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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Cutting edge
Dingo kernel 2.6.25 and RT73USB Test Results
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Fri 16 May 2008, 19:19    Post subject:  Dingo kernel 2.6.25 and RT73USB Test Results
Subject description: Testing with WPA and WPA2 networks
 

Here is a report on WPA and WPA2 wireless network testing of Dingo 4 with the kernel 2.6.25 for everyone's information. The equipment used for testing was a Intel Classmate PC and Cyberbet ZPC-9000 (with a Linksys WUSB54GC usb adapter) connecting to a Linksys model WRT54G router. The router was configured as needed for either a hidden or broadcasted (open) SSID. The encryption was either WPA or WPA2.

The new rt73usb driver used with the kernel 2.6.25 version of Dingo is part of the RT2x00 "open source" driver effort of serialmonkey.com. The whole set of drivers are still ungoing development. The rt73usb driver is still beta software. This is one of the reasons that Barry has made the Dingo 4.00 with kernel 2.6.25 as a "testing only release". There have been posts about problems.

In general, the binkly light network icon in the task bar work different with Dingo kernel 2.6.25. With the other puppy versions, I get the far light always on (green). With Dingo kernel 2.6.24, only turn green when an actual data transfer is on going.

The testing showed that the ap_scan parameter of the wpa_supplicant configuration file had to be present and set. The default vaule did not work.

Here is what the wpa_supplicant documentation says on the ap_scan parameter:
Quote:

AP scanning/selection
By default,‭ ‬wpa_supplicant requests driver to perform AP scanning and then
to uses the scan results to select a suitable AP.‭ ‬Another alternative is to
allow the driver to take care of AP scanning and selection and use
wpa_supplicant just to process EAPOL frames based on IEEE‭ ‬802.11‭ ‬association
information from the driver.
1:‎ ‏wpa_supplicant initiates scanning and AP selection
0:‎ ‏driver takes care of scanning,‭ ‬AP selection,‭ ‬and IEEE‭ ‬802.11‭ ‬association
2: like‭ ‬0,‭ ‬but associate with APs using security policy and SSID‭ (‬but not
BSSID‭); ‬this can be used,‭ ‬e.g.,‭ ‬with ndiswrapper and NDIS drivers to
enable operation with hidden SSIDs and optimized roaming‭; ‬in this mode,
the network blocks in the configuration file are tried one by one until
the driver reports successful association‭; ‬each network block should have
explicit security policy‭ (‬i.e.,‭ ‬only one option in the lists‭) ‬for
key_mgmt,‭ ‬pairwise,‭ ‬group,‭ ‬proto variables

I was able to successfully able to connect the Intel Classmate to both WPA and WPA2 networks that had either a broadcasted or hidden SSID.
With the Classmate, networks with a broadcasted SSID required the use of ap_scan=1 to connect. The networks with a hidden SSID required the use of ap_scan=2 to connect. This agrees with the wpa_supplicant documentation.

The Cyberbet ZPC-9000 (with a Linksys WUSB54GC usb adapter) was more difficult. With WPA encrypted network, I was able to connect only to the network configuration with a broadcasted SSID. I had to use ap_scan=1. The wpa_supplicant can not associate/authenicate with the hidden SSID network.

However, the Cyberbet ZPC-9000 (with a Linksys WUSB54GC usb adapter) could connect to a WPA2 network with either a broadcasted SSId or hidden SSID. For the network with a broadcasted SSID or hidden, ap_scan=1 allowed the system to connect. Under Puppy 3.01, the system connects to a hidden SSID using ap_scan=2. I have no good explaination for this one.

The bottom line, one may need to try both values (1 and 2) to get a particular configuration to connect.

I always got these two messages from wpa_supplicant wether or no it connected:
ioctl[SISCSIWAUTH]: operation not supported
WEXT auth parm 4 value 0x0-
They do not indicate that wpa_supplicant has problem.

Here is the script that I used for testing and everyday connections. I originally got it from Tempestuous for Puppy 2.17. It is called wifi-up in the attached file, dingo-wpa.tar.gz archieve.
Code:

#!/bin/sh
## modify this script to include your wifi interface name (instead of "ath0")
## and wifi driver type (instead of "madwifi").
# Orginal script was provided by Tempestuous and modified by JustGreg for
# his network use.  Modified 12 May 2008 for testing of Dingo kernel 2.6.25

echo "Configuring Wireless LAN with wpa_supplicant"
## echo "Loading RT73 Driver"

## load your driver, not needed Puppy loads at startup
## modprobe rt73usb
## bring up the wireless interface, unconfigured
echo
echo "Starting up wlan0"
ifconfig wlan0 up
echo " "
echo "Now starting wpa_supplicant"
## now start wpa_supplicant
## first remove stale wpa_supplicant file if it exists
 if [ -e /var/run/wpa_supplicant/* ]; then rm /var/run/wpa_supplicant/*; fi
 wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -D wext -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -B
# sleep 60 used for testing.  For normal use, sleep 60 can be reduced
sleep 60
echo " "
# wp_cli is for testing.  However, it does show that wpa connect for
#normal use. 
wpa_cli status
echo " "
echo "Running dhcpcd address service"
## for automatic IP
## first remove stale existings dhcpcd files if exists
# for puppy 2.17 use if [ -e /var/run/*.pid ]; then rm /var/run/*.pid; fi
# for puppy 3.00. Kill any active dhcpcd processes
dhcpcd -k wlan0
if [ -e /etc/dhcpc/*.pid ]; then rm /etc/dhcpc/*.pid; fi
rm /etc/dhcpc/dhcpcd-*.*
dhcpcd -t 30 -h puppypc -d wlan0
sleep 10
## or for static IP
## modify /etc/resolv.conf to include your nameservers
#ifconfig ath0 192.168.0.xx broadcast 192.168.0.255 netmask 255.255.255.0
#route add default gw 192.168.0.1 ath0   # or whatever your router's IP is

