3.4.1.tar.bz2 and follow the instructions given e.g. in
BLFS - Version 6.1, chapter 29. Wireless tools should be installed before
building this packet.
CONFIGURING THE ROUTER - SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS:
during the installation of the wireless system, the safety options of the
router are deactivated. Now, it is time to activate them. Access the settings
menu of the router through a browser, entering something like
http://192.168.0.1. I activated WEP ( Wired Equivalent Privacy ) with 64 bit
encryption. You may consider a 125 bit encryption
Enter a password in the encryption field, and the router will generate four
keys, each one consisting of 10 characters, combining numbers 1 to 9 and
letters A-F, like:EC670531BE. The first of this four keys is the one beeing
Furthermore, the MAC-addresses ( Media Access Control ) of the laptop's and
PC's wich are allowed to access the router shoud be entered in the access
list 'trusted wireless stations'. You may get the MAC addresses from the list
of connected devices in the settings menu of the router or with the help of
a network exploration tool like 'nmap' ( Network Mapper ), in the last case
e.g. entering 'nmap -sP 192.168.0.1/22'
However, even a 125 bit encryption does not give a real security today.
According to a note contributed by Bryan Kadzban, real security can only be
obtained with WPA or WPA2 encryption. You may want to consider this, if you
have confidential data to transmit.
CONFIGURING THE PC FOR WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS:
immediately after the safety options of the router are activated, the PC will
not more be able to see the access point: the PC also needs to be configured.
Entering the command 'iwconfig eth1 key xxxxxxxxxx' enables the communi-
cation, but not permanently. For a permanent configuration, write a
shell-script e.g.'connect' in /etc/rc.d/init.d:
/usr/local/sbin/iwconfig eth1 key xxxxxxxxxx
and make this script executable: chmod ug+x connect. Make a symbolic link
in /etc/rc.d/rc3.d that points to this script:
ln -s /etc/rc.d/init.d/connect S19connect. The link should start with
something like S19, as the script should be run before the S20network script
is executed. For an unencrypted system, likely to be found on public places,
the command in the script should not contain a key:
Create a directory 'ifconfig.eth1' in '/etc/sysconfig/network-devices', and
cd to this directory.
For operation withouth DHCP create a ipv4 file:
IP=192.168.1.3 // the address of your box
GATEWAY=192.168.1.9 // the address of your router
and change GATEWAY_IF in /etc/sysconfig/network to eth1.
For operation with DHCP create instead ipv4 a file dhcpcd:
DHCP_START="eth1 -t 20"
# Set PRINTIP="yes" to have the script print
# the DHCP assigned IP address
# Set PRINTALL="yes" to print the DHCP assigned values for
# IP, SM, DG, and 1st NS. This requires PRINTIP="yes".
USING THE WIRELESS CONNECTION :
After booting, lsmod shows
Module Size Used by
ipw2200 176576 0
ieee80211 42664 1 ipw2200
ieee80211_crypt 4804 1 ieee80211
The command 'iwconfig eth1' entered in a console delivers
eth1 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:"Mannheim"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.462 GHz Access Point: 00:0A:B5:CF:64:28
Bit Rate=48 Mb/s Tx-Power=20 dBm
Retry limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Encryption key:57E4-DB3A-B1 Security mode:open
Link Quality=95/100 Signal level=-29 dBm Noise level=-86 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0
As the ONBOOT parameter was set to 'yes', the connection to the access point
is already activ.
The internet browser should be configured with direct access to the internet.
Opening the browser should establish immediately a connection.
USING THE WIRELESS CONNECTION UNDER A DHCP SERVER:
I experienced some problems starting the dhcpcd daemon during the boot
process. So I decided to set the ONBOOT parameter in the file
/etc/sysconfig/network-devices/ifconfig.eth1/dhcpcd to 'no', as indicated
above, and to start as 'su' a little script 'eth1_connect' :
After starting the daemon dhcpcd, the connection to the access point is
I have tryed to compile articles, informations, hints and answers to questions
I put in the BLFS-mailing list to this hint. Many thanks to all those who
contributed: Gabe Yoder, Andrew Benton, Alexander E. Patrakov, Jim Gifford,
David Fix, Rainer Peter Feller, Chris Staub, Randy McMurchy,
Jeremy Monnet, Stefan Krah, Bryan Kadzban.
LINKS AND LITERATURE:
Intel PRO/Wireless driver
Linux Wireless Networking
Wireless LAN Resources for Linux
The devices, the drivers... Jean Tourrilhes
Sane network interface management with Hotplug. Jean Tourrilhes
Remarks concerning safety considerations
Additional notes concerning DHCP-Server operation
Chapter "The DHCPCD Client Software"
Configuring the PC for operation under DHCP
Subsystem IEE80211-1.1.6 changed to IEE80211-1.1.12
Intel PRO/WIRELESS driver ipw2200-1.0.8 changed to ipw2200-1.0.10
Using the wireless connection under a DHCP server
More information about the hints