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Drakconf multiflag.png
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PREREQUISITES

Hardware

Suitable hardware is obviously needed to create a Wifi connection, that means it must be correctly detected by Mageia. To check that, there are two solutions:

  • Using the Mageia Control Center (MCC) menu -> Tools -> System tools -> Mageia Control Center, tab Hardware and then Browse and configure hardware

Wireless001.png

Select the Ethernet line (see below) and see what the MCC found :

Wireless002.png

In this case, there is unfortunately no wireless adapter!

There are below two examples where wireless adapters are present and correctly detected, the first one is a USB stick and the second a PCI card:


Wireless005.png

Wireless20.png

It is important to find a device referring to "802.11" or "wireless" terms. You can see also what are the hardware vendor and reference, it may be useful later on.

  • Using the command line is also possible, open a console and enter under root:



Konsole.png
[root@computer ~]# iwconfig
[root@computer ~]# _


Here is an answer that says there is no wireless adapter and another one which is nicer, "wlan0" is what we are looking for (it may have other names):

Wireless003.png

Wireless006.png

Software

Drivers or firmwares are also needed, most of them are available in the Mageia repositories (Core and Nonfree), if you have an internet connection (a wired one), there is no problem, Mageia will fetch what it needs automatically. See here how to configure the repositories if necessary:

Software_management#Configure_media_sources_for_install_and_updates

But if you haven't any internet connection, you must install the needed drivers from a CD or a USB stick. See the troubleshooting section below to know the more common drivers.

WIFI CONFIGURATION

Your shiny new Mageia operating system is installed on your computer, the hardware is well detected, and you decide you want to use WiFi.
OK, let's go through this together!

  • 1. Access MCC (the Mageia Control Center)
(You will need to give the root password)
  • 2. Once MCC has launched, click on the tab "Network & Internet" and then "Set up a new network interface (LAN, ISDN, ADSL,...)"
Wireless007.png
  • 3. Select "Wireless (Wi-Fi)", then "Next"
  • 4. Select your network card in the list.

Wireless008.png

If your card is not in the list or the only option is "Use a Windows Driver (with ndiswrapper)", see the alternative method, below.
Anyway, let us assume your card is there. Select "Next".
It is possible Mageia need to download a driver it doesn't find. Check the repositories are correctly configured. If the driver isn't in the repositories, try to find it and install it, you can ask help in the Mageia forum. In both cases, start again from the point 2

Wireless012.png

  • 5. Then, you must select your WiFi Access Point by clicking on its SSID (Callsign). If you can't see any, try this I_have_no_access_point_in_the_list
  • 6. If your WiFi network is encrypted, Mageia recognizes the encryption type and selects it automatically. Of course, you will need to enter the correct password. Mageia won't do that for you!

Wireless009.png

The package wpa_supplicant is automatically installed for encrypted connections

Wireless004.png

  • 7. You have to select how the computer will be connected to the net. The easiest method is automatically, using DHCP. But, you can also specify an IP address.
  • 8. You should keep the box "Get DNS servers from DHCP" checked. Select "Next".
  • 9. Check the 2 first boxes. Select "Next".
  • 10. Answer "Yes" to the question "Do you want to start the connection now?"
Two messages can appear:

Wireless010.png See the Troubleshooting section below

Wireless013.png Good!

  • 11. Your computer will connect to the Wi-Fi point if all the information was correctly entered.
If it connects, then the networking icon in the taskbar will change from:Non-connected.png to: Connected.png
  • 12. You can test your connection in your favourite browser.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Ndiswrapper

You have followed the above instructions, Mageia recognises your Wifi-card, but the installation failed. You can try another step to solve this. This solution uses Ndiswrapper, which is a method that consists of installing and activating the Windows XP driver. This is useful when your network hardware is not well supported by Linux, which is probably why it's not on the list of supported cards!


