Well that was harder than I thought…. but finally have got my wireless card working on Ubuntu. I thought I’d share the steps here just in case anyone else has problems. My wireless card is a Edimax EW-7108PCg which I purchased from dabs.com. According to the ubuntu forums this is a rt2500 chipset whch is pretty well supported. That was my first mistake…. after a few hours I decided to check the chipset was actually rt2500 and it turns out that Edimax have changed the chipset for my card and its actually rt61 based.

To find this out: run ‘lshw’ from a terminal and you’ll see something like this:

configuration: broadcast=yes ip= multicast=yes wireless=RT61 Wireless

so having determined that the rt500 instructions were irrelevant I set about following a new set of instructions. This got me 90% of the way there, I had huge problems getting WPA to work with DHCP, when I had no encryption on the AP then no problems, as soon as I enabled WPA I could not get a DHCP lease from the router.

In the end I downloaded the latest tarball from serial monkey, compiled them, copied them to the relevant locations and tried again. Editing the rt61 .dat file has no effect whatsoever so don’t bother doing it! I found that a combination of the iwconfig and iwpriv commands got me there in the end.

Heres my script for bringing up the wireless interface (don’t ask me why I need to set the SSID twice, it just seems to work that way…)

echo "Bringing up ra0.."
ifconfig ra0 up
iwconfig ra0 mode managed
iwpriv ra0 set AuthMode=WPAPSK
iwpriv ra0 set EncrypType=TKIP
iwconfig ra0 essid "XXXXX"
iwpriv ra0 set WPAPSK="XXXX"
iwconfig ra0 essid "XXXX"dhclient ra0

So finally I can switch away from a windows XP desktop – so far I’ve been very impressed with Ubuntu, although found it slightly irritating that it won’t play mp3s out-of-the-box due to licencsing issues. Not too hard to solve, update the apt sources with the ‘dodgy’ set of packages available and then just install gstreamer to get it working. Also worth checking out is Automatix which makes the whole process of updating software (especially audio/video) codecs much easier.

Getting wireless working on Ubuntu 6.06

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