[SATLUG] wifi question

mark mark at kandm-solutions.com
Wed Dec 29 11:27:31 CST 2010

I believe iwlist scan (you can add the interface name to reduce the
output) will give you the encryption method. WEP takes the key
arguement, WPA required wpa_supplicant. wpa_passphrase which is part of
wpa_supplicant will generate a configuration file for the network.Then
you run wpa_supplicant to associate with the access point.

At least in debian you can add some lines to /etc/interfaces  (you must
still have wpa_supplicant installed) and it will connect automatically.
That isn't really efficient if its a laptop that connects to different
access points.

manual cli steps for wpa

tell iwconfig what interface and network to connect to
	iwconfig wlan0 essid myssid
use wpa_passphrase to generate a configuration file
	wpa_passphrase myssid mypassphrase > myssid.conf
use wpa_supplicant to associate with the access point
	wpa_supplicant -B -iwlan0 -cmyssid.conf -Dwext
use dhclient to get an address
	dhclient wlan0

the driver for wpa_supplicant depends on your wireless card. the options
are listed in the wpa_supplicant man page. I have a card that supports
wpa but the linux driver I'm using for it does not. Hopefully you don't
run into that issue. If you connect to the network alot it would
probably be easiest to generate the config file with wpa_passphrase and
then make a script that does the rest.

On Wed, 2010-12-29 at 10:50 -0600, Borries Demeler wrote:
> > 
> > Can you verify the encryption being used?  Is it WPA? WPA2? WEP?
> > 
> > If it's WPA/WPA2, you will need to use the wpa_supplicant program.
> > Included in that is a utility to generate the hex key and store it in
> > a config file.
> > 
> > JM
> How do I find out? If I scan to find the accesspoints it doesn't tell me
> what type of encryption is used, but this is helpful already, I didn't
> know I needed this. What do I do in the case of WEP encryption?
> -b.


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