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I installed Debian Sid on my new laptop, which uses a Broadcom based wifi card (big mistake on my part for not checking to see if it was compatible before ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    NetworkManager issues in Debian Sid


    I installed Debian Sid on my new laptop, which uses a Broadcom based wifi card (big mistake on my part for not checking to see if it was compatible before buying). Getting the wireless to work was a big enough headache, the native bcm43xx driver didn't seem to support my card, so I went with ndiswrapper instead. ndiswrapper seemed to work after some fiddling around with different driver versions and realizing that I needed a 64-bit driver, and I then installed NetworkManager and knetworkmanager to manager the wifi connections. Everything seemed to be working fine, I was able to connect to my home wifi network effortlessly, as well as the wireless network in the computer lab at school. My problem now is that I can't get a reliable connection to my campus wireless connection, I can connect for about 5 minutes before the connection dies out and won't let me reconnect.

    This problem only occurs using NetworkManager, when I set the ESSID manually using iwconfig and then use ifup to bring the interface up, I get a connection fairly easily. I would like to make this automatic using NetworkManager, but it doesn't seem to want to work. I also noticed something weird in the output of iwconfig:

    Code:
    lo        no wireless extensions.
    
    eth1      no wireless extensions.
    
    wlan0     IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:"USC Wireless"
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: 00:11:88:5A:D0:50
              Bit Rate=36 Mb/s   Tx-Power:32 dBm
              RTS thr:2347 B   Fragment thr:2346 B
              Encryption key:off
              Power Management:off
              Link Quality:53/100  Signal level:-62 dBm  Noise level:-96 dBm
              Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
              Tx excessive retries:4061  Invalid misc:102556   Missed beacon:0
    I don't know what Tx excessive retries or Invalid misc are, but they don't sound good, and there are a lot of them. Anyone know what that means, or know a remedy to my problem?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
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    First, to use the bcm43xx driver, you also need to extract the firmware for the card. This is done using the bcm43cc-fwcutter.

    I still would just use NDISWrapper, as it works better.

    This may not relate to your problem, but you need to make sure that the bcm43xx driver is not loading at boot. I'm not familiar with Debian, but in Fedora this is done in the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I went through all the motions with the bcm43xx driver, using fwcutter and everything, and it still didn't work. Even if bcm43xx was working I think I'd stick with NDISwrapper anyways because there is support for features like WPA encryption and stuff, whereas bcm43xx doesn't have any of that.
    I already blacklisted bcm43xx in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist so it can't be that causing the problem.

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  5. #4
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    even i happen to face this problem wid my dlink wireless adaptor (based on ralink chipset). the problem was traced down to network manager. so i removed network manager and now am using WICD. works fine for me now

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