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The curse of the wireless

Whether you believe or not, Linux user always have problem with their wireless things. Didn’t you? The problems may be the hardware, the driver itself, the UI, and so on. The others got lucky have it works by default. I always never success with network manager on Slackware by the way.


I used to use wicd. I recently upgraded my Slackware to 13.37 and I plan to install wicd again later. Wicd or other similar programs is just a tool to helps to make connectivity easier to you. Just a tool, or shortcut. Do you remember Inaudible Melodies‘s Jack Johnson? Yes, shortcut can slow you down :-D.  Ok, Jack’s statement is not some kinda we have to argued to. He maybe right. But people use shortcut not always wrong. The important thing about shortcut is you have to know what exactly “the shortcut” does for you. Once you got it, you are one step leading the shortcut. Actually, computers is all about shortcut. You’ve know that well.

Connect as Human

Alright, let’s remember how you connect your laptop to the WiFi in public places. First of all, you make sure your RF device is turn on. Usually you used combination of Fn key + F(numbers) to activate/deactivate it. In this point, I have a problem too. Sometimes my RF LED always lights green and sometimes not at all. But the combination still work. The “TX-Power” should not off if it activated. You can check it by simply iwconfig. The second thing, you scan the available WiFi and generally you will choose the highest signal. The last thing, you connect to that WiFi. Normally, WiFi can be divided into two, open and protected.  If it open you will automatically connected, and if it protected you will be asked for a password. If it matched you’ll connected.

Meet Mr. Shell

Now, we will do those things with shell (konsole/terminal/xterm). Assume that your hardware have supported, and you just not install wicd yet, just like me. Let’s make it in lines:

1. #ifconfig wlan0 up

If the RF is deactivated, “SIOCSIFFLAGS: Operation not possible due to RF-kill” will show up

2. #iwlist wlan0 scan

#iwconfig wlan0 essid “TheESSIDName”

You will get a lot of return but you may consider just  the “ESSID”, and “Encryption key” whether it on or off.

3. #dhcpcd wlan0

This is how you requesting the IP address from the DHCP Server.

That’s it. Simple enough, right? And when you see the “Encryption key:onthat means the WiFi is protected, then you just need a little extra time to be connected. Don’t worry. Not that hard ;-)

1. #vi /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Edit only “ssid” and “psk”, man wpa_supplicant.conf will explain you better.


2. #wpa_supplicant -iwlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -B

Run that command and now try man wpa_supplicant. That maybe helps you

Then repeat request the IP address.

    #dhcpcd wlan0

Done. I’ll see you in the air…

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