Linux Wi-Fi Works With wicd - Page 2

If you find yourself more confused than connected when you're using a Linux laptop, wicd may be the ticket.

 By Carla Schroder
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Identifying a Wireless Interface

To find the name of your wireless interface:

 $ /sbin/iwconfig
wlan0 IEEE 802.11g ESSID:""

Non-wireless interfaces will say "no wireless extensions". To figure out what your wireless driver is:

$ lscpi -i | grep wireless
03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network
Connection ( rev 02 )

A Google search on 'intel 3945ABG linux' goes to the IPW3945 page, which informs us that it is deprecated and replaced by the iwlwifi project. The Preferences page does not include anything that sounds like iwlwifi, but it does have ipw, which works fine. You could also refer to this table in the wicd Wiki. If there is an easier way to get this information, I'd love to hear it. And perhaps someday wicd will automatically find it on its own.


From here it's all gravy. Every time you're in a new location, wicd will scan and locate all available networks for you. Connect with a mere click on the Connect button, and with luck a little connection icon will appear in your systray. (If it doesn't, the FAQ tells you how to fix it). If you hover your cursor over it, or click on it, you'll see complete connection statistics. The Wicd Manager interface is a bit confusing, because the Connect button does not change to Disconnect, though there is a Disconnect button up top. As you can see in Figure 1, connection status is also displayed at the bottom of the Wicd Manager screen.

Encryption key management is a very nice feature, though it still has some rough edges. If all goes well, all you need to do is select the correct type of encryption and then enter the appropriate authentication information, such as the path to your encryption key, login and password, whatever you need to do. If you can't make it work, you may need to edit the encryption templates in /opt/wicd/encryption/templates. If you're experienced with wpa_supplicant it won't be a big deal, and the best help resource is the wicd forums; you'll find plenty of help there with any encryption problems.


This article was originally published on Jul 7, 2008
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