connection unstable

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connection unstable

Postby matteosistisette » Sun Nov 18, 2007 20:59

Hi,

I am trying the Live CD of the midi edition of Sabayon.
This is the first linux distro (I tried 6 more) that gets me connected to the internet just out of the box, but I still have some problem.

I have a D-Link cardbus wifi adapter with an AR5212 Atheros Chipset, and I connect to a WEP-encrypted wifi network, i.e. to a DSL router.
I am not pirating anything, I do am allowed to use this network, but I just don't have administrator access to the router, and even if I had, I cannot change channels or configuration or remove encryption or reboot the router, as there are other people connecting to it.

I connect daily to this same wifi router with this same laptop with this same card under Windows XP, and I can happily surf the internet without any issue. The signal to noise is poor, but it is good enough to get a stable and fast internet connection: I can listen to internet radios, talk with skype, and download 5 new linux distros a day :)
All this under windows. It sometimes does lose connection and automatically reconnect, but it doesn't happen so often, say a couple of times a day.

Now, with the Live CD of Sabayon Linux, I can connect seamlessly to this network (by selecting it and entering the WEP key), and even surf the web. But, after a few minutes that I'm connected, the connection just stops working.
However, the network manager does not give any warning, and it still says "Device active: yes, Network active: Yes" if I move the cursor over the tray icon.
But I cannot access any web site any more.
If I manually reconnect (right click on the network manager tray icon, click on the network I am already connected to), I can surf the internet again for a few more minutes.

I tried the following: I connect, then I open a terminal and do a "ping 192.168.1.1", which is the router.
I receive all the responses from the router for a few minutes, then I start getting "destination unreachable" or "network unreachable", can't remember which one sorry.

It doesn't seem lile a problem with the wifi card drivers, does it? It seems to me something at a higher level.

Is there anything I can do?
Is there any information I can gather by running some command so that I can post the results?


No matter how poor the signal is, if Windows can build a stable link on it, then Linux should as well.
Also, if the link goes down, then why doesn't the network manager detect it instead of claiming it's active? If it detected the disconnection, I guess it could be configured to automatically reconnect. However, note that under Windows, I do know when it reconnects and it is not so often.


At the end, something absolutely astonishing happened. Since I was able to stay connected for a few minutes, and I always could reconnect when I saw the connection was lost, I was searching this forum for some solution, and I even posted a message to another forum while connected from Sabayon linux. I was writing this very message when I moved the mouse cursor over the netmanager tray icon, just to see the exact message that used to say "device active: yes. Network active: yes". Surprise: the network manager icon had changed from the typical wireless icon (showing a fake signal strength) to the disconnected-wire icon. If I right-clicked, the list of available wireless network didn't appear any more, and if I opened "configure", it sais "no device".
Just as if my wifi card had disappeared at all!!!!
I couldn't connect again in any way. Not even by closing and restarting KNetworkManager, nor by unplugging the wifi card and plugging it again.


Please help! I'm desperate, I would like to become a linux user, but I can't find a single linux distro that can be up and running out-of-the box on my computer and get me connected to the internet. It seems to me such a basic requirement for a desktop operating system: to get all your hardware working, to be able to see the contents of your storage media just by plugging them, and to get connected to the internet!
Almost all recent linux distros claim they do all this out of the box, I'm starting to think I miss the real meaning of the expression "out of the box".

Thanks in advance
matteo
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Re: connection unstable

Postby onlyoneskwalla » Sat Nov 24, 2007 0:48

Have you tried an alternate wifi manager? Like wpa_supplicant, or net-setup? Have you tried upgrading madwifi(your atheros chip driver) or Networkmanager? I'm on 3.4f and shows it could use a update. Wpa_supplicant has a gui and net-setup is a simple cli network utility.

