Lucid Tips

Easily understood tips that make your computing experience easier

Wireless using W200 on openSUSE 11.0

In March I had written a post related to Wireless using W200 on openSUSE 10.3 which happens to be one of the most viewed entry on this blog. Since I wrote that post openSUSE 11.0 has been released and hence am posting an updated version of this howto.

Disclaimer:

  1. The instructions below have worked for me and tested on Compaq EVO N610c running openSUSE 11.0 (2.6.25.11-0.1-pae). YMMV. I am not responsible for loss of data or damage to your machine.
  2. Using KNetwork Manager with W200 causes system to hang up. Use ifup instead. (On SUSE forums it has been mentioned that my post is wrong and you do not need to disable KNetwork Manager. However I have to admit I have not figured out a way to make W200 work with KNetwork Manager).
  3. I have only tested with WEP. Do not know the status of WPA/WPA2. If you do test with WPA/WPA2 I would appreciate your feedback.
  4. You need to repeat these steps after any kernel updates.

Prerequisites

Check your kernel version

uname -r

Using YaST Software Management install the following packages

cpp43
curl
gcc
kernel-source
linux-kernel-headers
make
subversion

Configure the kernel

Before we proceed further we need to configure the kernel source

cd /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/build/
su
(root password)
cp /boot/config-$(uname -r) .config
make oldconfig
make prepare

Downlading the driver

Download the suitable revision of the orinoco_usb driver from SVN. For me revision 1300 has worked correctly.

svn co -r 1300 https://orinoco.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/orinoco/branches/usb/

Compile and install the driver

cd usb
make
sudo make install

Download the firmware

The firmware directory has a script that makes this task easier

cd firmware
./get_ezusb_fw

Copy firmware to appropriate location

sudo cp orinoco_ezusb_fw /lib/firmware

Activating the adapter

Almost there … load driver into the kernel

sudo /sbin/modprobe -v orinoco_usb

The tiny green light on the side of W200 should come on. Eureka!!! (if it did not come on, try rebooting)

Disable KNetwork Manager and Configure wireless card

  1. Start YaST and select Network Devices->Network Settings
  2. You should see “Compaq WLAN Multiport W200″ listed there with “Not configured” in the IP Address column
  3. Before we proceed we need to disable use of KNetwork Manager. Click on “Global Options” tab and select “ifup” instead of KNetwork Manager
  4. Click on “Overview” tab
  5. Select “Compaq WLAN Multiport W200″ and click the “Edit” button
  6. Click on “General” tab. Select “At Boot Time” under “Device Activation”
  7. Click on “Address Tab”. Select “Dynamic Address DHCP” or Statically Assigned IP Address depending on your network setup.
  8. Click on “Next” button
  9. On Wireless Device Settings select “Managed” under “Operating Mode” and other options to match your network settings (reminder I have only tested with WEP. If you do test with WPA/WPA2 do send me your feedback)
  10. Click “Next” button
  11. Click “Finish” button

Configure Wireless Connection

Now you need to configure the wireless connection and since we have disabled KNetwork Manager all this needs to be done via command line. It is very easy to do and the command that does this is iwconfig.

iwconfig <interface> essid <ESSID> key <wirelesskey> mode <managed|master|secondary|ad-hoc|monitor|repeater|auto>

Example (Open Terminal Window and run)

sudo /usr/sbin/iwconfig eth1 essid "Linksys" key abcd1234 mode managed

susegeek has a good post on using iwconfig to configure wireless.

You now need to stop start your wireless card for the changes to take effect. Open Terminal Window and run

sudo /sbin/ifdown eth1
sudo /sbin/ifup eth1

Testing

Open Terminal Window and run

/sbin/ifconfig

to see if you have obtained IP address.

The final step of the journey is to make sure you can surf the internet. To truly test this we should disable the wired network card

sudo /sbin/ifdown eth0

Now see if you are able to traceroute

/usr/sbin/traceroute www.google.com

If you did not get any errors you should be able to launch Firefox or Konqueror and surf your favorite web sites.

Prevent KNetwork Manager from auto starting

KNetwork Manager hangs while using W200. I have not been able to figure out how to get W200 to work with KNetwork Manager. In SUSE forms it has been mentioned that my instructions are incorrect and KNetwork Manager does work with W200 if you use wpa_supplicant package. I would appreciate if someone could tell me how :) I can update this post entry which could help other openSUSE users as well.

To prevent KNetwork Manager from auto starting when machine is started open the Terminal Window and run the following command

sudo mv /opt/kde3/share/autostart/knetworkmanager-autostart.desktop $HOME/

Modify boot.local file

In my testing I noticed that when the laptop was rebooted the DNS settings would not stick. I got around this by modifying the /etc/init.d/boot.local file

sudo vi /etc/init.d/boot.local

and add the line

/sbin/dhclient eth1

Save the file and reboot the laptop and ensure you are able to connect to the internet via the wireless card.

Final Thoughts

I am not sure why I had to run iwconfig in addition to wireless card configuration made via YaST. Maybe just running dhclient would have sufficed but the steps above are the sequence I followed and it worked out all right. I would appreciate your feedback. Good luck!!!

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2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Boris December 31st, 2008 8:17 am

    Hi, Thanks for the very clear explanation of the installation steps.
    Your instructions helped me to set-up
    SpeedTouch 120 (Alcatel) USB Wireless Adapter
    on
    MSI K7T266 PRO2-RU; AMD Athlon 1.4GHz; 768Mb DRAM
    with
    openSUSE 11.0 (2.6.25.11-0.1-pae) GNOME

    By the way I did not disable the use of Network Manager. I was able to set up my network connection with GNOME Network Manager. It works fine.

  2. Boris January 6th, 2009 9:15 am

    As stated above, the orinoco_usb driver works for SpeedTouch 120, but my system often freezes (usually within 10 minutes after the wireless connection is established).

    I’m still debugging the problem. However, in the /var/log/messages I found the following events that are occurring at the time of system freeze:

    [CODE]
    Dec 5 11:58:35 linux-396d avahi-daemon[2305]: Registering new address record for 10.0.0.252 on eth1.IPv4.
    Dec 5 11:58:35 linux-396d dhclient: bound to 10.0.0.252 — renewal in 1584 seconds.
    Dec 5 11:58:36 linux-396d nm-dispatcher.action: Script ‘/etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/autofs’ exited with error status 1.
    Dec 5 11:58:36 linux-396d if-up.d/21-dhcpcd-hook-samba: No dhcpcd info nor dhclient leases file found for eth1.
    Dec 5 11:58:37 linux-396d kernel: eth1: no IPv6 routers present
    Dec 5 11:58:37 linux-396d SuSEfirewall2: Setting up rules from /etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2 …
    Dec 5 11:58:37 linux-396d SuSEfirewall2: using default zone ‘ext’ for interface eth0
    Dec 5 11:58:37 linux-396d SuSEfirewall2: batch committing…
    Dec 5 11:58:37 linux-396d SuSEfirewall2: Firewall rules successfully set
    Dec 5 11:58:37 linux-396d nm-dispatcher.action: Script ‘/etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/nfs’ exited with error status 2.
    Dec 5 11:58:38 linux-396d nm-dispatcher.action: Script ‘/etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/smbfs’ exited with error status 6.
    Dec 5 12:03:34 linux-396d syslog-ng[1713]: syslog-ng version 1.6.12 starting
    [/CODE]

    Apparently the GNOME Network Manager also hangs with this driver.