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Friday, December 30, 2011

Wireless sharing with Plasma NM 0.9 (part 3)

Last Christmas I received my usual presents: bugs to solve :-/ Bug #289812 drew my attention because it looks like NetworkManager supports WPA shared connections after all. I do not know since when but that does not matter :-)

This week I pushed some changes to make Plasma NM create WPA shared connections. The changes went to both master and nm09 branches. The instructions to create the connection are the same as I described in my last post about shared connections, just change the security type in the "Wireless Security" tab:


Now the tests. Well, my two notebooks can communicate with each other when both use Gentoo Linux. When my old notebook uses Windows XP it detects the network, tries to connect but the connection times out. The Symbian S60v5 in my cellphone also does almost the same: detects the ad-hoc network, tries to connect, shows an error message about missing feature (although it does not specify which feature) and gives up faster than Windows XP.

Although my notebooks talk to each other I am not sure if the communication is really encrypted. I guess I will have to find another computer to run a wifi sniffer to check it out :-)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

hail to the king! thanks for your work! I remember beginning of KDE4 and sad voices about network management, because of you we are now on the way to the best networkmanagement!

Lamarque said...

@Anonymous, thanks.

R. said...

Would be great if you could get in touch with Nuno Pinherio for the shiny new icons ;-)

- Rajeesh

Lamarque said...

@R. I am starting a contact with Eugene Trounev, who is also part of the oxygen team. Let's see how this will work out.

jbernardo said...

Hi!
I've now tried using the latest beta in kubuntu (0.9~svngit.nm09.20111023.ff842e-0ubuntu1~oneiric~ppa1), and though I can connect to a open shared connection using my Nexus One (android 2.3.7), any attempt at setting secrets, be it WEP or WPA and the phone no longer connects. What do you recommend, I've already enabled debug in wpa_supplicant and NetworkManager but couldn't find any hint to what is going wrong.

Lamarque said...

@jbernardo, hi. 0.9~svngit.nm09.20111023.ff842e-0ubuntu1~oneiric~ppa1 is not the latest Plasma NM, the latest one was released in last November 26 (0.8.98). Even 0.8.98 does not support WPA shared connections, it is an experimental feature in master and nm09 branches. Experimental because it is not well tested, but since it does not break anything I commited it to (stable) nm09 branch too.

Strangely enough, I have the same symptoms you described when trying to connect to my WPA shared connection in my notebook from my Symbian cell phone, WEP works. I do not have an Android phone with Gingerbread (2.3) for testing here.

Send me the NM and wpa_supplicant logs. Maybe I can find something usefull there.

jbernardo said...

Ok, I'll enable debug again and will send you the logs. Where do you want me to send them?

Lamarque said...

@jbernardo, open a bug report in bugs.kde.org and attach the logs to it.

jbernardo said...

I have here all my syslog from the tests I did two days ago, but don't want to publish it in the open... It has at least mac addresses and I'd rather send it privately. If it isn't possible then I'll have to spend some time "sanitizing" it.

jbernardo said...

I've contacted you on G+

Lamarque said...

I am too busy with my real life work to take a look at this problem now.

jbernardo said...

Of course, no rush. Não há pressa, a vida privada tem prioridade.

Lamarque said...

@jbernardo, I think your problem must be reported to upstream (NetworkManager). I was testing WEP wif shared connection created with nm-applet and I can always connect to it from my old notebook but the connection is not encrypted according to iwconfig. If I manually setup a WEP connection with iwconfig, dhcpd and iptables I am still able to connect and iwconfig now reports it is using the WEP key.

That really looks like a bug in NetworkManager.

jbernardo said...

Hi, sorry but I had missed this comment. In the meantime, I've identified that using WEP works if I specify a hexadecimal key. If I try using a string as the key, it fails the same way as WPA - the smartphone is unable to connect, and I get the error "NetworkManager[1404]: get_secret_flags: assertion `is_secret_prop (setting, secret_name, error)' failed" in syslog. Does this help?