March 24, 2019

A Writer's View of the Linux Wireless Dream, Part 1 - page 4

Wireless Dream, Picture the Scene...

  • June 2, 2003
  • By Rob Reilly

I removed the "wired" Ethernet card from the PCMCIA slot and inserted the wireless card. I typed (as root):

rcpcmcia stop

and popped out the wired Ethernet card.

rcpcmcia start

then popped in the new wireless card. Then, I typed

ifup wlan0

At that point the 802.11b card could grab an IP address from the access point. It's important that the IP range for DHCP is wide enough to service the wireless card. If you have four machines wired into the wireless router/access point and you want to be able to grab an IP address for the wireless card, you better have enough addresses to go around. You might set up the DHCP server in the router to allow addresses through On the SMC router, I usually give the router It seems pretty silly, but I did pull my hair out for a while trying to track down the problem of not having enough IP addresses available. Save yourself some trouble.

Finally, I was ready to try and ping something. I typed:

ping [some known ISP or Web site that returns pings]

I also started my browser and surfed to one of my favorite web sites, LinuxToday.com.

Ping returned the usual procession of round-trip packet times and appearing in my browser were all those great Linux stories.

If you go through all of this and it doesn't work, there could be any number of problems and be warned. It could take some real detective work to get everything going properly. Here is a list of things to help you get started on troubleshooting.

  • Is your PCMCIA subsystem set up correctly and working?
  • Is your hotplugging subsystem set up correctly and working?
  • Have you checked lsmod to see if all the correct modules (like prism2_cs) are loaded?
  • Have you restarted he PCMCIA subsystem with rcpcmcia stop/start (as root)?
  • Are you sure the wireless card works?
  • Is the wireless router/access point configured correctly (especially with dhcp and WEP/no WEP)?
  • Do you have enough dynamic IPs available on your system to support the wireless laptop?

After the wireless card worked properly, I thought it would be nice to have it start automatically at bootup. I just fired up the YAST2 Control Center and followed these steps.

  1. Selected the "System" icon from the main control panel.
  2. Selected "Sysconfig Editor" icon.
  3. Under "config options," clicked on the "etc" plus sign (to open up the etc variables).
  4. Changed the hotplug_net_default_hardware variable to pcmcia.
  5. Changed the hotplug_start_net variable to yes.

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