SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem [Solved]

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SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem [Solved]

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:13

I tried SL 5.4 E17 x86 edition LiveCD on an old Gateway Solo 9300 laptop and installed it to the HDD. Everything works except for wireless networking. I have a Linksys WPC54G v7.1 wireless notebook CardBus adapter (Atheros AR2413 802.11bg NIC), but I believe this is incidental to the wireless networking problem I experienced, as explained below.

Both with the LiveCD and with the installation on the HDD, NetworkManager is loaded as the networking backend and Wicd client is loaded as the GUI. Strange, but I assume it's intentional due to the lack of a network GUI for E17.

Wired Ethernet works fine but wireless does not work. Wicd either gives a 'Bad Password' error message or an 'Unable to get IP address' message, depending on the different things I tried (and I tried them all, believe me). The Web is littered with posts from people experiencing these two problems with Wicd (actually there are a few posts in the SL Forums too). It's not an application I like, as I have also had trouble with it in the past.

One of the things I tried was to replace the NetworkManager backend with Wicd (see HOWTO: Replace NM with WICD) but the behaviour was the same as before: Wicd displayed the messages 'Bad Password' or 'Unable to get IP address'. I think there must be a bug in Wicd as I could get wireless networking working from the command line.

Unfortunately I could not get nm-applet working under E17, which would have enabled me to use NetworkManager as the backend and get rid of Wicd. So, after too many hours messing around with SL 5.4 E17, I wiped the HDD and installed PCLinuxOS E17 2010.11 edition, which works nicely (once I set the MTU to 1464 or less). I'm not yet sure what PCLinuxOS E17 uses for networking, but it works very well for wired and wireless networking and is easy to configure using the PCLinuxOS GUI tools.

BTW, nm-applet and NetworkManager on the SL 5.4 Xfce Spin x86 works fine with this same hardware. (Notice something? Yes, no Wicd.) Unfortunately I can't install the SL 5.4 Xfce Spin to the HDD as the Installer either crashes or refuses to set up Grub2 correctly. So the E17 Spin installs but WiFi doesn't work, and the Xfce Spin doesn't install but WiFi works. It's a good job they are labelled 'Experimental Spins'.

Anyway, if anyone knows how to get nm-applet working in SL 5.4 E17 instead of Wicd client, so that I can use NetworkManager with SL E17 edition, then please let me know.
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby micia » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:30

Probably it will not be a good idea, since it is still a very early project, but since you are trying anything, you could give a shot to connman :mrgreen:

http://connman.net/

In my experience it is not yet a good alternative, since the GUI (connman-gnome) was a pain for me and for some reason the wireless did not work.

I remember, a long time ago, I went through the same bad experience with network management on E17, I solved it with a particular applet that enables Gnome applets to run on the E17 tray, unfortunately I can't remember its name...
Googling "Gnome applets on E17" I found this:
http://forum.enlightenment.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=44

[EDIT] I installed E17 just now, out of curiosity.
In order to enable nm-applet I did this:

(I have Italian localizations, so the names could be different)
main-menu (the 'e' thing in the panel) -> Settings -> Modules, I loaded the module Shelf->systray

logging out and in again worked for me (this could not be necessary, but I was messing up a bit with the desktop...).

Obviously I have not wicd installed, so I have not removed wicd and launched NetworkManager, being that my main desktop is Gnome and my main Network Applet is nm-applet.
I still have to find a way to launch nm-applet on startup.
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:14

Did you install the SL 5.4 E17 Experimental Spin LiveCD, or did you install E17 on your full SL 5.4 GNOME installation?
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby micia » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:18

I installed it over the GNOME installation, using sulfur, package:
x11-wm/enlightenment-0.16.999.52995 branch: 5

But I don't think that the steps to enable nm-applet should change...

I am also on a 64bit environment:
Code: Select all
$ uname -a
Linux il-padre-lap64 2.6.36-sabayon #1 SMP Wed Nov 17 18:15:21 UTC 2010 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 520 @ 2.40GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:22

micia wrote:Googling "Gnome applets on E17" I found this:
http://forum.enlightenment.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=44

Yes, last time I tried the Elive distribution (beautiful, BTW), the networking GUI was Exalt. It doesn't appear to be available in Portage or Entropy, but, if I get some time, I'll have a go at installing it.

I'll also fire up the SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86 LiveCD, install nm-applet again, uninstall Wicd and see if it's possible to get nm-applet working using the method you mention. (Hardware is an old 32-bit Gateway Solo 9300 laptop with Pentium III 700 MHz IIRC, so... slow.)
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby micia » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:26

Before trying out with nm-applet I was searching for Exalt, unfortunatly I was unable to find any package for portage and the homepage does not seem to be up anymore... I think that the project is now discontinued, unfortunately.
There seems to be no more news about it since 2008.

[EDIT] wow, not entirely true:
http://gpo.zugaina.org/x11-apps/exalt
it seems it is still developed, even if the homepage is no more the same.
Last edited by micia on Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:35

If I get the time, the other thing I should do is find out what the PCLinuxOS E17 edition uses, because that works out of the box. I'm probably going to leave PCLinuxOS E17 edition installed as it is more polished than the SL E17 Spin, unless I can find a quick and easy way to get SL E17 Spin working. The latter would have been my preferred installation because it's easier for me to use the same Package manager, commands and directory structure on all my machines.
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby joost » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:43

it seems it is still developed, even if the homepage is no more the same.


Sadly not true.
http://svn.berlios.de/wsvn/exalt/trunk/ ... af8ca28241

//edit:
Hmm I was wrong:
http://trac.enlightenment.org/e/browser/trunk/exalt
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby joost » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:50

Not wanting to go offtopic, but I could try to add this to our overlay and in Limbo in Entropy.
If it works it would make a nice addition to the E17 spin ofcourse.

I'd put it in the net-misc category rather then x11-apps.
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Re: SL 5.4 E17 Spin x86: WiFi (Wicd) problem

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:09

Not off-topic at all. Please add it to Entropy Limbo, because that makes it a bit easier for me to check it out with the LiveCD on the old Gateway Solo 9300. The only way for me to be sure is to try it with the SL 5.4 E17 Spin on the target hardware. The Gateway can't boot from a pen drive so I'm stuck with using the LiveCD, and anything to make it easier to experiment would be helpful. I don't want to overwrite the installed OS yet again until I'm confident that a working solution to the SL E17 Spin WiFi problem exists.
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