You can test the net-setup really easily by and that will at least tell you whether its the driver or the NM daemon
Code: Select all
/etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop
net-setup


If you want to revert back just change the stop to start.
Code: Select all
/etc/init.d/NetworkManager start

If you want to keep the change
Code: Select all
rc-update del NetworkManager all


http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Wireless_Configuration_and_Startup
will show you how to setup for the wpa_gui. just scroll to wpa_supplicant.
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Re: connection unstable

Postby matteosistisette » Sat Nov 24, 2007 15:39

onlyoneskwalla wrote:Have you tried an alternate wifi manager? Like wpa_supplicant,


Isn't wpa_supplicant only for WPA-encrypted networks? Mine is WEP encrypted
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Re: connection unstable

Postby matteosistisette » Sat Nov 24, 2007 20:01

onlyoneskwalla wrote:Have you tried upgrading madwifi(your atheros chip driver) or Networkmanager? I'm on 3.4f and shows it could use a update.

I'm trying the live CD. I haven't installed to harddisk yet. I guess I have to install before I can update; however I need to connect to the internet before I can update, and if I can't get the wifi working I can't connect to the internet, at least from home.

onlyoneskwalla wrote:You can test the net-setup really easily by and that will at least tell you whether its the driver or the NM daemon
Code: Select all
/etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop
net-setup


I can't run net-setup, it says "no such file or command" or something like that.
I'm using the MINI edition live CD, because I tried the 3.4f DVD, but it just won't boot!!!!
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Re: connection unstable

Postby onlyoneskwalla » Sat Nov 24, 2007 22:21

Wpa_supplicant can handle wep/wpa/wpa2 so no problem there, strange that net-setup isn't on the mini. Well let me try and figure out the package its apart of.
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Re: connection unstable

Postby matteosistisette » Sat Nov 24, 2007 22:24

Ok it's definitely not the NetworkManager.

I could finally boot the 3.4f DVD (just burnt another copy and it boots fine).

I stopped the Network Manager.
Then I tried with net-setup, I entered all the information when prompted, but at the end just nothing happened.
When I tried a ping 192.168.1.1 I got an immediate "network unreachable".

So I tried connecting manually:
Code: Select all
iwconfig ath0 essid XXXXX
iwconfig key XXXXXXX
dhclient ath0


and it connected!
I could surf the net for a few minutes, and I did a ping 192.168.1.1 with no packet lost until I stopped it.

However, after a few minutes (without doing anything) I could no longer surf the web, and I did another ping 192.168.1.1 with the following result:
Code: Select all
PING 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
  From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=2 Destination Host Unreachable
  From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=3 Destination Host Unreachable
  From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=4 Destination Host Unreachable
  From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=6 Destination Host Unreachable
etcetera.

I rebooted and repeated the test.
This time, I had to run the dhclient twice before I could get an address. However, I couldn't do a successful ping nor surf the web.

Here's the complete terminal session of this second test:


Code: Select all
sabayonuser@sabayonx86 ~ $ su
Password:
sabayonx86 sabayonuser # /etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop
 * Stopping NetworkManager ...                                            [ ok ]
sabayonx86 sabayonuser # iwconfig ath0 essid WLAN_6A
sabayonx86 sabayonuser # iwconfig ath0 key ***************************
sabayonx86 sabayonuser # dhclient ath0
Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client V3.0.5-Gentoo-r1
Copyright 2004-2006 Internet Systems Consortium.
All rights reserved.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/sw/dhcp/

wifi0: unknown hardware address type 801
wifi0: unknown hardware address type 801
Listening on LPF/ath0/00:15:e9:84:19:b6
Sending on   LPF/ath0/00:15:e9:84:19:b6
Sending on   Socket/fallback
DHCPDISCOVER on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 7
DHCPDISCOVER on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 20
DHCPDISCOVER on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 19
DHCPDISCOVER on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 15
No DHCPOFFERS received.
No working leases in persistent database - sleeping.
sabayonx86 sabayonuser # dhclient ath0
Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client V3.0.5-Gentoo-r1
Copyright 2004-2006 Internet Systems Consortium.
All rights reserved.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/sw/dhcp/

