Linux operating systems comes with various set of tools allowing you to manipulate the Wireless Extensions and monitor wireless networks. Here is a list of Linux tools used for wireless network monitoring tools that can be used from your laptop or desktop system to find out wifi network speed, bit rate, signal quality/strength, and more.
A regular question from my mailbag:
I am in the process of up grading my computer. Where can I get a list of the WUSB for Linux?
Wireless USB adapters are pretty popular for desktop and laptop usage in home. It is capable of sending 480 Mbit/s at distances up to 3 meters and 110 Mbit/s at up to 10 meters. Newer N series can work at 270Mbit/s at up to 300 meters. However, 50-100 meters are acceptable ranges. Unfortunately, finding Linux compatible USB wireless adapter is a big challenge due to driver issues. Over a past few years, I’ve used and installed various USB wireless adapters and created my own small HCL for it. In this quick blog post I will list all working USB wireless adapter.
I’ve already written about configuring and using DLink wireless card with the help of RT61 driver. However, few readers like to know more about Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2) secure wireless configurations.
Step # 1: Configure Router / AP with WPA2 Security Mode
First you need to configure WPA2 security mode on the access point. All devices on your network must use the same security mode in order to communicate. Open router configuration by visiting default IP https://192.168.1.1/ and setup
- Security Mode: WPA2 Personal
- WPA2 Algorithm: You may choose from AES or TKIP+AES. Choose TKIP+AES if you have both WPA and WPA2 devices on your network.
- WPA2 Pre-Shared Key: Choose a unique key to authenticate with other devices on your network. The Pre-Shared Key must be between 8 and 63 characters in length. You can generate unique key by visiting this webpage. You can also use standard UNIX / Linux utilities to generates true random passwords (key) by using the /dev/random feature of Linux.
- Group Key Renewal: This settings determines how often your group key changes.
(Fig. 01: Configure WPA2 for your router / access point)
Step # 2: Configure RT61 Wireless Card
Open /etc/network/interfaces file and make changes as follows:
$ sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
iface ra0 inet dhcp
pre-up iwconfig ra0 mode managed
pre-up ifconfig ra0 up
pre-up iwconfig ra0 essid nixcraft
pre-up iwpriv ra0 set AuthMode=WPA2PSK
pre-up iwpriv ra0 set WPAPSK='|zdUkK(!X)_'G!}@1|@OS/6RA#'+}eq8b&V@x1%OZyyDVV:Xwp8UmwLFNS^7=A+'
pre-up iwpriv ra0 set EncrypType=AES
Save and close the file. Make sure you replace device name (ra0), essid and WPAPSK with actual configuration parameters. Restart the networking:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
Other simple security suggestion
- Change the default admin password on the access point / router.
- If possible turn off administration feature on the access point for wireless interface
- Set up an access control list by Mac address of all devices you want to associate with the access point.
Please note that above instructions are only tested using RT61 driver under Ubuntu Linux. However, instructions should work with any other Linux distos and drivers with minor or minimum changes.
The BlackBerry is a wireless handheld which I used mainly for office e-mail, telephone, text messaging and other wireless information services. Joe has published some interesting information about syncing BlackBerry on Linux:
If you use Linux on your desktop, and you also happen to have a BlackBerry handheld device, you’re probably aware that Research in Motion, the company that develops the BlackBerry platform, offers nothing in the way of support for its devices on Linux — but the intrepid geeks in the free software world do.
Thanks to to the efforts of the Barry and OpenSync projects, I just finished syncing my BlackBerry 8800 with my Evolution contacts on my Ubuntu 7.10 desktop.
If all you want to do is share data between your Linux box and the BlackBerry, no sweat. The 2GB Micro SD storage I inserted in my 8800 is available to my Linux system just like any other USB storage device. When I connect the USB cable to the BlackBerry, I simply say yes when Ubuntu asks if I want to enter Mass Storage Mode, and I can copy music and photos to the phone. I have run into a problem getting the audio for videos that were created with Kino to work correctly, but other than that, moving data back and forth between the PDA and the desktop “just works.”
=> Syncing your BlackBerry on Linux