Warning.png
Warning!
Ndiswrappper allows the use of Windows XP drivers, and XP only, for Linux


Prerequisites:

  • You will need the Windows driver for your card, either on a CD, on your hard disk or other media. You can probably also find it on the Internet, although it is best to download them from the manufacturer's website and not via a general search for drivers.
  • Place the driver in an accessible place, for example on your desktop.
  1. After Step 3 in the original procedure, select "Use a Windows driver (with ndiswrapper)", and then "Next". The system will perhaps install some packages it needs.
  2. Navigate to the directory where you stored the driver and select the_driver_for_my_card.inf.
    You have to choose the file with the ".inf" extension.
  3. You can continue with the above steps 5 to 12 to finalise the installation.

Some more help and many drivers can be found here : Sourceforge

Most common drivers

It may happen that Mageia fails to choose the right driver. If a first try failed, install the following drivers that seems to match your hardware.

Manufacturer driver
Broadcom dkms-broadcom-wl
Intel iwlwifi-3945-ucode
iwlwifi-4965-ucode
iwlwifi-agn-ucode
ipw2100-firmware
ipw2200-firmware
Ralink ralink-firmware
rtlwifi-firmware
Atheros madwifi-source
Every kernel-firmware
kernel-firmware-nonfree

I have no access point in the list

If at step 5, the list is void and you have the message "non listed - edit manually", we give you another solution.

You can install the package "kernel-firmware-nonfree" via MCC and restart your computer.

rfkill

rfkill is a tool to block/unblock all radio connexions, check that yours are authorized. In a console, enter:

Konsole.png
[user@computer ~]$ rfkill list
[user@computer ~]$ _


Wireless011.png Wireless016.png

  • If there is a line with "Soft blocked: yes" then in the console under root, enter:



Konsole.png
[root@computer ~]# rfkill unblock all
[root@computer ~]# _


  • If there is a line with "Hard blocked: yes" then find the wireless button/switch on your laptop and enable it. You can see such a switch on the picture below.

Wireless017.png

Other problems

If the wireless adapter isn't detected, or if you encounter other problems, ask help in the Mageia Forum with the following information:

  • Hardware information
Konsole.png
[user@computer ~]$ inxi -n
[user@computer ~]$ _


  • This command output for a PCI card:



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[root@computer ~]# lspcidrake | grep -i net
[root@computer ~]# _


  • This command output for a USB card:



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[root@computer ~]# lsusb
[root@computer ~]# _


  • The installed driver

To know if a driver is installed, you can use this command in a console:



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[root@computer ~]# rpm -qa|grep piece_of_the_driver_name
[root@computer ~]# _


Example:

Wireless015.png

Structured troubleshooting for wireless issues - WORK IN PROGRESS

Overview

This section tries to describe how to go from zero to wireless in some more-or-less easy steps and in a structured manner, from the ground up, from bottom to top.

For a high-level overview, the basic steps are always as follows:

  1. get your device properly recognised/initialised (driver & firmware)
  2. make sure your device is unblocked via rfkill (soft block) or hardware switch on laptop (hard blocked)
  3. be able to see wireless networks, and be able to connect to wireless networks (unencrypted for testing)
  4. connect and authenticate to wireless network (WPA/WPA2) and stay connected
  5. get your IP address configuration correct

Steps in detail

1. Driver/firmware installation
  • 1.1 Check which physical device and chipset you have, and what is seen by the kernel
Konsole.png
[user@computer ~]$ lspcidrake -v
[user@computer ~]$ _

-v for verbosity is important! Otherwise, information about vendor, product and device ID is omitted. This information is used to know which wireless chipset you have, and gather specific information about that chipset and required firmware.

  • 1.2 Does your chipset require firmware to work? Is the firmware installed on your box? and is it already correctly loaded?

