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[opensuse] wpa_supplicant config/cache changes prevent connection w/o wpa_cli/wpa_gui?
  • From: drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 12:42:03 -0600
  • Message-id: <4cffd17b.Iwz5hpEb9GIUHssS%drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Here is a new one for me. After using madwifi/wpa_supplicant on Atheros
hardware from 2004 on, yesterday I was stuck unable to connect to my wireless
AP a work. In the past, all that was ever required to connect with
wpa-personal/psk(tkip) was to create a network block for the wireless AP you
wanted to connect to using:

# wpa_passphrase <ssid> [passphrase]

Then all that was needed was to include that network block in
/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf. On wireless start, the network blocks
are tried in the order they appear in the .conf file until a connection is made
(or you can set priority within each block). Despite having done this countless
times, yesterday it simply would not work.

I saved the original wpa_supplicant.conf -> wpa_supplicant.conf.sav and
created a new one that contained only the network block for the AP I wanted to
connect to & restarted networking (full rcnetwork stop; rcnetwork start).
Despite only having 1 network block in wpa_supplicant.conf, the socket
'/var/run/wpa_supplicant-ath0.conf' still contained the network block for my
home AP. Huh? So I stopped networking again and confirmed that
wpa_supplicant-ath0.conf was deleted when the network shut down ... and it was.

After 20 or so minutes of frustration, I looked at wpa_cli and wpa_gui.
Both allowed you to set the wireless network connection information, but I had
never used either in the seven years before. Firing up wpa_gui, I was able to
'add' a network for the office AP and viola, I got a connection. The
frustrating part was I could NOT save the network configuration despite having
'update_config=1' in wpa_supplicant.conf.

Long story short, does anybody know why wpa_supplicant appears to be
ignoring the network blocks in wpa_supplicant.conf? Also, why does the socket
'/var/run/wpa_supplicant-ath0.conf' continue to be created with my home AP
information -- even when I am connected to the AP at work? And... why does it
look like either wpa_cli or wpa_gui are now required to change wireless
networks when simply conf file changes were all that were required in the past?

Any ideas would be appreciated.
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
Rankin Law Firm, PLLC
510 Ochiltree Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
Telephone: (936) 715-9333
Facsimile: (936) 715-9339
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