[CentOS-docs] Wireless Wiki ??

Philip R. Schaffner Philip.R.Schaffner at NASA.gov
Wed Jan 9 16:18:30 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 06:19 -0800, Michael A. Peters wrote:
> I went to the wiki and searched for both wireless and wifi and did not 
> find anything related to wireless cards in CentOS.

Try searching "Text" rather than "Titles" and you will turn up some
material - largely in the "Laptops" pages.

> I think it would be stellar to have something similar to the laptops 
> page but for wifi chipsets.
> I would propose it have three categories:
> FOSS chipsets
> Native driver but not FOSS chipsets (ie atheros via madwifi)
> NDIS Wrapper

Agreed that some Wifi info would be a good addition.  Not sure the three
categories are the best way to organize, but that is a secondary issue.

I'd propose something like a master intro/index page with a single
sub-page for each chipset, each with a set of entries for individual
experiences containing:

        CentOS version
        driver (your three categories?) and corresponding 3rd party
        repos or sources as appropriate
        security level (open/none, WEP-40-bit/104-bit,
        WPA-PSK/EAP/Radius, WPA2, ...)
        system services or daemons (wpa_supplicant, NetworkManager,
        dhclient, ...) and config files
        tips and comments.
> FSF has compiled somewhat of a list at
> http://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/net/wireless/cards.html
> but of course, there's no way to know which of the FOSS cards have 
> drivers that are actually in the RHEL/CentOS kernel - and user 
> experiences would also be beneficial for people looking for a chipset 
> that meets their needs. Having a driver and working well are often two 
> different things ...


[OT: I have been struggling with wpa_supplicant, NetworkManager,
nm-applet, etc. ever since I decided to upgrade the security on my home
network from WEP to WPA-PSK and the information out there is very
confusing.  Every time I think things are working, something breaks
again.  What is more frustrating from the CentOS perspective is that the
WEP->WPA transition was relatively painless on two Palm devices, my
Nokia N800, Windows XP on 3 multi-boot systems, and Fedora 8.  Only
CentOS-5 (on IPW3945, IPW2200, and Atheros chipsets on some of the same
hardware that works with XP and/or Fedora 8) has been problematic.  Need
to post a query to the Users list and see what help is available, but
haven't gotten around to documenting everything I've tried well enough
to pose intelligent questions.]

> Unfortunately I do not have the wireless tech knowledge to contribute to 
> the wiki in this area, my only wireless experience with Linux is via the 
> madwifi driver (works wonderfully in CentOS but does taint the kernel) - 
> I've never had to mess with firmware, NDIS Wrapper, wireless 
> authentication beyond the very basics - but it would be imho be a great 
> resource to have in the wiki.

Don't have to be a tech guru to contribute.  If you have something
working it would be worth writing up.

> If it is there, then the search database needs to be adjusted so that a 
> search for wifi brings it up - because I didn't find it.

Having a page with Wifi/Wireless in the title will remedy that, as will
a full text search.

> In anyone wants to undertake the task, I thank you in advance. I would 
> find it very useful, especially since I am considering replacing my 
> laptop in the next year or so and want to look into wireless options 
> that don't taint the kernel and "just work" as well as possible under 
> stock CentOS kernel.

I'd be glad to help with a Wifi Wiki effort if I ever get things working
solidly again.  I could at least document what was working under CentOS
with WEP and with "open" access points at work and on travel.


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