Thursday, January 14, 2010

Getting Wireless To Work In USM Penang

Happy new year!

I have a new job, and it's keeping me kind of busy, so I won't be blogging much in these next few months. I got a laptop from the workplace, which came with Vista. I didn't really want to format a work laptop, so I even kept it for 24 hours. After that I couldn't stand it any more, and if a computer was to be useful to me, it can't be running Windows. Therefore, I zapped it and installed Debian. One of things I had to figure out was how to get the wireless to work inside the university, so here's how to do it.

This is for my own reference, as the IT centre in my university doesn't know much about Linux and can't really support it. However, making it work is a breeze.

This assumes you're running Debian or something that works like Debian, and have wireless drivers, firmware and related utilities installed. You'll need wpa_supplicant and optionally, ifscheme.

Just stick this in /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf:


Replace 'yourid' with the ID that the IT centre assigns to you, and 'supersekritpassword' with the corresponding password.

Since I use ifscheme to switch between networking profiles (great tool btw, comes with Debian and examples on how to use it is here).

The entry I have in /etc/network/interfaces is as follows:

iface wlan0-usm inet dhcp
wpa-driver wext
wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
name USM

Whenever I want to use the USM wireless, I just type ifscheme usm; ifup wlan0 and I am done!