Adjust the wireless connection

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In many cases, wireless will just work in MEPIS, especially on a fresh installation. If you have been updating an earlier version, please be sure that you are fully updated to the latest packages available for the version you are running and that you have allowed any old config files to be overwritten during installation, if asked for permission to do so. Finally, make sure you have installed the firmware-iwlwifi (Intel drivers for wireless 3945 and 4965) package or madwifi-modules (Atheros drivers) package, if you need them--they are installed by default from Mepis 6.5+.

NOTE: The method that brings success will vary for users because of the complicated interactions among the Linux kernel, wireless tools, and the local wireless card chipset and router.

Here are the steps to take to get your wireless working.

  1. It is easiest to start without encryption first, then add it afterwards. This will only work if the access point to which you are trying to connect is itself unencrypted--and you may legally use an access point only if you own it or have permission from the owner.
  2. If you installed MEPIS-64bit, make sure any drivers you are trying to use are 64-bit drivers.
  3. Configure your card with MEPIS Network Assistant (in =>6.5 mnetwork, in =<6.0 mutilities from command line as root), by clicking KMenu --> System --> MEPIS --> MEPIS Network Assistant/Utilities, or by right-clicking the desktop, click Run command, and enter "mnetwork"/"mutilities" without the quotes.
    1. General tab: i) the automatic mode using networkmanager may work on some systems, and is preferable for laptops that often switch access points. Click the Automatic radio button, then click “Apply.�? Remember to start the Knetworkmanager application after choosing this option. ii) The manual mode works better for many users, especially when using the same access point all the time. Click that radio button to activate it and, if necessary, then “Apply.�?. If the Knetworkmanager icon is in the system tray of the Panel at the bottom right of the screen, right-click it to quit so that it does not interfere with the manual mode.
    2. Wireless tab: note the interface (e.g., wlan0) where wireless is located. Enter the name of your network (SSID); you can also try "any" or "default." Select your encryption mode and enter the key, if any. Select any other options that are required by your access point. Click Apply.
    3. Interfaces tab: use the pull-down menu to get to your wireless interface, then click "Start at boot." Uncheck "Start at xxxxx" for any other interfaces you will not be using (e.g., eth0 if you have wireless on wlan0 and will be using it exclusively). Click "Apply" then "OK."
    4. You may have to reboot for the changes to take effect; on the Live CD, go back instead to the General tab and click Stop Network, then Re/Start Network.
  4. If you have a Broadcom chipset in your card (see here), then you may need to take a couple of extra steps:
    1. a. Check on the General tab of Network Assistant whether you want to use Ndiswrapper or not.
      1. If you have a Broadcom chip that is bcm4318 or higher, you probably will not be able to use the native bcm43xx driver supplied with the kernel. In that case, you should enable Ndiswrapper (default). SimplyMEPIS 6.5 and newer includes the latest windows Broadcom driver with Ndiswrapper.
      2. If you have an older Broadcom chip, the released version of the bcm43xx driver is made for you and you should disable Ndiswrapper with the Network Assistant and reboot. MEPIS 6.5 pre-installs the most recent Broadcom firmware in the bcm43xx-firmware. This should work with any chip that is compatible with the bcm43xx driver.
      3. If you still have trouble, look for any competing Ndiswrapper drivers and remove them (see here).
      4. Live CD: since you can't reboot for changes to take place when using the Live CD, see these workarounds.
    2. If you still have trouble, try entering on a command line as root: modprobe bcm43xx
  5. Some other chipsets have problems as well, see particular cards.
  6. MEPIS 6.5 from RC2 and newer contains an upgrade to the latest version of Ndiswrapper. Current users of 6.x who need this upgrade can get it from the MEPIS pools but they need to be sure to also install through Synaptic the latest MEPIS kernel, ndiswrapper, and ndiswrapper-modules that are available for upgrade.
  7. If mnetwork doesn't help, try to configure your card in a root terminal with iwconfig and dhclient commands. See details in Command_line_utilities.
  8. If you have hardware recognized but are not able to connect with the methods listed above, try downloading and installing a front end such as Wifi-radar, Wicd or Wlassistant. Please note that MEPIS does not support, and can not guarantee the performance of these applications, so use your judgement before turning to them.
  9. If your card starts but does not connect, check the "Use static DNS" button on the General tab of MEPIS Network Assistant, and click Apply if necessary. If that works, then reboot, go into Network Assistant again, and try to switch back to "Use DHCP for DNS."
  10. If WPA does not work, see here
  11. If still no luck, collect information on the following and post it all on the MEPIS Community forum support forum:
    1. your MEPIS version and architecture (32 or 64)
    2. the output of entering as root
lspci | grep -i network (or: lsusb | grep -i network, for a usb adapter)
ndiswrapper -l

For details and troubleshooting, see Wireless_connection.

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