[SATLUG] Ubuntu's wifi is teh suck

travis+ml-satlug at subspacefield.org travis+ml-satlug at subspacefield.org
Fri Aug 6 13:17:12 CDT 2010

On Fri, Aug 06, 2010 at 11:59:36AM -0500, Don Davis wrote:
> For me wireless usually works superb. iwlist scan

Interesting, hadn't seen that tool.  Thanks.

> Atheros is a great chipset and mine works superbly... However, I
> recommended Atheros to someone and... the specific chip was only
> functional with self compiled mad-wifi drivers (which is the way to go
> when possible; however, Ubuntu typically does a great job with madwifi
> drivers.)

My experience was that it worked great on the custom Debian distro
that HDM made.  It also worked fine until I closed the lid on my
laptop the first time under Ubuntu (under the custom Debian distro, I
don't think closing the lid did anything).  Now I kinda get a weird

$ sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
SIOCSIFFLAGS: Unknown error 132

Rebooting won't fix it.  It's kinda frustrating, because I don't want
to have to become an expert at Wifi chipsets, ACPI, and kernel wifi
stuff, so I'm using a USB dongle as a workaround... no big deal.

> Sometimes some people, for whom things work, can't imagine why it
> doesn't for others.

I suspect that's it; I know I was in this camp until I had these

> I sent your info to someone I know. I thought he might be able to help
> you with your problem. I would but I'm very far behind. Some place to
> look for wifi -- from people who know -- is fabcorp.
> http://www.fab-corp.com/

Thanks for the link.  BTW, for those who are having problems with
*Ubuntu's NetworkManager, sometimes called network-manager, whose
KDE front-end client is called knetworkmanager, the solution I found
today is to give up on it and install wicd, and reboot once to get
the client running in your system tray.

You might want to copy the .debs for NetworkManager (from
/var/cache/apt/archives) to a safe place in case it doesn't work,
since you won't be online.

You'll need to set the wireless interface in the preferences page (if
it's not wlan0), and it seems to do some weird things with dhclient -
if you have a custom dhclient.conf, then you need to change the
default preferences to use dhclient, and /etc/wicd/dhclient.conf.  But
once you connect to the network, it has cached the settings, so you'll
need to change them in the properties for that particular wireless
network instead.

I have also had success with using the "default" dhclient setting,
and changing preferences for the particular network.

All in all, it's less "black magic" than NotworkManager, and I think
the program is actually in python so it should be easy to read the
source and figure out how it works.

Getting openvpn to restart every time I'm not at home will have to
wait for another day.  Right now I do it manually, because it won't
work on captive portals until after you log in.
A Weapon of Mass Construction
My emails do not have attachments; it's a digital signature that your mail
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