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Setting Up Wireless Network on Ubuntu 5.1

When I installed Ubuntu 5.1 "The Breezy Badger" on my Sony VAIO PCG-505TS SuperSlim notebook, I had to use the Sony PCGA-CD51/A PCMCIA External CD-ROM drive. The SuperSlim notebook was a little too thin for a built-in CD drive. And the Sony PCGA-CD51/A drive is the only external drive that would boot on this computer. The catch is that my Proxim RangeLAN-DS 802.11b Wireless LAN PC Card also uses the PCMCIA slot. So to install Ubuntu, I had to temporarily unplug the wireless network card and plug-in the CD-ROM drive.

After installing the Ubuntu Linux operating system successfully, it's time to install the wireless network card. Ubuntu is a bit different from the Red Hat 8 that I had installed, so it took a while for me to figure out how to install the card. The rest of the article documents the procedure.

Step 1: Check Your Wireless Hardware

Ubuntu has a "Network settings" dialog that can help you set-up your network. You can open it by going to "System -> Administration -> Networking". However, the Proxim RangeLAN-DS 802.11b Wireless LAN PC Card did not show up on the "Connections" list (see picture below). If your network card showed up on this list, then you can skip this step. Otherwise, read on to see how to set-up your hardware.

Attached Image:

Network settings.png

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 21:51:13 -0800

Luckily I had some experience setting up the Proxim RangeLAN-DS 802.11b Wireless LAN PC Card on Red Hat 8 (see my "Setting Up Wireless Network on Red Hat 8" article elsewhere on this site). Using the same technique as explained in that article, I attempted to add the following lines to /etc/pcmcia/config.opts:

card "Proxim RangeLAN-DS/LAN PC Card"
manfid 0x0126, 0x8000
bind "orinoco_cs"

Upon reboot, Ubuntu found the wireless network card successfully as indicated in the picture below. Once Ubuntu recognizes the wireless network card, it's time to configure the connection.

Attached Image:

The interface eth0 is not configured.png

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 21:52:24 -0800

Step 2: Configuring the Connection

Click on the "Wireless connection" item to select it. Then click on the "Properties" button, which will now be enabled. An "Interface properties" dialog box will pop up on your screen. Most of the GUI widgets on the dialog will be disabled and blank. Click on the "Enable this connection" checkbox to enable the dialog. Then fill in the detail for your network. An example of the "Interface properties" dialog box filled in is shown below. I found out that the "Network name (ESSID)" is case-sensitive, so make sure the case matches your wireless access point.

Attached Image:

Interface properties.png

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 21:53:27 -0800

After configuring the network interface, click on the "OK" button to store your settings. Then click on the "DNS" tab in "Network settings" dialog box. If you are using DHCP, then you can skip configuring the DNS Servers. Otherwise, add your DNS Server addresses using this box. An example is shown in the picture below.

Attached Image:

DNS Tab.png

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 21:54:10 -0800

When you are done, click back to the "Connections" tab. Select the "Wireless connection" item again (see picture below). This time, click on the "Activate" button to activate the wireless network on your computer. Now you can get on the network once again.

Attached Image:

Active Interface.png

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 5 Mar 2006 21:54:50 -0800

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Title: Setting Up Wireless Network on Red Hat 8
Weblog: GearHack
Tracked: Sat, 11 Nov 2006 23:51:26 -0800

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