HOWTO: Wireless with Intel 3945ABG/4965AGN on FreeBSD 8.0

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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Since handbook covers only method that works up to 7.x series I will add here what to do to have working wireless Intel 3945ABG on FreeBSD 8.0.

You need to add these things to these files:

/boot/loader.conf
Code:
if_wpi_load="YES"
/etc/rc.conf
Code:
wlans_wpi0="wlan0"
ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"
/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
Code:
ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
ctrl_interface_group=wheel

network={
  ssid="network0"
  proto=WPA
  psk="5a$$w04d0"
  }

network={
  ssid="network1"
  proto=WPA
  psk="5a$$w04d1"
  }
This is of course setup for WPA encryption, currently the most popular sollution.

It works reliably, I was able to pkg_add -r -v xorg without any problems.

To search new networks just type: ifconfig wlan0 up scan

EDIT 2009-12-01

To get wireless connection on Intel 4965AGN, it will require the following changes to this cnofiguration:

/boot/loader.conf
Code:
[color="Red"]-if_wpi_load="YES"[/color]
[color="Green"]+if_iwn_load="YES"[/color]
/etc/rc.conf
Code:
[color="Red"]-wlans_wpi0="wlan0"[/color]
[color="Green"]+wlans_iwn0="wlan0"[/color]
 

jurrie

Member

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Messages: 28

I followed these steps and my wifi connection worked immediately. However, its stability is very... dodgy. The connection drops often and can stay down for minutes on end before resuming. Other OSes do not have this problem on this machine.

I read about other people having an unstable connection with the 3945ABG and was wondering if this is just the way things will be for now, or if there's some solution. I tried the ndis method, but it crashes my system when I load the module :-/ (latest 32b winXP driver from intel).

I have a free Express card slot on this laptop (I know...). Would the Belkin N Expresscard be an improvement into stability, or is it not a well known card at all? I'm quite limited in express wifi cards here.
 
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vermaden

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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Hi,

I have recently modified /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file with these:
Code:
 ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
 ctrl_interface_group=wheel
[B]+ap_scan=1
+eapol_version=1
+fast_reauth=1[/B]

 network={
   ssid="network0"
   proto=WPA
   psk="5a$$w04d0"
   }

 network={
   ssid="network1"
   proto=WPA
   psk="5a$$w04d1"
   }
Also, ifconfig wlan0 up scan not always works (I have already submited a bug).

If your connection does not work, try that to get it again:
Code:
# /etc/rc.d/netif restart
# /etc/rc.d/wpa_supplicant restart
It connects again after about 1 minute if I recall correctly.

Dunno if the card you are talking about (in express slot) will be ok, I havent used it.
 

jurrie

Member

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Unfortunately, that didn't change a thing in my situation. I made the changes, rebooted, did a 'portsnap fetch' which worked, opened my browser to browse to some sites and didn't even get to open a single one of them, because the connection already dropped.

Since some people have no big problems with the 3945ABG, I'm starting to think there are different versions of the chip. My chip can't be broken, because other OSes work fine with it. I assume BSD has no problems with my router running both 11g and 11n?

I think the only way out is using a different nic, meaning either an expresscard nic or a usb one. If anyone has a suggestion, feel free to reply or pm ;-)
 
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vermaden

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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Unfortunelly, I do not know any WiFi card that will be working 100% well on FreeBSD (I havent tried any other then I own, which is limited to 3945abg), let some other users speak here, maybe 4965agn works without issues, I would by it myself then.
 

Brentx

New Member


Messages: 6

vermaden said:
Unfortunelly, I do not know any WiFi card that will be working 100% well on FreeBSD (I havent tried any other then I own, which is limited to 3945abg), let some other users speak here, maybe 4965agn works without issues, I would by it myself then.
Can anyone comment on the atheros based cards for stability? I have yet to get my Intel 3945abg card working, but it seems that people have issues with them.
 

jurrie

Member

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Messages: 28

A friend of mine had a spare Atheros wifi chip, so I brought my laptop over to test if that one would work better. However, it was a regular PCI while my laptop only supports Mini-PCI. While I was there, I used his wifi to show my problems... but everything worked fine and kept working fine even after various tests. Back at home... same shit as before.

I now assume my router is the source of the problems. I don't really want to get a new one, since I only bought this one this year for 90 euro's or so. For your reference, it's the D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router. So I guess the 3945ABG works fine with the right router. Still odd how other OSes seem to have no problems at all with it.
 

LateNiteTV

Well-Known Member

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Messages: 391

jurrie said:
A friend of mine had a spare Atheros wifi chip, so I brought my laptop over to test if that one would work better. However, it was a regular PCI while my laptop only supports Mini-PCI. While I was there, I used his wifi to show my problems... but everything worked fine and kept working fine even after various tests. Back at home... same shit as before.

