My Karmic experience

4 November 2009

Well I upgraded to Ubuntu karmic at the weekend, and mostly it went well. I looked at the Ubuntu Netbook Remix by downloading it and trying it on my Samsung NC10. I thought is quite nice but I think I prefer to use the desktop version and do my own interface tweaks to fit the screen size.

Well this all worked fine until I went into work on Monday. There I can only connect to the office wireless network. This is wpa encrypted and hidden. This is where I hit my first problem. There has been a change in wicd on hidden networks. The display name of hidden networks now displays as “<hidden>”. Which is fine, but I couldn’t get it to authenticate. I suspected the masking of the essid because this essid and the password are used to calculate the key used in wpa.

Enabling the debug option on wicd gave me the following:

2009/11/02 18:54:11 :: enctype is wpa
2009/11/02 18:54:11 :: Generating psk...
2009/11/02 18:54:11 :: ['/usr/bin/wpa_passphrase', '<hidden>', '**********']
2009/11/02 18:54:11 :: Attempting to authenticate...

The password was displayed correctly but I have added a few stars, but the essid is not. Then I found this.

That was ok so all I needed to do was wip out my Hauwei E196 3G modem and I could use that while waiting for wicd to be fixed. Plugged it in but when I tried to dial it wasn’t there. looking at syslog showed that it was continuously connecting and reconnecting. This was also up on launchpad

Well this isn’t really Ubuntu’s fault as the problem is a kernel regression. I am sure it is to do with the way that these dongles start up as CD drives in order to auto run their installation programs on windows.

But it doesn’t help the cause, especially when I am trying to convince mobile networks to support Linux.