I'm running CentOS 5.7 x86 on my Vostro 1700 laptop which has an Intel Pro Wireless WiFi NIC (Intel Pro Wireless 3945 [iwl3945]).
I'm a bit confused about how my Wireless connection (
wlan0) is being managed and where the configuration is being stored.
I initially configured
wlan0 via Gnome's Wireless Device Configuration application (
System -> Network):
I configured a static IP address if
172.16.3.22 and so on:
I then configured the Wireless Settings to set my SSID etc:
Having done that I then restarted the interface with:
ifdown wlan0 ifup wlan0
So far so good and
ifconfig reported that the interface was up.
However when I tried to ping anything on my network the ping failed. It was then I noticed that the Wireless Configuration page didn't ask me about the Wireless security type I was running (WPA2-PSK) - the only options were None, Open system (open) or Shared key (restricted) so it seemed that I wasn't authenticating to my WiFi AP.
I then found another network configuration tool called "Network Connections" under
System -> Preferences -> More Preferences. Using this tool I had to add a new connection and it allowed me to configure my Wireless NIC and specify the security type:
I also configured a different IP address of 172.16.3.23 mostly out of curiosity to see if this GUI was configuring the same settings as the previous dialogues and saving these values in
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-wlan0. However this seems to be a completely different configuration system from what I'm familiar with because
ifcfg-wlan0 appears not to be used to save the above config.
To cut a long story short I also had a Google around and discovered that I also needed to start the NetworkManager daemon which adds an icon to Gnome to allow me to enable and disable Networking, Wireless and permits me to choose which AP to connect to etc.
So I'm now somewhat confused as to how my WiFi network is actually configured and where these settings are really stored.
I also notice that when I quit Gnome and drop back to console mode my wireless connection is disconnected
wlan0 loses its IP address and appears to be no longer connected.
Whilst I'm very happy I can connect to my WiFi network (by starting Gnome), I'm not happy that I don't understand what's happening under the bonnet.
Can someone explain what is happening with all these different settings?
Also how do I start my wireless connection before starting Gnome?