Wireless Linux: Using the Linux Wireless ToolBox Keyword Discovery
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Wireless Linux: Using the Linux Wireless ToolBox

Posted by Eric Meyer on: 2006-03-29 21:19:11

Self SEO > Personal Tech Articles

First thing you need to do is purchase a wireless adapter card with a prism2 chipset. Just go to google and type in linux wireless adapters and track one down.

If you are using a fairly good wireless distro it should pick up the card automatically.

Ok, Now you have the card now what, you plugged it in and look to the bottom write where the Windows XP wireless Icon usually is and find nothing.

There is no Zero config utility with linux, but they do have built in tools to help connect to wireless networks.

Now you need to find the Command line terminal, it usually looks like a window with a shell because it is a shell.

Now let's test to see if you have your card working. Type in iwlist at the command prompt. If it doesn't let you, then you might have enter administrator mode.

You can enter administrator mode by typing su at the command prompt. Then you will be asked for the administrator password.

Now type in iwlist at the command prompt. This will give you a ton of tools to work with. Once you have typed in iwlist and nothing happens then you probably don't have the right card or it's configured wrong.

Check and make sure you don't have any other wireless network adapters active and disable them if they are. Also make sure that your wireless adapter is set to start up at boot time. You need to look for your system utilities area..it's like the Microsoft control panel called Yast.

By the way your wireless adapter should be named wlan0

The iwlist command will give a list of options that look like this: usage: iwlist [interface] scanning
[interface] frequency
[interface] channel
[interface] bitrate
[interface] rate
[interface] encryption
[interface] key
[interface] power
[interface] txpower
[interface] retry
[interface] ap
[interface] accesspoints
[interface] peers
[interface] event

All of these options can give you various detailed information about surrounding wireless networks.

If you type in iwist scanning it will give a out of all wireless networks available to you with an output like this:
wlan0 Scan completed :
Cell 01 - Address: 00:14:BF:75:31:FD
Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
Quality:2/94 Signal level:-84 dBm Noise level:-154 dBm
Encryption key n
Bit Rate:1 Mb/s
Bit Rate:2 Mb/s
Bit Rate:5.5 Mb/s
Bit Rate:11 Mb/s
Bit Rate:18 Mb/s
Bit Rate:24 Mb/s
Bit Rate:36 Mb/s
Bit Rate:54 Mb/s
Bit Rate:6 Mb/s
Bit Rate:9 Mb/s
Bit Rate:12 Mb/s
Bit Rate:48 Mb/s

This gives you the Network Name, MAC address, Frequency, encryption and much more. This information can be used to join your preferred network.

If you are monitoring certain access point you can type in iwlist accesspoints and get the listing of each nearby access point with the MAC address.

Once you have located the access point you want to connect with it' time to start using another command called iwconfig.

iwconfig is used to configure your wireless adapter so you can connect it to your preferred network. You can configure every thing from the ESSID to the transmit power of your wireless adapter.

iwconfig [interface]
iwconfig interface [essid X] [nwid N] [freq F] [channel C]
[sens S] [mode M] [ap A] [nick NN]
[rate R] [rts RT] [frag FT] [txpower T]
[enc E] [key K] [power P] [retry R]

The syntax for using the iwconfig command is: iwconfig (interface name) then what ever you want to configure. So if you want to configure the ESSID you would type iwconfig wlan0 essid “network name”.

Now that you know that the tools are there go to work!!!

Learn everything you could ever want to know about wireless networking technology at http://www.wirelessninja.com Learn how to prevent hackers from exploiting your wireless network. Also learn how to prevent the most dangerous computer threat, social engineering.

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