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How do configure /etc/network/interfaces file to work with encryption?

Posted on 2006-11-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a Linksys wmp-11 wireless PCI card on my Debian system and trying to connect to a Linksys 4 port router.  More accurately, I'm trying to get it to work with encryption turned on.  It works fine without encryption.

Here's the relevant portion of my /etc/network/interface file:

wireless_mode Ad-Hoc
wireless_essid linksys
wireless_key 26-hex-digits

I've tried a bunch of other settings but couldn't get anything to work.
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Question by:nysus1
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dlangr earned 2000 total points
ID: 18031469
Without dhcp:
iface wlan0 inet
       address 192.168.123.5
       netmask 255.255.255.0
       gateway 192.168.123.1
       wireless_essid XXXXX
       wireless_channel 6
       wireless_mode Managed
       wireless_key XXXXXXXXXX (26 hex digits)
       wireless_rate 54M auto

With dhcp
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
      wireless_essid XXXXX
      wireless_channel 6
      wireless_mode managed
      wireless_key XXXXXXXXXX (26 hex digits)
      wireless_rate 54M auto


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by:dlangr
ID: 18031482
note that mode has to be managed if connecting to a linksys router, as ad-hoc networking is for computer to computer connections without involving a wireless router or AP
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by:nysus1
ID: 18031840
Re the managed setting.  I had it that way initially.  The ad-hoc setting was there out of desperation.

The good news is I got it working.  The frustrating thing is that I'm not sure what fixed it.  I disabled encryption on the router and removed the encryption key from the interface file.   But the 'iwconfig eth1' told me the password key was still being used; even after issuing a '/etc/init.d/networking restart' command.  When I renabled encryption on the router and the interface file and did 'iwconfig eth1 key on' it started to work.

My question is: Why did I have to issue that command?  Doesn't '/etc/init.d/networking restart' take care of that?
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Expert Comment

by:dlangr
ID: 18043934
Excerpt from http://www.linuxcommand.org/man_pages/iwconfig8.html 

Some cards may not apply changes done  through  Wireless  Extensions  immediately  (they  may  wait to aggregate the changes or apply it only when the card is brought up  via  ifconfig).  This command  (when  available)  forces the card to apply all pending changes. This is normally not needed, because the  card  will eventually apply the changes, but can be useful for debugging.
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