wifi0: unknown hardware address type 801
wifi0: unknown hardware address type 801
Listening on LPF/ath0/00:15:e9:84:19:b6
Sending on   LPF/ath0/00:15:e9:84:19:b6
Sending on   Socket/fallback
DHCPDISCOVER on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 6
DHCPDISCOVER on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 6
DHCPDISCOVER on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67 interval 11
DHCPOFFER from 10.40.156.201
DHCPREQUEST on ath0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67
DHCPACK from 10.40.156.201
bound to 192.168.1.36 -- renewal in 20827 seconds.
sabayonx86 sabayonuser # ping 192.168.1.1
PING 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1) 56(84) bytes of data.
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=2 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=3 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=4 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=6 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=7 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=8 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=10 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=11 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=12 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=14 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=15 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=16 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=18 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=19 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=20 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=22 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=23 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=24 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=26 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=27 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=28 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=30 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=31 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=32 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=34 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=35 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=36 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=38 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=39 Destination Host Unreachable
From 192.168.1.36 icmp_seq=40 Destination Host Unreachable

--- 192.168.1.1 ping statistics ---
41 packets transmitted, 0 received, +30 errors, 100% packet loss, time 40033ms
, pipe 3


Then I asked myself: What the fuck is "wifi0"????????????
I have only one wifi card which is ath0.

So I did an iwconfig.
I forgot to save the output but it was more or less:
lo - no wireless extensions
eth0 - no wireless extensions
wifi0 - no wireless extensions
ath0 - a lot of stuff here.

I also did ifconfig; again I forgot to save the output, but the MAC address of wifi0 was:
00-15-E9-84-19-B6-00-00-00-00-00-00 (the number of zeroes may be incorrect)
which is the same mac address of my card plus a few zeroes.
Note that the MAC address of ath0 was shown as:
00:15:E9:84:19:B6

Yes, that of wifi0 appeared with "-" as the separator, while that of ath0 appeared with ":".

Weird, isn't it?



So what would be the next step?

Thanks,
m.
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Re: connection unstable

Postby onlyoneskwalla » Sat Nov 24, 2007 22:58

lsmod contain any mac80211? or ath5k? Anyways sounds like a bug with the 2 drivers stacks competing for the same card. You can try installing the new madwifi-ng or removing the mac80211 stack from the kernel or upgrading the kernel to see if the problems been addressed.

If mac80211 is there or ath5k you can modprobe -r them to see if that helps any.
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Re: connection unstable

Postby matteosistisette » Sun Nov 25, 2007 13:07

onlyoneskwalla wrote:lsmod contain any mac80211? or ath5k? Anyways sounds like a bug with the 2 drivers stacks competing for the same card.


No mac80211 nor any ath5k.

Here's what lsmod shows:

Code: Select all
Module                  Size  Used by
radeon                112320  2
drm                    76276  3 radeon
snd_seq_dummy           3876  0
snd_seq_oss            29600  0
snd_seq_midi_event      7008  1 snd_seq_oss
snd_seq                46448  5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_seq_device          7884  3 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq
vboxdrv                39176  0
wlan_scan_sta          10944  1
ath_rate_sample        11232  1
ath_pci                91528  0
wlan                  161968  4 wlan_scan_sta,ath_rate_sample,ath_pci
ath_hal               230304  3 ath_rate_sample,ath_pci
snd_intel8x0m          16876  0
8139too                25696  0
radeonfb               96928  0
fb_ddc                  2688  1 radeonfb
i2c_algo_bit            6020  1 radeonfb
yenta_socket           25100  3
rsrc_nonstatic         11200  1 yenta_socket
slamr                 426248  0
serio_raw               6852  0
pcspkr                  3104  0
ohci_hcd               22212  0
ssb                    31012  1 ohci_hcd
snd_intel8x0           32092  2
snd_ac97_codec         93028  2 snd_intel8x0m,snd_intel8x0
pcmcia                 36756  1 ssb
ac97_bus                2432  1 snd_ac97_codec
i2c_sis96x              5380  0
i2c_core               23840  4 radeonfb,fb_ddc,i2c_algo_bit,i2c_sis96x
joydev                  9696  0
shpchp                 31348  0
sis_agp                 9220  1
pci_hotplug            14024  1 shpchp
tg3                   100452  0
e1000                 111680  0
scsi_wait_scan          1504  0
sl811_hcd              11808  0
uhci_hcd               22896  0
ehci_hcd               31276  0
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