Yay for Wireless on Linux @ UQ

Hey all,

Okies, so getting wireless working within GP South at UQ proved to be a pain in the arse.

Actually getting ON the wireless network wasn’t the problem. Rather, once you received an IP for the wireless card one couldn’t get any further than the classic:

ITEE Roaming Network

The network you are connecting to is a shared network.

Blah blah blah. It then directs you to use pptp to connect to the network, unfortunately when setting up the ra0 device your default route would be set to which is required in order to hit pptp.students.itee.uq.edu.au. SO the fix was to setup a default route to use .254.1 for pptphost and then use ppp0 for the rest of the traffic.

SO… Once you’re ON the wireless network with a 192.168.254.* address (using the shared WEP key and Essid which you can get here), add your login information to /etc/ppp/chap-secrets and /etc/ppp/pap-secrets with:

s123456 * mystudentpassword *

Then stick the following into a shell script and run:

[root@localhost stuart]# cat wireless_uq.sh
route del default
route add -host gw ra0
pppd noauth nobsdcomp nodeflate name s123456 remotename PPTP require-mppe pty “pptp –nolaunchpppd”
sleep 10
route add default ppp0
[root@localhost stuart]#

It’s messy but it WORKS. 🙂

What the above does is:

1) Deletes ra0’s default route
2) Adds a route directely to pptphost via ra0
3) Connect to pptphost via pptp
4) Sleep for 10 secs (wait for pppd to start up)
5) Add a default route for ppp0

This basically means it sends all the actual ppp0 traffic over ra0 to pptphost. If the ip ISN’T pptphost it sends it over ppp0 (which is a virtual device over the physical ra0 connection).

Convoluted and wierd, but understandable for security reasons.

Anyways, for those ppl getting annoyed that ITEE only supports Windoze boxes (despite their entire backend being *nix based) you can now get on as easily as:

ifup ra0
sh wireless_uq.sh

BAM. We can surf.. Oh yeah, remember you have to setup proxy.uq.edu.au as your proxy or you get told to bugger off. 🙂 One final note, they drop all pings from wireless devices. I guess that’s to avoided random idiots flooding a box of their choosing although it took me a while to realise that i wasn’t getting ping replies cause they were dropped, as opposed to my routes being screwed.