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ASUS EEE 1000 and Eduroam. At last.

November 4th, 2008 by neil

So……..the first thing to do with the ASUS was to get online with it - and at this point I found an issue connecting to Eduroam. The ASUS connected straight away to my network at home but getting it to work with Eduroam took a couple of days of trial and error. The reason why my ASUS EEE wouldn’t connect to Eduroam is that in the default setup Xandros does not support protocols such as WPA-EAP (Enterprise). 

If you’ve got an ASUS EEE the first port of call has to be www.eeeuser.com and its forum - forum.eeeuser.com. A search of the forum resulted in a link to the site’s wiki and an article about  Advanced WPA configuration on the default Xandros

Although the wiki article reports on changes needed for the ASUS EEE 701 it was a good starting point for getting my ASUS sorted out. The 701 comes with an Atheros 802.11b/802.11g wireless LAN mini PCI-E card , whereas my 1000 has a Ralink card, this is worth noting as the Advanced WPA configuration wiki page refers to the Atheros card. The advantage of the Ralink is that there was no need to install any additional drivers (whereas 701 users have had to install madwifi drivers).

 The steps undertaken to get the Eduroam working with the 1000 were:

  1. Download and install the wpa_supplicant files (the easy part)
  2. Create a wpa_supplicant.conf_xxxx file (required a fair bit of trial and error)
  3. Create a New Network Configuration
  4. Modify the interfaces file (needed changing to be compatible with the Ralink card)

 

The process was lengthened by the being my first LINUX machine, although I do have a fair bit of experience of server configuration (but mainly using control panels). It’s been many years since the days of DOS so it was an interesting exercise in using a command line.

I’ve reproduced the process here, it’s worked for me but I can’t guarantee it for anyone else.

Downloading and installing the wpa supplicant

  • Download the Debian wpa supplicant from http://packages.debian.org/etch/i386/wpasupplicant/download. As I had no network access I had to download this onto another machine and copy it across to the ASUS in a “drivers” directory created under “My Home” (or in /home/user) 
  • In “Easy Mode” open a terminal window. CTRL-ALT-T will open xterm
    snapshot1.jpg
  • In the xterm window, type
    tar jcf /home/user/old_wpa_supplicant.tar.bz/ usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant /usr/sbin/wpa_cli
    to backup the old files
  • In the xterm window, type
    sudo rm -v /usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant /usr/sbin/wpa_cli
    this will remove the old files
  • In the xterm window, type
    sudo dpkg -i  drivers/wpasupplicant_0.5.5-2_i386.deb
    this will install the wpa supplicant (based on having the file in the “drivers” directory)

Create a wpa_supplicant.conf_xxxx file for Eduroam

  • In the xterm window, type
    touch /home/user/wpa_supplicant.conf
    to create a the file called wpa_supplicant.conf
  • In the xterm window, type
    nano /home/user/wpa_supplicant.conf
    to open the wpa_supplicant.conf in the nano editor
    snapshot5.jpg
  • Using the nano editor I entered the following
    ctrl_interface=/var/tmp/wpa_supplicant
    ctrl_interface_group=0
    eapol_version=1
    ap_scan=1
    network={
          ssid=”eduroam”
          scan_ssid=1
          proto=WPA
          key_mgmt=WPA-EAP
          pairwise=TKIP
          eap=PEAP
          identity=”username”
          password=”password”
    }
  • To save the file press (Ctrl+O)  and then return
  • To exit the nano editor press (Ctrl+X)
  • In the xterm window, type
    sudo cp wpa_supplicant.conf /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf_xxxx
    to move the wpa_supplicant.conf  to the /etc/ directory while renaming it

Create a New Network Configuration

  • In “Easy Mode” select the “Internet” tab
    snapshot6.jpg
  • Click on the “Network” icon, click on “Create…” button
  • Choose “Local Area Network - Wireless”, click “Next”
  • Choose “RaLink - RT2790 Wireless 802.11n”, click “Next”
  • Choose “Dynamic IP Address (DHCP)”, click “Next”
  • Input eduroam as Network name (SSID). Mode and Transfer rate information set to“auto”, click “Next”
  • Under “Wireless Channel Settings” leave set to “Any”, click “Next”
  • Check the box for “Enable encryption” For “Encryption Type”, select WPA. Under “Key”, enter any number of ASCII characters until you see the “WPA256 type in ASCII format”. This key need not be your actual key, as this will be ignored using this procedure. Click “Next”
  • Name your connection. Click “Next”
  • Choose whether or not you want to “Connect automatically at system startup”. Do NOT check the box for “Start this connection when finished”. Click on the “Finish” button.

Your new connection type should now be shown in the Networks Connections.

snapshot10.jpg

Modifying the interfaces file

  • In the xterm window, type
    sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces
    to edit the interfaces file
  • Find your new network connection, you should be able to identify it with the SSID you used when setting up the Network connection (Each connection starts with a line similar to iface lan1 inet manual)
  • For your network connection find the line up ifconfig $IFACE up
  • Before this line insert the following:
    up cp /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf_xxxx /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.ra0
    up wpa_cli -p /var/tmp/wpa_supplicant reconfigure
  • To save the file press (Ctrl+O)  and then return
  • To exit the nano editor press (Ctrl+X)
  • Connect and enjoy Eduroam

This process is not that different to the method described on the Advanced WPA configuration wiki page. The major differences are the contents of the wpa_supplicant.conf_xxxx file and the contents of the interfaces file.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ed Bremner Nov 7, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    How is it going with the EEE?

    I have just been given an old Mac g4, which I am playing with to get working. Including setting up Open Office.

    Still like the idea of following you down the EEE route.

    How easily does it join up with googledocs? and how easy to work with same?

    cheers

    eib

  • 2 neil Nov 7, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Google Docs - no problem

    Quick blog about it at http://www.pegasus18.com/neil/index.php/2008/11/07/asus-googledocs-and-gprs/

  • 3 John Williams Jun 6, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Just got my Asus EEE PC 1000, and tried these steps to connect it to my University network (WPA-PEAP). Worked like a charm, thank you.

  • 4 Tom Sep 20, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, thanks for the instructions. I’ve been looking all over for a solution to this problem with WPA-EAP encryption for my eee pc 1000, and this looks like the most promising fix out there.

    However, I’ve run into a snag with backing up the old wpa_supplicant files. Here’s what I entered and what the xterm told me:

    /home/user> tar jcf /home/user/old_wpa_supplicant.tar.bz/ usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant /usr/sbin/wpa_cli
    tar: /home/user/old_wpa_supplicant.tar.bz/: Cannot open: Is a directory
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
    tar: usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant: Cannot stat: No such file or directory
    tar: Removing leading ‘/’ from member names

    Can you tell me what’s up with this? I’m still learning my way around and am unsure if I simply mistyped something or if there’s a step I missed. I appreciate any guidance you can give.

  • 5 asus eee pc Oct 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    great tips for asus eee pc user

  • 6 asus eee pc Oct 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    great tips, useful for asus eee pc user

  • 7 Carter Ciubal May 11, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Fairly very good post.And I desired to say that I’ve definitely loved reading