Out Here In The Field : Imbalance

The bland, sad, happy, obscure and pathetic life of Mohammad Ikhsan

Problem connecting to a LEAP secured wireless connection on Ubuntu Gutsy


I’m currently attending a 4 days training on IBM’ Websphere Application Server. They provide us with a Windows XP loaded laptop. Being a Linux zealot, I ask whether I can use my own laptop.

They also provide a wireless connection (which also connected to the internet) secured by CISCO’s LEAP protocol.

After a lil bit of tinkering, I was able to “extract” the credential used to connect to the wireless connection, and use it on my laptop. Gutsy’s Network Manager applet is able to recognize that it’s a LEAP wireless connection, and properly provided me the option to input the correct username and password.

Day 2

As usual, I boot up my laptop, and logged in. The Network Manager applet immediately tried to connect to the LEAP secured wireless network, but somehow seems to b stuck somewhere. When I hover the mouse over the network manager icon it says “waiting for network key for wireless network xyz..” but it did not show me the windows dialog for entering the LEAP credential.

My immediate suspicion went to the the Gnome Keyring manager. Opened the keyring manager, and check the entry related to the said wireless network. I found out that instead storing the LEAP credential that I provided earlier, the keyring saved the WEP keys that the LEAP protocol provides after authenticating. I decided to delete the keyring which was related to the said wireless connection. No go. Delete all of the keyrings. Nope.

I then created a new user account, and used it to connect to the wireless connection. It worked flawlessly. I was able to choose the right wireless connection, and choose LEAP as the authentication method. This, and the way the keyring behaves when storing credential for LEAP secured wireless connection led me to the conclusion that the reconnection failed due to the Network Manager Applet was unable to automatically determine whether the stored LEAP connection requires LEAP credential. It instead assumes that the wireless connection is secured using only WEP.

I currently haven’t found a solution that can fix the way network manager applet stores the correct information when handling a LEAP authenticated wireless network. The only thing that I can do is to delete any information stored by Network Manager applet, so that it will recognize that wireless connection as a new one, and provides me with the network key window dialog. To delete the stored information do the following on a terminal:
surfer@M5Mobile:~$ cd /home/surfer/.gconf/system/networking/wireless/networks/
surfer@M5Mobile:~/.gconf/system/networking/wireless/networks$ ls -la
total 16
drwx—— 4 surfer surfer 4096 2008-10-29 11:45 .
drwx—— 3 surfer surfer 4096 2008-06-22 21:05 ..
-rw——- 1 surfer surfer 0 2008-10-29 11:41 %gconf.xml
drwx—— 2 surfer surfer 4096 2008-10-29 11:45 xyz
drwx—— 2 surfer surfer 4096 2008-10-29 11:41 MWifo1

Notice that the information for the network xyz which was secured with LEAP was stored on it’s own folder. To delete the information, simply remove the folder.

surfer@M5Mobile:~/.gconf/system/networking/wireless/networks$rm -rf xyz

Restart the laptop. After that you will be provided with the network key dialoga to choose LEAP as the authentication method, and enter the correct username and password. For convenience, you can delete the information before logging out of your laptop.

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This entry was posted on October 29, 2008 by in *Nix, IRL, life on the wired, Ubuntu and tagged , , , , .

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