[SATLUG] wpa_supplicant and wireless/networking questions

Don Davis dondavis at reglue.org
Sat Feb 6 12:23:16 CST 2010

I'm running Debian Squeeze on a laptop.

1. At my university there are encrypted and unencrypted wireless 
connections. If I connect to the unencrypted I can get a dhcp lease. I 
can then ping the address that gave the connection ( and ping 
the listed gateway ( However I cannot ping google. The name 
never resolves. Additionally, if I try to ping DNS servers by address #, or the MIT, or google DNS server there is no connection 
available. I see that people around me are connecting with no problem. 
What could be going on?

2. The university also offers a wpa connection. I've been googling this 
and the finds and their usefulness are not always stellar, insightful, 
or current. I would like the shortest way to get wpa connectivity going. 
The packages wpagui and wpa_supplicant are installed. I have to start 
wpa_supplicant first. I have a basic wpa_supplicant.conf file, but I 
have no faith that it is correct. If I start wpa_supplicant and then 
scan with wpagui I can find the wpa networks but authentication doesn't 
work for various reasons. How do I know which encryption algorithm to 
select? what are safe defaults?

Thank you for your time,

D Davis

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