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Re: Ethernet & Wifi Weirdness

Mark wrote:
I'm still mostly a newbie on Linux (intermediate Mac & Win user). I'm having a strange problem on my Linux box, which is a Dell e1505 notebook.

I installed Lenny the other day. My home router's wifi is set up with WPA personal and mac address filtering (and I didn't know to plan ahead for this), so Lenny's installation routine did not set up the wifi. However, regular wired ethernet worked. I then installed VirtualBox (latest version) with a WinXP Pro guest (for my wife). Wired Internet piped through VBox into WinXP just fine.

Then I started doing rookie things. I browsed the Internet looking for ways to get the wifi working. I apt-get installed a few things; got the program Wifi-Wiz, and configured it to use NDISwrapper without really knowing what I was doing. Beyond this account, I can't really recall what I did to the system. Here's what resulted from my efforts: the Lenny installation continued to have working wired Internet. I successfully got (using auto-DHCP) a good IP address from the wireless router, though the address periodically switched between and for no reason that I could tell. My Gnome desktop was not getting wireless Internet: that is, Iceweasel couldn't open any URLs unless the ethernet cable was plugged in. However, when I started up WinXP in VirtualBox, WinXP *did* get wireless Internet.

In trying to fix this (again, blindly) -- i.e. get wireless to work on Gnome as well as on VirtualBox's WinXP machine -- I somehow wrecked the network entirely. Now when I boot up no Internet of any kind works, wired, wireless, Gnome, VBox-WinXP.

Is there a newbie-friendly manual somewhere that I can use to configure the networking from scratch? Any thoughts about what might be going wrong?

- Mark

The wiki (http://wiki.debian.org/WiFi) has the information you need. NDISWrapper should only be used as a last resort. It uses Windows drivers in Linux. It's better to use native Linux drivers, unless you have a wi-fi card that doesn't have a Linux driver. What wireless network card do you have?

After that, just install network-manager and network-manager-gnome, then on your desktop, in the notification area, you'll have an icon that, when you click on it, will list the wireless networks it finds, and will let you connect to any of them. WPA is handled for you.

Hope this helps!
-- Kevin

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