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Should I try a different Linux?

Should I try a different Linux?

Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
I have openSUSE, and can't get it to print or use the installed wireless card on this 4-yr.-old HP laptop. I could instead use Mandrake, Ubuntu (or Kubuntu, or edubuntu). It will only be used for internet access and word-processing/printing by guests in our office. Which one is easiest to configure on a Windows network?

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

check the http://tuxmobil.org/mylaptops.html site
and see if someone have tested your HP-laptop there
and which distro they used.
You might find some clues as to what distro to choose there.
I have run Ubuntu on an HP dv-6000 (approx 3-4 year old)
with great success, printing, wireless, bluetooth etc
worked without problem.
Didnt try suse on it.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
It looks like Ubuntu has been successfully tested on my laptop, with all hardware working right away. It doesn't mention printing on a Windows network, however. Thanks for that link- very nice to see it's been done on my laptop before.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
I just installed Ubuntu, and it easily found the network, showing all connected computers. I added the network printers and printed a test page with no trouble at all. The wireless light is on, but I still haven't gotten it to connect wirelessly. OpenSUSE didn't work with the wireless at all, so having the light  go on is a big improvement. I'll keep working on the connection- it might be a problem with the server or router rather than this laptop.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

CODE

sudo lspci -v
Shows you what hardware you have.
Check what your network interface is there.

CODE

ifconfig
iwconfig
and

CODE

cat /etc/network/interfaces
also reveales interesting info smile

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
Those show the two ethernet cards- wired and wireless, the wireless card has the correct configuration. The loopback works. I can also find it in Device Manager.

But if I open Firefox, it can't get to the internet.
I tried the manual configuration, and got nowhere, so I set it to enable roaming, it asked for the WEP code, and shows the bars indicating a good signal on the office network, but won't connect me. It keeps asking for the WEP 128-bit passphrase. I put it in, and a minute later, it asks again. At least I know there's communication between the wireless card and the router, but it still doesn't get me on the internet.

The room we want to use this laptop in doesn't have an ethernet plug, so I really need to get the wireless to work.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

What wireless card does the

CODE

sudo lspci -v
command show?
You might need a different driver for the card.

Have you tried using the Network Manager GUI to set up
your wireless connection?

BTW I think you need to disable the wired card when you
shall use the wireless card.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?


You might try these ideas if you haven't already.

1. Temporally turn off all security on the router and the pc.  Try to connect.  If this works, then it is a security problem.

2. Verify the pc is trying to connect to the correct router.  Check the SSID the pc is trying to connect to and what the SSID is on the router.  I had a problem where my pc was trying to connect to a neighbors router and ignoring my router setting right next to the pc.

3. If it connects, turn the security on on the router, then try turning on the security on the pc.

You may have to try the WEP code several different ways.  I had a similar problem.  Make sure you are using the same type code i.e. hex, passphrase, ECT.  When you type in the code, you may have to type the code in as one long code with no spaces or hyphens, or you may have to type it in 4 character blocks with or without spaces or hyphens, or 2 block characters with or without spaces or hyphens.

It seems different distributions and different routers require the code in different formats.

Good Luck

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
First, geirendre: Both cards show, Yes I used Network Manager to manually set up the wireless, and I don't have the wired plugged in. I'm writing this on a different computer.

Second- OldTechGuy: I did turn the security off on the router- it still demands a passphrase, which I put in, and it still doesn't connect. Yes it's showing that it should connect to the correct network. Actually I have no idea what security is on the pc, or how to find out or configure it if it's there. The code is one long string in Hex. The box it goes into doesn't indicate that I should do anything but enter the thing all at once.

I'm going to turn the security back on the router, and leave this for tomorrow morning. Thanks for the suggestions, and I hope you have some more.
Jill

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

Sorry I did'nt expain myself well enough.
I ment what brand of wireless card do you have?
Have you checked that it's supportet in Linux?

And I do'nt think it's enough just to unplug the
cabel, you need to make sure the wired network
is disabled in Network Manager too.

You can also try connecting from the commandline
and see if you get any info from the system then.

http://wirelessdefence.org/Contents/LinuxWirelessCommands.htm

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
I tried, and it wouldn't do what I wanted. I'm pretty sure now that the problem is the driver, or lack of one. Someone mentioned having to use ndiswrapper using Debian on this model laptop. So I downloaded it and the windows driver, and am trying to install. I get as far as "As root, run make install". I don't know how to be root in this Linux. I only know how to log in as the user, and enter the administrator password when it asks me to. I don't know what to do when it just tells me I don't have permission to do something. So starting from the login screen, how can I use the terminal as root? Or what do I need to do to be able to install programs, find directories, or make directories?
Thanks,
Jill

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

From a command line:  To login as root:  logout as user, login name:  root, then your root password.

For the long haul, you're much better off using "sudo" command, but you will need to configure the sudoers files first.  Try "man sudo" for more info.

If you are running Debian or a derivative, installing modules is best done using debian's module-assistant (m-a) program.  

You may have to download it (apt-get install m-a).  Then run m-a as root.  It will bring up a text-based interactive interface to walk you through compiling and installing the module.  It's the "Debian Way".  

Once you do that, you can run ndiswrapper to install the correct drivers and then install the module (modprobe ndiswrapper).  

Wireless NICs can be a big PITA with Linux because of the lack of driver support from manufacturers.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
It's Ubuntu that I'm using. sudo -i and a password got me logged in as root. But now that I'm there, I don't know how to install ndiswrapper . I have the download on a flashdrive, and the folder on the desktop. How can I get either of those into a directory from which I can install it?

