Listing 1517 Searching for a Wireless Network

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Laptop Repair Made Easy

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thinkpad:~ # iwlist ethl scan ethl Scan completed :

Cell 01 - Address: 00:30:BD:62:80:7A ESSID:"WLAN" Mode:Master Frequency:2.462GHz Bit Rate:1Mb/s Bit Rate:2Mb/s Bit Rate:5.5Mb/s Bit Rate:11Mb/s

Quality:20/100 Signal level:-78 dBm Noise level:-98 dBm Encryption key:off

The iwlist command returns all wireless networks in range as well as the frequency and signal strength. In this case, you have found the network WLAN that you need to join and configure.

To join a wireless network, you use the iwconfig command, which is effectively ifconfig for wireless networks.

thinkpad:~ # iwconfig eth1 essid WLAN

The iwconfig command takes two very important parameters, the interface your wireless network card has been attached to (eth1) and the ESS ID (the network name of your wireless network) of the wireless LAN you wish to connect to.

When the command has completed, you can then enable DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) for that interface. SUSE includes ifup-dhcp and ifdown-dhcp to attach a DHCP client to the network card. In this example, you attach the DHCP process to ethl, which has now been configured and attached to the WLAN wireless network.

thinkpad:~ # ifup-dhcp ethl

Starting DHCP Client Daemon on ethl... . IP/Netmask: 192.168.1.80 / 255.255.255.0

You can see that the wireless network has picked up 192.168.1.80/24 as our network configuration.

If your laptop does not include the Centrino chipset, you will probably find a good PCMCIA (an expansion slot for laptops) card that provides wireless support for you. A lot of Linux users have had great results with the Cisco wireless cards. If you are using a supported wireless network card that does not need specific firmware to work (as the Centrino chipset needs), you can follow the instructions for setting up your wireless network from the iwlist introduction onward.

If you are not sure if your wireless networking card is supported in Linux, or you are looking to purchase one, Google is always your friend. Use Google to search for the term "Linux" and the model number of the wireless networking card you are interested in.

Bluetooth is another great technology that is helping drive mobile technology further and further. Bluetooth under Linux is quite mature, and KDE also includes programs to take advantage of your Bluetooth system.

For Bluetooth to work under Linux, do the following:

1. Install the bluez-* Bluetooth stack packages using YaST's package manager.

2. Once installed, make sure Bluetooth has been turned on in your laptop (on the Thinkpad, press Fn+F5).

3. Once running, start the Bluetooth service with rcbluetooth start.

4. Once running, you need to bring up your Bluetooth network device with the hciconfig hci0 up command.

As usual with the Bluetooth stack on "other" operating systems, you can scan for discoverable devices in range of the personal area network. To scan for Bluetooth devices, use the hcitool command.

thinkpad:~ # hcitool scan Scanning ...

For more information on using DHCP, take a look at Chapter 19.

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