I now assume my router is the source of the problems. I don't really want to get a new one, since I only bought this one this year for 90 euro's or so. For your reference, it's the D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router. So I guess the 3945ABG works fine with the right router. Still odd how other OSes seem to have no problems at all with it.
same here.
i tested my atheros card at work and it worked fine, back at home i couldnt get any scan results. tried everything. nada. time for a new router i guess.
 

lubber

New Member


Messages: 13

Regarding the connection drops issue, I get it too when using WPA2, it disappear when I using WPA.
 
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vermaden

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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@lubber

I had the same issues.

I (fortunelly) switched to 4965AGN (works perfectly), when I used 3945ABG I needed to do that periodically:

Code:
# /etc/rc.d/netif restart
# /etc/rc.d/wpa_supplicant restart
 

Allamgir

Member

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How do I get wpi and my card working with WEP? I've been testing lots of stuff and searching the Internet like crazy, but no luck :(

I'll be happy to provide additional information if necessary.
 

Allamgir

Member

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Is there any way to background the process of connecting to my wireless network during boot? My computer always stops and waits until it connects to the internet before the boot process continues.
 
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vermaden

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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@Allamgir

Try this setting in /etc/rc.conf
[CMD=""]background_dhclient="YES"[/CMD]
 

Allamgir

Member

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Messages: 39

Aww :(. It didn't work. It still pauses for a good minute or so right at Configuring syscons: blanktime screensaver. This is right after my wireless driver stuff shows up, so I figured the network
must be holding it back. What's happening here and how can I fix it?
 

Allamgir

Member

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Vermaden, sorry about all the delay. I gave up on FreeBSD way too soon and sought shelter back in the Linux world, but I realized I never really gave FreeBSD a chance. I'll be setting it back up today and I'll see if it works. If I run into the same problem, I'll post my /etc/rc.conf and my /boot/loader.conf and whatever other relevant files you need.

Thanks for the help!
 

Allamgir

Member

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Alright. I hope I haven't used up all of your patience, vermaden, but here's the current status on things. I have wireless working at boot. Boot time isn't even bad. But when I log in, I get the following messages either spamming up my login prompt or my shell prompt:

Code:
wpi_newstate: SCAN -> AUTH flags 0x0
config chan 2 flags 8005 cck f ofdm 15
wpi_newstate: AUTH -> ASSOC flags 0x0
wpi_newstate: ASSOC -> RUN flags 0x0
config chan 2 flags 8035
wpi0: need multicast update callback
wpi0: need multicast update callback
wpi0: need multicast update callback
here is my rc.conf:

Code:
font8x14="NO"
font8x16="NO"
font8x8="NO"
moused_enable="NO"
moused_type="NO"
wlans_wpi0="wlan0"
ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"
hostname="beast.gateway.2wire.net"
background_dhclient="YES"
 
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vermaden

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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Allamgir said:
Alright. I hope I haven't used up all of your patience, vermaden, but here's the current status on things. I have wireless working at boot. Boot time isn't even bad. But when I log in, I get the following messages either spamming up my login prompt or my shell prompt:

Code:
wpi_newstate: SCAN -> AUTH flags 0x0
config chan 2 flags 8005 cck f ofdm 15
wpi_newstate: AUTH -> ASSOC flags 0x0
wpi_newstate: ASSOC -> RUN flags 0x0
config chan 2 flags 8035
wpi0: need multicast update callback
wpi0: need multicast update callback
wpi0: need multicast update callback
Hi, sorry for late response, I must have mislooked your post.

I also have these messages at boot, but if you remove that line from kernel config and rebuild it:
[CMD=]options IEEE80211_DEBUG # enable debug msgs[/CMD]

It will be limited to these (if that helps anything):
Code:
wpi0: need multicast update callback
wpi0: need multicast update callback
wpi0: need multicast update callback
 

Allamgir

Member

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Messages: 39

Thanks for that! At least it removes some of them!

Hopefully there will be an option to remove the other messages too. I emailed the wpi developer, and he said that's only because he hasn't implemented a certain multicast feature. "In the near future" it should go away.
 

rhyous

Active Member

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Hey, I almost always use D-Link. I have a DIR-615. I used to have an Atheros-based card and never had an issue, however, I don't have a FreeBSD laptop anymore, I just run FreeBSD on VMWare on top of Windows 7 so I haven't used wireless in about six months. But it never disconnected for me with WPA security like you are describing.
 

richardpl

Aspiring Daemon

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jurrie said:
I tried the ndis method, but it crashes my system when I load the module :-/ (latest 32b winXP driver from intel).
Please post panic output somewhere, or contact me via PM.
 

edwtjo

Member

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Messages: 24

Seriously.. I'm using 3945ABG with a Linksys WRT54G and everything works flawlessly. Using the card with the D-Link DIR-635 leaves me with a non functional intermittent connection. I would say the DIR-635 (and probably other D-Link APs) have really dodgy firmware and I wouldn't recommend D-Link APs to anyone.
 

rossiya

Member

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Messages: 32

Wireless Intel 3945ABG on 8.0STABLE working nicely on the Levento R61 laptop, using config above. :)

Remote is a Linksys. Multicast message still appearing.
 
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