WiFi (WPA) with Solaris Express on my Thinkpad laptop

IBM 11 a/b/g wireless lan mini pci adapter II, using Atheros AR5004x chipset

This monday I went to http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/solaris-express/get.jsp to get a free copy of Solaris Express Developer Edition (SXDE) 9/07 nv70b. No postage, no handling, no nothing. I got it yesterday and installed it over my old Solaris 10 partition (after backing my data up). It installed beautifully, except for Wifi, which took additional work today. After installing SXDE, I installed some more software from the regular Solaris 10 "Software Companion" DVD (such as my favorite editor, vim/gvim). I'm writing this blog entry on SXDE now.

Anyway, to get WPA to work, the key is to use the dladm(1M) command. SXDE has a popup window with a list of detected wifi networks, but it didn't work for me—the WPA PSK key was rejected after several tries. I also have to configure the IP address and route by hand, as DHCP doesn't seem to work with wifi, at least for me. But I'm happy WPA wireless works at all--I just put this stuff in a shell script and click on it when I need to fire wireless up. Anyhoo, here's a transcript of what I did to start wifi. There's more commands than needed because I include diagnostics. Basically, all you need is the dladm connect-wifi command. The names/numbers have been changed below to protect the innocent (me).

# dladm create-secobj -c wpa psk
provide value for 'psk': \*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*
confirm value for 'psk': \*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*\*
# ifconfig ath0 plumb
# dladm connect-wifi -e Molly Wireless -k psk ath0
# dladm show-wifi
# ifconfig ath0 192.168.200.123/24 up
# route add default 192.168.200.1
add net default: gateway 192.168.200.1
# ping 192.168.200.1
192.168.200.1 is alive

# ifconfig ath0
ath0: flags=201000843 mtu 1500 index 2
        inet 192.168.200.123 netmask ffffff00 broadcast 192.168.200.255
        ether 0:14:a4:34:ca:71 
# dladm show-dev ath0
ath0            link: up        speed:    54Mb  duplex: unknown
# dladm show-secobj
OBJECT               CLASS                
psk                  wpa                  
# dladm show-wifi
LINK       STATUS            ESSID               SEC    STRENGTH   MODE   SPEED
ath0       connected         Molly Wireless      wpa    good       g      54Mb
# dladm scan-wifi
LINK       ESSID               BSSID/IBSSID      SEC    STRENGTH   MODE   SPEED
ath0       Molly Wireless      0:4:e2:7b:80:9c   wpa    good       g      54Mb
ath0       greenhouse          0:18:2:7a:9b:7f   wep    weak       g      54Mb
ath0       2WIRE748            0:12:88:d9:2b:c9  wep    very weak  g      54Mb
# dladm show-linkprop ath0
LINK         PROPERTY        VALUE          DEFAULT        POSSIBLE             
ath0         channel         1              --             --                   
ath0         powermode       ?              off            off,fast,max         
ath0         radio           ?              on             on,off               
ath0         speed           54             --             1,2,5.5,6,9,11,12,18,24,36,48,54 
ath0         zone 
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Comments:

Did you try 'svcadm enable nwam' ?

Posted by Dick Davies on October 13, 2007 at 03:18 AM PDT #

nwam was enabled to start with--that's why I got those annoying popup boxes listing the wifi networks.

I disabled nwam because it didn't work--it didn't take the WPA PSK passphrase, and I tried several times, so it wasn't a typo.

However, using dladm worked.

Posted by Dan on October 13, 2007 at 05:03 AM PDT #

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Solaris cryptography and optimization.

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