Using VPN in Ubuntu 7.10

Today I tried to get a VPN connection to my university to work.

So first I tried to make the connection over ubuntu’s network manager using the vpn-plugins.
Therefore I installed the plugins described in the ubuntuusers wiki:

  • network-manager-pptp

  • network-manager-openvpn

  • network-manager-vpnc

After I installed and configured everything and loading my universities config file the whole network manager crashed when I tried to connect to the vpn-network. Looking into /var/log/syslog I recognised something:

Jan 27 14:29:36 xxx NetworkManager: file nm-vpn-service.c: line 475 (nm_vpn_service_stage3_connect_cb): assertion failed: (service != NULL)

O.k. googling some time I find out this is a unresolved bug.

So okay then what next??

Next thing I did was trying to install cisco-vpn-client. Trying to compile it failed with a lot of compile errors
/xxx/vpnclient/linuxcniapi.c: In Funktion »CniInjectReceive«:

Fehler: »struct sk_buff« hat kein Element namens »nh«


Ok, after searching the internet again I found out that Cisco doesn’t update this package with every kernel release.
There are some sites out there which offering patches but I thought to myself that I would not install bugfixes to vpn software out of security reasons from private non-offical sites.

So, okay what then.
Then I found out about vpnc terminal client.
So I installed it via apt and ran it.
After playing around some times I found out that I need to convert my universities pcf file to a fileformat (.conf) which can be read by vpnc.
This can be made with a conversation tool provided by the vpnc packet under:
/usr/share/vpnc/pcf2conf

So after I converted this everything works fine. So forget about other solutions vpnc works perfectly.

have a great time
Oli

Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) Live CD Intel Pro/Wireless 2200 Acer Travelmate 292 radio off problem

Hi everybody,

Yesterday a friend of mine asked me if I could look over his problems with the
new Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon Live CD (7.10) release regarding the not working
Intel Pro/Wireless 2200 wlan card.
His laptop is an Acer Travelmate 292 and I think it is a notebook specific problem but after I saw that a lot of other people with other laptop brands have the same problems I think this could be interesting for those too.

After booting the Ubuntu live cd could detect and install the modules for this wlan network adapter correctly
and everything under “dmesg | grep ipw2200 ” looked fine but I couldn’t see any access points although we were in the near of one.

When I looked under “iwlist scan” I saw an interesting
eth1 radio off ESSID:””
line.

So what did this meant? After searching mainly english sites I became aware that this was an common problem without any real solution.
But then I found the solution under the second german hit on google click
so I will explain it in english that hopefully a lot of people can profit from it.

radio” is the status of your laptops’ wireless radio switches, a lot of laptops have those hardware switches to power the wlan card on / off manually. This Acer Laptop model we worked one had an hardware switch on the left side but neither on nor off position changed the situation so it isn’t supported it by default.

In the case of the Intel Pro/Wireless 2200 we have a hardware switch which isn’t supported by the Live CD’s kernel automatically although the correct driver module “ipw2200” was loaded.

So what we have to do is to trigger the card on by software instead of really triggering on by hardware. This is done with the kernel module “Acer Hotkeys” (acerhk kernel module) which means this module can trigger the wlans hardware state on or off.

To do this there is this site CLICK where you can get special parameter settings for the acerhk module for a lot of different acer laptop models:

for our acer model (Travelmate 292) it is :

modprobe acerhk force_series=290 usedritek=1 verbose=1   (loads the kernel module)
echo 1 > /proc/driver/acerhk/wirelessled (powers the hardware really on)

there are a lot of other laptop brands on that site too: Acer,Asus,BenQ,Dell, HP,Samsung, Sony so have a look.

So after doing this “iwlist scan” showed all near access points correctly and could be connected too.

So with this little fix you have a real good Live CD linux with full wlan support on Acer Travelmate 292.

Loading the acerhk (Acer Hotkey) kernel module as shown above is only needed
if you power off your laptop so if you just reboot while the lapton is on you have not to make this again unless you power it manually off with:

echo 0 > /proc/driver/acerhk/wirelessled (switches it on)

have phun