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
The Synaptic Package Manager shows that ndiswrapper is already installed. So the question now is how do I get the windows driver files into it. They're still on the flashdrive- an .inf, a .sys and a .bin file. I've read about doing a "build", but I have no idea how to do that.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

I always set up root on Ubuntu.  To do that, you log in as a user, then do a "su -" and your password.  This puts you in as root with full root privileges.  Then type "passwd".  You will get a reply of 'password'.  Type your new password for root twice.  Then you can log in as root and use the root password.  

The confusion factor I have with Ubuntu is if you are trying to do something as a user and you need root privileges, the system will ask for password.  You need to give it your password as the system is setup to use sudo.

As for as turning off the security, it depends on the router, but someplace in the setup there should be a section for wireless.  Within there, there should be something about setting up the password, and on my routers you can set the strength of the password, the password, and there is a check box saying no password.  It probably will give you a nasty message saying this is not safe.  Since this is only for troubleshooting, don't worry about it.

I may not have been clear on how to enter the password on your pc.  The grouping as I mentioned is not indicated by the pc software.  I found it by trial and error (several days  ).  You just enter the password on the pc in the various ways.  You may or may not get error messages.  The only sure way to rule out one of the methods is if the pc stops taking input in the password field.

If you are being asked for the security key, I don't think ndis wrapper will fix you problem.  If you are being asked for the security key, that comes from the router, therefore you pc is talking to the router.

I found wireless is the most trouble to set up on Linux, any version and security makes it more of a problem.  When I was trying to get mine setup, people would try to help, and many of the suggestions, I felt were duplicates of what I tried, or they didn't understand my problem.  Just hang in there and I hope you don't think I'm insulting your intelligence as I thought at times about the people trying to help me.

I have procedures where I set up ndis wrapper on some other distribution, but I can't find it now.  If you still have problems and need it, I’ll try to dig it out.

Good Luck

OldTechGuy

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
Well, whether ndiswrapper is going to solve the problem or not, I'd still like to get the driver files into that directory so it can try. I can log onto the computer as administrator, and use the terminal as root, but I don't know the commands to tell it "There's an .inf file on the desktop and I want to put it in the folder named net5211 inside the ndiswrapper folder." I tried dragging it, but it says I don't have permission.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

From the command line, you use the copy "cp" command in Linux.  

man cp will give you some help.  But you will need to be root or do it as sudo cp  

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
OK, progress- I copied the .inf file to the ndiswrapper folder. Now I still can't get online. Is there some way to tell it to use ndiswrapper?

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
Just went back to some previous info, and tried it- It says the driver is invalid. So back to HP, I guess.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
I got what should be the correct .inf files (known to work on my model laptop with a Debian install), copied them to the ndiswrapper folder, and it says they are all invalid drivers. Is it the way I installed them?

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

I've never had much problem with this step.  I seem to recall from the ndiswrapper wiki that some of the necessary files may not have the .inf extension.  

The recommended approach is to get latest Windows drivers from the website of the wireless NIC vendor.  

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
You're right pentode, it turned out I had the correct driver the first time, but didn't install the sys file. After I got that installed, it recognized that I had the hardware that the driver runs. (This was after installing ndisgtk, which gave me better information than just the terminal.) I still can't get online, so I'm going through the troubleshooting guide. When I put in sudo lshw -C network, for the wireless interface, among other things it has "logical name: wifi0" But when I put in iwconfig, for wifi0 it says "no wireless extensions". All the wireless info, including the ESSID is with ath0. Is this where the problem lies, and if so, how do I fix it?

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

I'd check the output of lspci (or lsusb if a USB device), lsmod, and probably iwconfig.

Based on the interface names, this sounds like madwifi interface names and not ndiswrapper.  Any chance you also have madwifi module loaded?  Having two drivers trying to control the same NIC can cause problems.  The lsmod command will let you know what modules are loaded - but it will be long list.  Look for ath_pci, ath_usb and/or ndiswrapper.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

In my experience, the "no wireless extensions" error means that your wifi interface is not up. Not sure if it is different on Ubuntu, but on Fedora I just run ifup wlan0 (wifi0 in your case).

--== Anything can go wrong. It's just a matter of how far wrong it will go till people think its right. ==--

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
lsmod shows ath_pci, but not ndiswrapper. lspci tells me the wifi is by Atheros Comm. Inc., but I knew that. Can't find anything about madwifi. It's not in the Synaptic package manager (where ndiswrapper is) or the Add/remove applications list.

ifup wifi0 gets me: Ignoring unknown interface wifi0=wifi0

I can't get back to this till Monday, but would be happy to find more suggestions in here then. Thanks everyone,
Jill

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

ath_pci is madwifi, I think.  

You might want to check out the madwifi documentation.  Maybe it just needs to be re-installed.  If it will work with your NIC, it's a better option than ndiswrapper.  

I'd try rmmod ath_pci, then modprobe ath_pci to see if it will come to life.  

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
I tried those but nothing happened.
I opened Network Tools. Under devices it shows the correct configuration for ath0, which it calls an Unknown Interface. It also shows an Unknown Interface (wifi0), but when I select that, a popup says the Interface does not exist.

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

Are you sure the friggin' wifi hardware/card is working properly?

D.E.R. Management - IT Project Management Consulting
http://www.dermanagement.com/

RE: Should I try a different Linux?

(OP)
Yes, it sees the card, and told me details about it. I think the problem is the windoze driver. I tried ndisinstaller to see if a GUI would help me, and it said the driver failed. I've decided to give madwifi a try,after seeing that it has a linux driver for my type of card, so I'm moving this to a new thread.

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