May 27, 2003

Setting up SuSE for wireless networking

- by Lee Schlesinger -
I was excited to set up my brand-spanking-new copy of SuSE Linux Professional 8.2 on a machine I'm planning to use for testing and review. Everything went smoothly except for installation of the Orinoco Silver PC Card network adapter. Several hours and unsuccessful tacks later, I can claim victory, and maybe save you time if you tackle the same task.

The key file that controls the PCMCIA NIC is /etc/sysconfig/network/ifcfg-eth-pcmcia. I first tried editing it manually, but there's a much easier way.

Use SuSE's YaST2 installation program. Click on Network Devices, then Network Card, and click the Configure button. Now you can check the Wireless Device box. Change the operating mode to Automatic, and enter the ESSID of your access point. If you're using encryption (and I suggest you do) enter the key. I use 40-bit encryption, so my key looks like "0102030405," with no dot separators.

The rest of the configuration you can leave with the default choices.

To get software that can manage your connection, open YaST Control Center again. Click on Install and Remove Software. Change the Filter to Search and look for Kwifimanager, which is on CD2. After you install it, you can run it from the main menu under Internet / Ham-Radio.

Thanks to Robert Falbo, whose posting on the alt.linux.suse newsgroup pointed the way. I'm finding a Google search of newsgroups more frequently yields helpful results than a Google Web search.


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