Linux Wireless

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Template:Linux If you are new to Linux, this article is not for you


Wireless Utilities



First you'll need to download linux-acu-driver-v21.tar.gz from the Cisco website and put it in /usr/portage/distfiles/ Now you can get the client-utils

#emerge cisco-aironet-client-utils

Launch the aironet-client-utiltiy with:


Now this user interface has to be taken with a grain of salt. It is in fact, so salty that you should not even use it.

Kernel Configuration

You may or may not need to recompile your kernel since some distributions tend to include everything as a module.

First step is to figure out what kind of Wireless Card you have.

#lspci | grep Wireless

The output of the previous command should look similar to this:

02:02.0 Network controller: AIRONET Wireless Communications Cisco Aironet Wireless...

Compile in the Cisco/Aironet 34X/35X/4500/4800 ISA and PCI cards under Device Drivers > Network device support > Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) Select whichever you have (PCMCIA or ISA/PCI) After you have compiled in or as a module you should now see another ethernet device (eth1 in my case)

Cisco / LEAP Authenication by Command Line Interface

If the computer recognizes the Cisco card, you can just try using the leapset command line program which will ask for a username and password. Then you can use dhcpcd on the interface to obtain an IP address.

To reduce typing make a script

/opt/cisco/bin/leapscript UANETID PASSWORD
dhcpcd eth1

Intel PROSet

Intel did not write a Linux driver, however, there is an open source solution. A utility called "ipw2200"

Kernel Configuration

Networking --->
   [*] Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack

Device Drivers --->
   Generic Driver Options --->
      [*] Hotplug firmware loading support
   Network Device support --->
      Wireless LAN (non-hamradio) --->
        [*] Wireless LAN drivers (non-hamradio) & Wireless Extensions

Cryptographic options --->
   [*] Cryptographic API
     <*> AES cipher algorithms (i586)
     <*> ARC4 cipher algorithm
     <*> Michael MIC keyed digest algorithm
     <*> CRC32c CRC algorithm (this wasn't prompted in the emerge of ipw2200)

Getting and installing the Intel utilities

Once you have the proper driver installed. Load the appropriate modules ex:

#modprobe ipw2200

You should now have a wireless interface (most likely eth1), so bring it up:

#ifconfig eth1 up

WPA Supplicant

Most distributions have the wireless-tools package. It will need to be installed. Gentoo users can emerge wireless-tools. Wpa_supplicant is required to connect. If there are no packages this in the distribution used, compiling by the source may be an option. Source Code. Gentoo users can emerge wpa_supplicant. Assistance with compiling software can be found in room 52c in Bierce Library. After having wpa_supplicant installed, the wpa_supplicant.conf file should contain the following:

File: /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
         identity="UANET ID"

Now that the wpa_supplicant is installed, launch it with:

#wpa_supplicant -i eth1 -D wext -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
Note: The location of the configuration file may be different than above.

Note: if the ipw driver is used and the above does not work, try "-D ipw"

Get an IP with the following command:

#dhcpcd eth1
Note: The 'dhcpcd' command may not be availible, the distribution may use another client.


The University of Akron now supports PEAP wireless authentication. Linux is compatible with the University's implementation of PEAP through use of the WAP supplicant. For best results please use the following configuration template.

File: /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Profile Utilities

There are not too many programs available for wireless profile management. But here is a small list to try

  • gtkwifi
  • gwifiapplet
  • kwifimanager (Does not have LEAP support.)
  • NetworkManager (Currently does not support phase2 which is required.)
  • KNetworkManager (Same issue as NetworkManager)
  • wifi-radar

See Also

Wireless Setup