Problems with wireless in Linux

Hi. I have several problems with my wireless card and I really need help. I'm using BackTrack 3.0 and the laptop is Dell Latitude D830. The wireless card is Dell Wireless 1505 802.11a/g/Draft n.

I had driver problems and I installed windows drivers using ndiswrapper. Now I have an interface (wlan0) which seems to work for non-secure connections. Actually I couldnt get it to work today but I might have done something wrong. But anyway... The problem is with WPA.
This is what my wpa_supplicant.conf file looks like:
    psk=my_psk(generated by wpa_passphrase)

And these are the commands I use after writing the conf file:
ifconfig wlan0 up
wpa_supplicant -D ndiswrapper -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

When I enter the second and press enter, it seems to freeze for ages and when it's finally finished my wlan0 interface is down. No errors. I also tried running this command before the others:
dhcpcd -o wlan0

This also takes a while to finish and after that wpa_supplicant never actually finishes, at least I havent waited long enough for it to finish. The interface doesnt go down and still no ip. I cancel it with CTRL-C and the interface is down again.

The other problem is that I cant put my wireless card into monitoring mode. This is what I've tried:
When I run:
iwconfig wlan0 mode Monitor

I get:
Error for wireless request "Set Mode" (8B06):
SET failed on device wlan0 ; Invalid argument.

When I run:
airmon-ng start wlan0

This time I get an interface list with only wlan0 in it where the Chipset is set as Unknown and the Driver is set as ndiswrapper with (MONITOR MODE NOT SUPPORTED) next to it.

This is a bit long but I just wanted to give you a clear idea. I would appreciate any help
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Did you try reading up on this site:
It is the place for everything on wireless linux, if it is not there, it's not in the linux kernel.

should be

ezgigurkanAuthor Commented:
So you think it's a driver thing and not a configuration or anything like that? How can I tell which one's for my card? And I cant believe almost none of the drivers support monitoring.
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The ndis wrapper driver usually gives wifi connectivity but not much more than that and usually not at the speeds you would like, don't expect anything fancy from the ndis wrapper driver.

To tell what card you got, you could try the lspci command (as root).
or if that is not enough output for you try "lspci -vv|less" (without the quotes and again as root)
use lsusb if it is a usb wifi card

Well that is a sad fact, since not many hardware vendors give native linux support a lot of the wifi drivers a reverse enigineerd.
There is ofcourse always the possibillity that the hardware vendor produced some closed source binary drivers for linux, but this is a small chance.

Once you found out which card you got with the lspci command  you can do some googling with the vendor id you get from the lspci command.
Or you can put the output of the lspci command (just the bit about the wifi card) here and we can have a look at it.

errr I really should read my posts before I post them
My apologys for the terrible post.

ezgigurkanAuthor Commented:
I tried something different instead of ndiswrapper. Someone had suggested me to try this out but couldnt manage to do it at the time.
I downloaded and installed drivers from following this readme file
Everything went smooth and lspci gave me this:
Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4328 802.11a/b/g/n (rev 03)

I have an interface called eth1 for wireless now. airmon-ng show the driver as "wl", which is the name of the file I compiled and installed.

Now wpa_supplicant doesnt accept the driver "broadcom" (given with parameter -D). I get an unsupported driver error.  The same thing happens if I try "wl" instead. I also tried "wext" for the hell of it and it freezes again.

`iwconfig eth1 mode Monitor` still gives the same error as before but the output from `airmon-ng start eth1` says (monitor mode enabled) next to the driver (which is "wl"). But when I check with iwconfig the interface still seems to be in Managed mode.

Any ideas?
broadcom requires you to load a firmware into the chip each time you start up.

Broadcom has is in fact one of the very few that produce a driver (binary blob) that can be used on linux.

Big bummer is that from the bcm43xx series the 4328 is not included in the support .

You could give it a shot though... (a long one)
See this link
It contains a step by step on how to download the firmware and how to install it on linux.

Good Luck

ezgigurkanAuthor Commented:
Dont really like anything with deprecated next to its name but gave it a go. Didnt make a difference. Didnt create any interfaces. Then I installed the drivers I had on top of it. I got an interface but the same problems. So no effect whatsoever!

I've noticed that while the wpa_supplicant "freezes" ifconfig shows the interface's frame count increasing. At some point it was up to 6000:) Is it possible that it's not a driver problem but an authentication problem?

Anyway, can you suggest me a USB dongle with an Atheros chipset? Or a source I can check?

I'm afraid I cannot suggest any hardware dongle since I have never needed to look into that.

Maybe you could start here (just a guess since I never aqtually looked for specific linux hardware, or bothered to dig around on that site)

I usually go for cheap hardware since the cheap stuff is used often and more likely to wind up in the hands of a linux developer than the exotic and/or expensive hardware.
And if it doesn't work I wait a while for the next kernel release (or alsa/sane/cups....whatever) and usually it works after that.

If you have no patience or time to wait for the update you will have to start digging on the internet and look for forums dedicated to the specific hardware item.



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ezgigurkanAuthor Commented:
I used to hate linux and now I remember why. But anyway, I checked several compatibility lists and forums and decided to buy a Hawking HWUG1. The BackTrack wiki says it works out of the box without the need for installing drivers or any configuration. It also supports monitoring, packet injection, etc... In addition, I love the name:) It's Stephen Hawking's surname and resembles Dawkins too. It's perfect:) Hope it'll work...
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