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My Thinkpad T30 dualboots Slackware 12.1 and Elive (Debian-based) 1.0. Wireless worked immediately after install on Elive, but not on Slackware. The T30 has a Cisco MPI350 wireless card, which ...
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  1. #1
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    Question Thinkpad T30: Wireless on Elive, but not Slackware?


    My Thinkpad T30 dualboots Slackware 12.1 and Elive (Debian-based) 1.0. Wireless worked immediately after install on Elive, but not on Slackware. The T30 has a Cisco MPI350 wireless card, which is supposed to work with the airo module.
    on Elive the output of
    ls -l device/driver/module in /sys/class/net/xxx for
    eth0: e100 eth1: airo wifi0: no such directory

    The active interface in Elive is eth1 according to network settings. iwconfig reports that eth1 and wifi0 have wireless settings, while lo, eth0, and irda0 have no wireless extensions.

    Source Kernel edition in /usr/src is 2.6.18-elive (I doubt it is anything more than a 2.6.18 kernel, unless Elive's developer is also a kernel hacker)

    In Slackware 12.1 the output of ls -l device/driver/module in /sys/class/net/xxx
    for eth0: airo eth1:e100 wifi0: no such file or directory

    Active interface in Slackware is supposed to be eth0, but I'm not sure since I have no connection. iwconfig reports that eth0 and wifi0 have wireless settings while lo, irda0, and eth1 have no wireless settings.

    Source kernel edition/version in /usr/src in Slackware is 2.6.24.5

    My key is 10 charcters long so it is a WEP40, and the iwconfig output for eth1 in elive and eth0 in Slackware is the same.

    Nonetheless, I am confused how in two different distros how two different interfaces could switch jobs and drivers. Is this a naming issue, or has eth0 and eth1 actually switched? Should I try loading different modules for eth0 in Slackware, or is there a way to give eth1 wireless extensions?

  2. #2
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    The different network configurations could be just one of the differences between Slackware and Elive.

    I suspect the reason the wireless won't work in Slackware is because the airo module is not compiled into the kernel. Have you check for it in the output of this command?
    Code:
    lsmod
    If it is not present, try loading it:
    Code:
    modprobe airo
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

  3. #3
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    It's in lsmod

    Output of lsmod
    airo 70556 0

    I'm guessing however that maybe that 0 means that no device is using airo.

    Modprobe airo does not come up with any errors, but does not seem to do anything else either.

    Should I edit a module configuration or wireless configuration file, like rc.d or rc.modules or something like that?

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    Firmware Discrepancies?

    I think I may have found the problem. According to the website Cisco Aironet Wireless 802.11b - ThinkWiki
    that information on the firmware is in the directory /proc/driver/aironet/eth(x)/Status. I checked for this directory/file on Elive, and sure enough the file was there. Status said my firmware version is 5.02.19. However, when I checked the Slackware partition for this file, there weren't even any subdirectories in /proc. So I think it's safe to assume that Slackware did not install firmware for my driver, and this is probably my problem. But how would I go about installing the firmware? Should I copy the files and directories on Elive directly into Slackware? Or is there some firmware file that I should just install into Slackware and it will make the directories in /proc all by itself? And since the Elive is a little outdated (2.6.18 kernel) should I install a later version instead?

  5. #5
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    I think that the firmware is already embedded into the card. I don't see anyplace where it can be downloaded and installed.

    Check the output of the dmesg command, on both distros. See if Elive can provide a clue on why it works, or Slackware on why it doesn't.

    This could also be related to kernel versions. Things often get screwed up when things are added/changed in the kernel.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

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    Dmesg Output

    Well, that was a massive amount of information! Maybe you could give me some pointers on how to make the information more specific with tags or something for next time. Anyways, lines I found that seem to pertain to the card since airo is the module used.

    Elive:
    airo(): Probing for PCI adapters
    airo(eth1): Found an MPI350 card
    airo(eth1): WPA unsupported (only firmware versions 5.30.17 and greater support WPA, Detected 5.02.19)
    airo(eth1): MAC enabled 0:d0:59:c8:76:3e
    airo(): Finished probing for PCI adapters

    There is some more output in between these lines, if you need more I'll give it to you

    Slackware:
    airo(): Probing for PCI adapters
    airo(eth1): Found an MPI350 card
    airo(eth1): WPA unsupported (only firmware versions 5.30.17 and greater support WPA, Detected 5.02.19)
    airo(eth1): MAC enabled 0:d0:59:c8:76:3e
    airo(): Finished probing for PCI adapters

    I suppose this means this is not a firmware problem... And that something is different. How would I make iwconfig settings I make permanent? Because whenever I try to change the network settings on Slackware using iwconfig, I have to do ifconfig eth0 up first, and then, and only then am I able to change iwconfig to the proper settings. However, even doing so, I have no network.

    Miscellaneous question, but when using the network settings GUI supplied by KDE, how come whenever I tell it to use a hexadecimal key type, when I look at the settings after clicking apply it has all of the same settings except that the key type has been switched to ASCII?

  7. #7
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    I have never used Slackware, and what I heard about it is that it is not very user friendly. As if regular Linux IS user friendly! I read that everything is in config files, that is how you set everything up.

    When you get the output of dmesg, make sure that you scroll back and look from the beginning. What is shown in the terminal is only a portion of the output.

    I really don't know where to go with this. If you find anything different between the two, I guess you need to research it. You might consider just getting a different wireless card. It seems that the Aironet driver is not actively supported, and as the message said, does not even support WAP. I know that Slackware doesn't support the NetworkManager daemon, and that makes things more difficult.
    Please do not send Private Messages to me with requests for help. I will not reply.

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