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TL;DR: What could cause netctl to suddenly stop working? I didn't make any manual changes to the profile I was using, and am unable to get it to work again by re-creating the profile.

TS;NMI:

So I installed Arch a few days ago, followed the beginners guide and got everything working basically without a problem. Rebooted, set up the network stuff, and everything went fine for a couple of days, and then yesterday it simply stopped working for no real apparent reason.

At any rate. Now I'm getting:

Job for netctl@wlp4s0-node.service failed. See 'systemctl status netctl@wlp4s0-node.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.

In looking into the systemctl status etc. it's saying that the WPA Authentication/Association failed.

I went through a bunch of older forum threads started by people with similar problems and tried many variations to no avail, as well as looked at some information here, and on the wiki.

What I've tried:

  • Disable, enable, and ultimately deleted the profile and remake using wifi-menu, with and without the -o flag
  • Disable, enable, and finally deleted the profile and remake manually using the examples
  • Set up, and troubleshooting guide at the Arch Linux wiki for netctl

There is also a second interface (exactly what it is I really don't know, honestly. I'm on a desktop with just a wireless USB dongle), which I tried all of the above on as well.

Output of systemctl status netctl@wlp4s0-node.service:

netctl@wlp4s0-node.service - A simple WPA encrypted wireless connection
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/netctl@wlp4s0-node.service; static)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Mon 2014-10-20 14:12:30 UTC; 9s ago
     Docs: man:netctl.profile(5)
  Process: 3054 ExecStart=/usr/lib/network/network start %I (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
   Main PID: 3054 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

Oct 20 14:12:14 DayStar network[3054]: Starting network profile 'wlp4s0-node'...
Oct 20 14:12:30 DayStar network[3054]: WPA association/authentication failed for interface 'wlp4s0'
Oct 20 14:12:30 DayStar network[3054]: Failed to bring the network up for profile 'wlp4s0-node'
Oct 20 14:12:30 DayStar systemd[1]: netctl@HelloWorld.service: main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
Oct 20 14:12:30 DayStar systemd[1]: Failed to start A simple WPA encrypted wireless connection
Oct 20 14:12:30 DayStar systemd[1]: Unit netctl@wlp4s0-node.service entered failed state.

The command journalctl -xn Has some stuff about it failing but the relevant, I assume, lines are:

....
Oct 20 14:11:20 DayStar systemd[1]: Unit netctl@wlp4s0-node.service entered failed state.
Oct 20 14:12:14 DayStar network[3054]: Starting network profile 'wlp4s0-node'
Oct 20 14:12:14 DayStar kernel: IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlp4s0 link is not ready
....

subsequently going into the bit about WPA association/authentication etc. I'd say perhaps it's just a hardware problem or some such but the USB dongle is how I'm connected now. Just through Windows instead of Arch.

  • What driver are you using? – jasonwryan Oct 20 '14 at 19:44
  • Whatever Arch loaded automatically for it, I followed the beginners guide and so upon getting the appropriate information from iw dev without further fussing, I didn't modify it further. As per Note: If you do not see output similar to this, then your wireless driver has not been loaded. If this is the case, you must load the driver yourself. Please see Wireless network configuration for more detailed information. – Charles B. Oct 20 '14 at 19:51
  • Well, you need to determine if your dongle has the right driver and module loaded. Also, Arch doesn't do anything "automatically", so I assume you are using a derivative like Manjaro or Archbang. – jasonwryan Oct 20 '14 at 19:57
  • Wouldn't it have not worked if the right driver/module weren't loaded? I'm just using Arch linux. Not a derivative as per the wiki regarding firmware and drivers: The kernel tries to identify and load both automatically. So I guess what I meant is 'Whatever the kernel loaded' – Charles B. Oct 20 '14 at 20:06
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Anti-climactic conclusion: Wound up being the router was going bad. Started disconnecting other computers on the network for no reason. Replacing it solved everything.

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