I'm temporarily in a situation where the wifi network I need to use is implemented using Macintosh equipment. They have encoded their network using WPA and TKIP. I can't seem to get onto their network and I think I've tracked the problem down to the pre-shared key format. When others (using Macs) enter the PSK into thier Mac interface thing, they use a 13 digit code that is all integers [0-9], e.g. 0123456789123. In my wpa1.conf file, which is used by wpa_supplicant to configure iwconfig, I have a line in the network block:


I think that I should be entering a hex string (yes, I know this could be a hex string already). Does anyone here have any experience with Mac's UI concerning the format psk's are entered in, and whether I need to change them into hex to use a psk in my linux (slackware 13.1)?

Note that my wireless setup works fine in other environments that don't use WPA or a pre-shared key which indicates that the hardware and firmware are ok.

  • WPA PSK does not have the same problem as WEP where various vendors tried to make it easier to type in the WEP HEX key. WPA PSK defines a standard method to convert a passphrase of US-ASCII printable characters into a 64 character HEX string. If the passphrase entered in is less than 64 characters, it's a passphrase as US-ASCII. They would have to have exactly 64 characters to make it a Hex key. Look at the section under Security and Insecurity en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Protected_Access – penguin359 Apr 16 '11 at 23:15
  • @penguin359 - so what are you saying? that the method I use to enter the psk is ok and my problem lies elsewhere? – bev Apr 17 '11 at 1:12
  • Yes. With WEP there were problems about using password vs. hex key as well as different incompatible password schemes. That doesn't happen with WPA PSK. – penguin359 Apr 17 '11 at 2:25
  • Can you post any output from running wpa_supplicant manually? – penguin359 Apr 20 '11 at 20:16
  • Any change if you leave off the quotes? – maco May 10 '11 at 15:53

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