This is actually two-fold; one part you can investigate yourself at http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers and use this table:

List of firmware packages, and what repo they are contained in
Repository Firmware
Core Release kernel-firmware
Core 32 bits release zd1211-firmware
Non-free 32 bits release ipw2100-firmware
ipw2200-firmware
kernel-firmware-nonfree (most common firmware including Atheros, Broadcom, Intel IWL)
ralink-firmware (RaLink)
rtlwifi-firmware (Realtek)
  • 1.3 Check which firmware is loaded (might output some more information than just firmware). Enter with root rights (Ctrl C to quit):


Konsole.png
[root@computer ~]# journalctl -ab | grep -iE "fw|firmware|iwl|wifi|wire|80211"
[root@computer ~]# _


2. Check if the device is blocked with the commands rfkill list all or rfkill list wlan

See #rfkill for more details

In some cases, you might also see your wireless device listed multiple times, and one is blocked and the other one is not. Those issues are mostly laptop-specific, when the wireless switch is implemented as a softbutton and this softbutton implementation requires a specific kernel module to be loaded. Often the case with some Asus, Acer, HP or Toshiba laptops. See https://forums.mageia.org/en/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5845 for an example.

3. Check if your device is usable and can see networks


Konsole.png
[root@computer ~]# iwconfig
[root@computer ~]# _

This command above shows if your wireless device is initialised, usable and its name (on the left).

Those commands below, search for wireless networks that can be seen by your wireless chipset. Replace wlan0 by your wireless device name.


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[root@computer ~]# iwlist wlan0 scan
[root@computer ~]# _

or


Konsole.png
[root@computer ~]# iw dev wlan0 scan
[root@computer ~]# _


4. Check if you can connect to your network

Rule of thumb: Only use one network manager. Mageia by default comes with the inhouse net_applet and the integration in Mageia Control Center via drakconnect and draknetcenter . Also see http://doc.mageia.org/mcc/4/en/content/mcc-network.html for an overview. An alternative to net_applet would be NetworkManager, which comes by default e.g. with GNOME. Since Mageia 4 those tools should not be blocking each other, but should run smoothly in parallel.

Konsole.png
[user@computer ~]$ ps -ef | grep -v grep | grep -i net
[user@computer ~]$ _


Should only show one out of net_applet or NetworkManager

For ways to switch between both have a look at the related forum thread: https://forums.mageia.org/en/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5782

5. Check your IP addressing configuration


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[root@computer ~]# ifconfig -a
[root@computer ~]# _

shows your wireless interface IP address.


Konsole.png
[root@computer ~]# netstat -rn
[root@computer ~]# _

This command allows you to ping your router/gateway, if this doesn't work, check your wireless connection details

Konsole.png
[user@computer ~]$ ping -c10 8.8.8.8
[user@computer ~]$ _

With this command, you should be able to ping internet hosts (first by IP address to rule out name resolution issues). If this is working, you have internet connection. If next step doesn't work, you only need to fix DNS.

Konsole.png
[user@computer ~]$ ping -c10 google.com
[user@computer ~]$ _


Warning.png
Warning!
For these two last commands, make sure your router is configured to answer to the ping command


Example

1. Driver/firmware installation

WirelessTrouble1.png

My chipset is iwl 3945 ...

WirelessTrouble1b.png

... and its firmware is loaded. (Ctrl C to quit and space bar to display next page).

2. Check if the device is blocked with the command rfkill list

See #rfkill for more details

3. Check if your device is usable and can see networks

WirelessTrouble3.png

Yes, it is

Wireless018.png

No, it is not

WirelessTrouble3b.png

Several networks are seen

4. Check if you can connect to your network

WirelessTrouble4.png

My file manager is net_applet and it is loaded

5. Check up IP addressing configuration

WirelessTrouble5a.png

I can see my IP address ...

WirelessTrouble5b.png

... my gateway address (red circled), and the ping is working (0% packet loss).

related links with further information

https://wiki.mageia.org/en/Triage_guide#Networking_issues
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wireless_network_configuration
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/WirelessTroubleShootingGuide
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WirelessTroubleshootingProcedure
http://linux-wless.passys.nl and also http://linux-wless.passys.nl/query_alles.php?
http://wireless.kernel.org/

known issues with specific drivers