Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wireless setup on Debian

WARNING: The following set of instructions is based on my on experiences setting up my wireless card, which was a big pain. No guarantees that anything mentioned below should work, of course.

The S7110 uses the Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection adapter (iwl3945). Use “lspci” as root to find out what type of network card you have:

# lspci -nn | grep "Intel"
05:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection [8086:4222] (rev 02)

Now we’re are good to go. You’ll need at least the 2.6.24 kernel, which is available on “lenny” onwards. If you’re using Etch (or even Sarge), tough luck. Significant upgrades to follow. Find out what kernel is loaded:

# uname -a
Linux woteba 2.6.26-1-686 #1 SMP Thu Aug 28 12:00:54 UTC 2008 i686 GNU/Linux

I’m using 2.6.26, which is recent. Otherwise add the following line to /etc/apt/source.list:

deb lenny main contrib non-free

Now use Synaptic Package Manager to download at least the following packages:


After everything is downloaded and set up successfully, you’ll need to restart, and choose 2.6.26 during the boot sequence. Once booted into the new kernel, try:

# modprobe iwl3945
# iwconfig
wlan0 IEEE 802.11 ESSID:"MakeTeaNotWar"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.412 GHz Access Point: 00:1F:9E:CF:58:B0
Bit Rate=54 Mb/s Tx-Power=14 dBm
Retry min limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr=2352 B
Encryption key:6565-1671-75
Link Quality=76/100 Signal level=-58 dBm Noise level=-87 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

If “iwconfig” fails, you might need to download “wireless-tools”, using Synaptic. Good. The wireless card has been detected as “wlan0″. Your entries may differ, of course. The output above shows a connection to the router with SSID “MakeTeaNotWar”.

Here's this software called “wlassistant”. It is a QT-based program, and has several dependencies, but it’s really easy to use. You can get it via Synaptic, of course. Once Wireless Assistant is up and running, you should be able to connect to most wireless networks.

No comments: