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Novell Linux Desktop Overview: Ethernet, Wireless, Modems, and Netapplet

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Joe Harmon

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Posted: 8 Dec 2004
 

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Throughout the manual, the configurations will be different depending on whether you are using GNOME or KDE. To simplify the process, we will separate these configurations by using the following icons:

 This icon will represent the GNOME configurations
 This icon will represent the KDE configurations

Ethernet

  • To configure your Ethernet card go into YAST2
  •  SYSTEM | ADMINISTRATOR SETTINGS
     N | CONTROL CENTER | YAST2 MODULES

  • Once there, go to NETWORK DEVICES | NETWORK CARD.
  • Network Cards to Configure vs Already Configured Devices - If your network card has already been configured then it will show up in the bottom half of the screen under the section called, Already Configured Devices. If it is available but has not been configured, then it will show up in the top half of your screen under the section called, Network Cards to Configure.
  • If you are configuring a new interface then that device from the list and click CONFIGURE. If the device is already configured, and you need to make a change, then click CHANGE, select the device, and choose EDIT.

  • DHCP vs Static Setting - DHCP is the default setting. Typically if you have DHCP setup, then you won't need to change any other setting. You can choose NEXT and then FINISH.

  • If you are going to choose to setup a static address, then change the Setup Method to STATIC ADDRESS SETUP. Put in the desired IP address that is not being used by any other system. Then put in the corresponding subnet mask for that IP address range.

  • Select HOST NAME AND NAME SERVER to change the DNS lookup information. You will then be prompted to accept or modify the configuration. Choose MODIFY.
  • This next screen is split up into two sections. The first one deals with the full DNS name of your workstation. Remember that Full DNS = Host + Domain. The next section deals with your workstations DNS resolution and is where you will enter in your DNS server information. The domain search will typically be the same as the domain name listed above, unless you are running a separate DNS server to resolve you workstation information. When finished click OK.
  • To setup a default gateway you will need to click on the ROUTING button. Put you default gateway information in, and then click OK | NEXT | FINISH

Wireless

** NOTE ** If you have PCI wireless card, make sure it has been placed in the PCI slot before running the configuration wizard. This will allow the device to be picked up by YAST.

  • To configure your Wireless card go into YAST2
  •  SYSTEM | ADMINISTRATOR SETTINGS
     N | CONTROL CENTER | YAST2 MODULES

  • Once there, go to NETWORK DEVICES | NETWORK CARD.
  • If your wireless was recognized then it should show up in the available list. If not, then you may have a card that only has a windows driver. If this is the case then the first suggestion is that you look on the manufacturers web site to see if they have a Linux driver. If they don't then you can go down to the NDISWrapper section to try and create a wrapper around the windows driver. Otherwise select you wireless card and click on CONFIGURE.
  • Typically wireless connections are setup with DHCP and since we have already gone through the options of setting up a static address we will leave the default of DHCP. To continue click on the ADVANCED drop down menu and select HARDWARE DETAILS.
  • Now select WIRELESS SETTINGS.
  • Put in your ESSID. This is your Extended Service Set Identifier. If you don't know your ESSID then please contact your system administrator. If you have an encryption key, then can paste it into the encryption key section. This field is not required. Click OK to continue.
  • If you didn't put in an encryption key then you will receive the following message. It is your choice on whether or not you wish to continue with out an encryption key, but know that you will not be encrypting the data that is going over the wireless connection.
  • Your device should now be in the list of configured devices. To start the device click FINISH.

NDIS Wrapper

Prerequisites

  • Windows XP NDIS drivers for your specific network card.

  • NDISWrapper modules. (This document will walk you through installing the modules)

Installing NDISWrapper

  • Let's start by verifying that the proper modules have been installed. To do this we need to initiate Red Carpet.
  •  SYSTEM | SOFTWARE UPDATE
     N | SYSTEM | CONFIGURATION | RED CARPET

  • Once Red Carpet has launched, go to the search tab and type ndiswrapper in the search field. This should bring up the km_ndiswrapper and the ndiswrapper module. If you do not see these modules then you have either not registered your activation key, or you have not subscribed to the nld9-sdk channel. We will need to install both of these modules by selecting the modules and choosing the MARK FOR INSTALLATION button. Once they have been marked for installation, click on the RUN NOW button and then the CONTINUE button.
  • After installing NDISWrapper to your system copy the NDIS drivers to a directory on your system. You will typically need the .inf file and .sys file for the network card.

  • Now that your files have been saved to your system, we can install them. Open a terminal and su to root. Then install the driver using the following command: ndiswrapper -i <path to .inf file>
    Example: ndiswrapper -i /tmp/bcmwl5.inf

  • To make sure that the driver loads upon boot, type in ndiswrapper -m at the console. This will insure that the module loads, but it is not yet activated.

  • To activate the module you will need to start YAST2.
  •  SYSTEM | ADMINISTRATOR SETTINGS
      N | CONTROL CENTER | YAST2 MODULES

  • Once in YAST2, go to NETWORK DEVICES | NETWORK CARD.
  • Under the Available section choose Other (not detected) and click the Configure button.
  • If you are configuring an Ethernet NIC, verify that the Device Type is set to Ethernet. Then type ndiswrapper in the Module Name box. Click on the Next button to continue.
  • If you are configuring a Wireless NIC, verify that the Device Type is set to Wireless. Then type ndiswrapper in the Module Name box.
  • Once this is done click the wireless settings button and a new window labeled Wireless Network Card Configuration will open. Put in your ESSID. This is your Extended Service Set Identifier. If you don't know your ESSID then please contact your system administrator. If you have an encryption key, then can paste it into the encryption key section. This field is not required. Click OK to continue.
  • If you didn't put in an encryption key then you will receive the following message. It is your choice on whether or not you wish to continue with out an encryption key, but know that you will not be encrypting the data that is going over the wireless connection.
  • By default, YaST will choose automatic address setup via DHCP. If you require a static address or need to input manual entries it should be done on this window. Click NEXT and then FINISH to complete the configuration.

  • You should be able to restart you network by loading a terminal, su to root, and then type rcnetwork reststart.

  • Verify that wireless is working and you should be able to switch to and from the wired and wireless by following the netapplet instructions below.

Modems

  • To activate the module you will need to start YAST2.
  •  SYSTEM | ADMINISTRATOR SETTINGS
      N | CONTROL CENTER | YAST2 MODULES

  • Within YAST2, go to NETWORK DEVICES | MODEMS.
  • Select you modem in the available device list and click CONFIGURE.
  • If you have to dial a number to reach an outside line (typically 9) then you would configure that here. Click NEXT to continue.
  • There is a default list of providers that comes with the configuration, but we will be creating out own connection. To do this we click on NEW.
  • Let's start by giving the a provider name. This can be any name that you decide to call it. Then put in the phone number to dial, user name, and password. Click NEXT to continue.
  • There are several options that you may decide to use here. The Dial On Demand option will cause the modem to dial out when you TCPIP traffic tries to go out the gateway. When enabled, Stupid Mode will ignore input prompts that are sent by the ISP. The Activate Firewall option will enable the Personal Firewall which helps protect your computer from outside attacks. One finished, click NEXT to continue.
  • You should now see your device located in the section of configured devices. Click FINISH to write the configuration to your system.
  • You will be prompted to configure you email. Since that will not be covered in this section we will choose NO for this demonstation.

Netapplet - The Network Interface Switching Utility

** NOTE ** Due to problems that occurred from having more than one networking adapter configured at the same time, the netapplet module was created. It allows you to switch between interfaces with the click of a button.

  • First thing is you need to make sure that the netapplet is installed on your desktop. If you are using GNOME on NLD (Novell Linux Desktop), then it should be installed by default. Either way you can check by going in to the YAST2.
  •  SYSTEM | ADMINISTRATOR SETTINGS
     N | CONTROL CENTER | YAST2 MODULES

  • Under SOFTWARE | INSTALL AND REMOVE SOFTWARE. Make sure that the drop down is set to SEARCH, type in netapplet, and then hit ENTER. If it shows up checked then you have it installed. If not then check it and click ACCEPT to install the package.
  • Once you have it installed you will need to verify that the daemon is running. Typically this setup will only be needed for those running the KDE desktop. If it is not running and you try and start the netapplet you will receive the following error:
  • To enable and start the netdaemon service within YAST2, go to SYSTEM | RUN LEVEL EDITOR and choose EXPERT MODE.
  • Then click on the SET/RESET drop down box and choose ENABLE THIS SERVICE. You will probably be prompted to enable the service on run level 3, 4, and 5. Just accept the defaults.

  • Now start the service by clicking on the START/STOP/REFRESH drop down and choose START NOW. You should get a message back that your service has been started.
  • Once the service has been started then click FINISH. You will then be prompted to save the run level changes. Choose YES.
  • ** Same process for those who prefer using the terminal ** To enable and start the netdaemon service within a terminal simply open a terminal and then su to root. Once in as root, type chkconfig netdaemon on to enable your service and /etc/init.d/netdaemon start to start the service.

  • The netapplet will automatically start for GNOME. Once you login the netapplet should appear in your notification area on your panel.
  • If you are using KDE, you will need to configure the netapplet.desktop file before it will show up in the panel. To do this copy the /opt/gnome/share/applications/netapplet.desktop file to /opt/kde3/share/autostart

  • Now edit the file as root and add X-KDE-autostart-after=panel to the end of the file.

  • After logging out and back in, you should now see the netapplet in the notification area on KDE.

Using the Netapplet

 Ethernet -- There are several useful settings to use. One is to quickly change from Ethernet to Wireless with the click of the button. Another is look at you Connection Information which shows you IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. Last is the option to Configure Network Settings. This will take you directly into Yast2 and allow you configure your devices.

 Wireless -- The wireless setting allow you to perform the same tasks listed in the Ethernet section, with one add on. You can see your active ESSID that you have configured through Yast2, but you can also put in a temporary ESSID by clicking on the OTHER menu item. You will be prompted to put in a temporary ESSID. This is great for conferences like Brainshare and LinuxWorld, where the ESSID will only be used while the computer is on. Once you restart your computer, it resets back to your original configuration.

 Dialup -- The modem is typically an on or off status. You either connect or you don't connect. You have to have the interface configured before it will show as an available option.


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