wpa_supplicant works on some occasions, but not others

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 08:34:14 EST 2007


On Thu, 22 Nov 2007, Leslie Katz wrote:

> Joshua Layne wrote:
>
> >Can you post your configuration file? (/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf by
>
>> default on most distros)
>
>> It sounds like you are missing:
>> scan_ssid=1
>
>> which (forgive my layman's interpretation) allows wpa_supplicant to
>> 'sniff' the SSID, even if the AP isn't broadcasting it.'
>
>
>
> Joshua,
>
> Thanks very much for taking the trouble to reply.
>
> My wpa_supplicant.conf file is very brief. It reads:
>
> ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
>
> network={
> 	ssid="Home"
> 	psk=d9983c2ad5cc497711ae52277e75f4d593135e16d233f0897ddc631c40f59972
> }
>
> About adding scan_ssid=1, I'm in this embarrassing situation. Today, the 
> damn thing is working again! I've now had the following experience: two 
> days ago, I set things up and all worked properly; yesterday, I couldn't 
> get it to work at all; today, I try it and it works again.

I've been using wpa_supplicant on Fedora COre 6 with a TEW-229UB dongle 
and ndiswrapper with few problems for almost a year.  I did a fresh 
install of Fedora 8 on Nov. 9th and copied over the old 
wpa_supplicant.conf. Initially, wireless seemed to be working fine. 
Since then we have had numerous power and/or cable internet outages 
lasting hours.  The batteries in my UPS (as well as a bunch at work) died, 
so I was offline for a few days. Since then, I've long periods like this 
(edited for privacy):

$ tail -f /var/log/wpa_supplicant.log
Trying to associate with 00:** (SSID='**' freq=2417 MHz)
Associated with 00:**
WPA: Key negotiation completed with 00:** [PTK=TKIP GTK=TKIP]
CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED - Connection to 00:** completed (auth) 
[id=0 id_str=]
CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED - Disconnect event - remove keys
Trying to associate with 00:** (SSID='**' freq=2417 MHz)
Trying to associate with 00:** (SSID='**' freq=2417 MHz)
Associated with 00:**
Authentication with 00:** timed out.
CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED - Disconnect event - remove keys
Trying to associate with 00:** (SSID='**' freq=2417 MHz)
Associated with 00:**
WPA: Key negotiation completed with 00:** [PTK=TKIP GTK=TKIP]
CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED - Connection to 00:** completed (auth) 
[id=0 id_str=]
CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED - Disconnect event - remove keys
Trying to associate with 00:** (SSID='**' freq=2417 MHz)
Trying to associate with 00:** (SSID='**' freq=2417 MHz)
Associated with 00:**
Authentication with 00:** timed out.
CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED - Disconnect event - remove keys
Trying to associate with 00:** (SSID='**' freq=2417 MHz)
Associated with 00:**
CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED - Disconnect event - remove keys
Authentication with 00:00:00:00:00:00 timed out.

Note the change in the mac address for the last authentication timeout. 
Is there a nice way to add "-dd -t" to the wpa_supplicant command issued 
by NetworkManager?  I'll try wrapping wpa_supplicant with a script.

The disconnects generally occur within seconds of NetworkManager 
announcing that a connection has been established.

I use:

network={
         ssid="nowhere"
         scan_ssid=1
         mode=0
         psk=************************
         proto=WPA
         key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
         pairwise=TKIP
         group=TKIP
         peerkey=0
         priority=1
}

but Fedora NetworkManager may be overriding some entries (it stores 
keys in the Gnome keyring).  After a disconnect event it prompts for
a key, but whether I choose "cancel" or enter the key it still fails
to connect.

> What I'll do now is wait until it doesn't work again and then add 
> scan_ssid=1.

How do wireless AP's choose frequencies?  If they attempt to use a clear
channel, events like power outages may cause problems when not all AP's 
come back at the same time.  I can imagine that it might take some time
after a power outage for the AP's in a neighborhood to stablize.

My experience suggests a problem with recovery from an Authentication
timeout.  This might have nothing to do with wpa_supplicant, and it
sometimes seems to help if I disconnect the USB dongle so the stack
gets loaded again (or maybe just rmmod ndiswrapper ; modprobe 
ndiswrapper).

> If that fixes the problem, great.
>
> If not, I'll post something to the list again.



-- 
George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>



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