Here is the WPA network configuration for wpa_supplicant (called
wpa-supplicant.conf in attached archieve)
Code:

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
#ap_scan=1 is for broadcasted SSID normally
# ap_scan=1
#ap_scan=2 is for hidden SSID normally
ap_scan=2
update_config=0

network={
   ssid="your net SSID"
   key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
   proto=WPA
   pairwise=TKIP
   group=TKIP
   psk="your net passphase"
}

Here is the WPA2 network configuration for wpa_supplicant (called wpa-supplicant2.conf in attached archive)
Code:

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
#ap_scan=1 is for broadcasted SSID normally
ap_scan=1
# ap_scan=2 is for hidden SSID normally
# ap_scan=2
update_config=0

network={
   ssid="your net SSID"
   mode=0
   proto=RSN
   key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
   group=CCMP TKIP
   psk="your net passphase"
}

I found that having a script that terminates the wifi process is a requirement for test and makes the network connections easier in general. Here is the script wifi-down (also in the archieve).
Code:

#!/bin/sh
#Just Greg script to terminate wifi processes 12 May 2008
# change wlan0 to your network interface name
dhcpcd -k wlan0
wpa_cli terminate
ifconfig wlan0 down

I hope the above helps.
dingo-wpa.tar.gz
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tempestuous

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 5263
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat 17 May 2008, 03:16    Post subject:  

JustGreg, you are quickly becoming the WPA troubleshooting expert.
Yes, the ap_scan value in wpa_supplicant.conf can make a critical difference. When rarsa was first writing the Network Wizard (early 2007) he and I were both confused about ap_scan -
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=95440#95440
From a Google search it appeared that "ap_scan=2" was successful with hidden SSID's, so that's what was used as the default value in Puppy's WPA configuration file. Apparently rarsa did some research on the "wpa_cli" utility and eventually he used it in the Wizard. You can see at line 955 in /usr/sbin/wag-profiles.sh that "wpa_cli" is used to set the ap_scan value. Unfortunately, though, this setting is not always correct (as JustGreg has discovered) so it appears that trial-and-error is still required in certain cases.

I believe that "0" is also a valid value for ap_scan.
JustGreg, you might try "ap_scan=0" with your Linksys WUSB54GC.
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Sat 17 May 2008, 09:04    Post subject:  

I would not call myself a wpa_supplicant expert. Just, when I think I have everything "nailed down", something else happens. For example, Linksys WUSB54GC. will connect to a hidden SSID WPA2 network. It does not do it reliably. My first post was done using Linksys WUSB54GC. on a hidden SSID WPA2 network. This morning, it took eight tries before it would connect.. I have gone back to a broadcast SSID WPA2 network. It works with all versions of Puppy (3.01, 4.0 kernel 2.6.21.7, 4.0 kernel 2.6.25).

It appears with the Linksys WUSB54GC. adapter and Puppy 4.0 kernel 2.6.25 combination using a broadcast SSID WPA2 network is the easiest to get running and use. The Intel Classmate does not have this problem.

I will try ap_scan=0 and post the results. From my readings, ap_scan=0 uses the driver to associate. I do know that rt73usb does not support WPA (only open or WEP). But, if one does not try then you never really know.

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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Sat 17 May 2008, 10:19    Post subject:
Subject description: ap_scan=0 results
 

As I said above, just when you think you know what is going on, something happens to show you up. I tested ap_scan=0 with Cybernet/Linksys USB adapter with a WPA2 network.

For a broadcast SSID WPA2 network, ap_scan=0 did work. Trying a hidden SSID WPA2 network, ap_scan=0 worked slowly. The connection was very slow. I checked with wpa_cli status and found the wpa_supplicant only associated and did not complete. Normally, wpa_supplicant status is completed when it works with the other ap_scan values.

The bottom line is you have to try all values of ap_scan and find which works best.

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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jun 2008, 00:35    Post subject:  

Maybe the network wizard should make 3 copies of wpa_supplicant.conf, each with different values of ap_scan, and try each of them in turn. Kinda lame, but if that's what it takes... Rolling Eyes
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JustGreg

Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 683
Location: Connecticut USA

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jun 2008, 16:50    Post subject:
Subject description: 3 copies of WPA.conf
 

PaulBX1, I think having all ap_scan values in their own wpa.conf could be a bit much. However, having the user identify whether SSID is open (ap_scan=1) or Hidden (ap_scan=2), then Network wizard would have a better chance of getting it correct. One could add a button to select hidden or open. It is a thought.
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