New Release of a Cool Canadian Distro: Vector Linux 5.8

by Caitlyn Martin

Once upon a time there was a small, lightweight distribution based on Slackware. It wasn't all that different from any of a number of small, lightweight distros designed to work on older hardware though it seemed to be well thought out. That was Vector Linux 1.8 six years ago. Since then VL has grown into a full featured distribution available in several different configurations. The latest release, Vector Linux 5.8, appeared on December 18th and it is clearly the most mature yet, in many ways equaling or even surpassing more popular distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mandriva. If the developers manage to smooth out the few remaining rough edges they may find themselves with a distro that is as popular as any of those.

Vector Linux comes in four flavors: Standard, Deluxe, SOHO, and Live. SOHO, with KDE as the default desktop and all the most popular applications, is the full featured version. Standard is the descendant of the original Vector Linux and is designed to be fast and lightweight. It is based on the Xfce4 desktop and provides superior speed and performance especially on older hardware. Both are freely downloadable. Deluxe, available for purchase, is Standard plus a second CD with additional applications as well as Gnome and Enlightenment DR17, the latter packaged from a recent CVS build. Live, as the name implies, is a live CD version of Standard. So far only new Standard and Deluxe versions have been released.

Much like Xubuntu Edgy which I reviewed three weeks ago, Vector is built around the Xfce4 desktop and mostly uses applications that don't have KDE or Gnome dependencies. The Standard version of Vector Linux is polished enough to be used almost anywhere, not just on older hardware, provided you get through some potential installation and configuration issues.

41 Comments

Joe1962
2007-01-06 00:53:11
Thank you for a very nice and unbiased review. I believe you are probably the first reviewer who actually looked below the surface and found some of the real strengths of this distro, while at the same time pointing out the issues we still need to address. In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the volunteer developers of Vector Linux and the "father" of vl-hot (so you can imagine my happiness at your appreciation of it!). I'd just like to clear up a few points mentioned in the article:


- lilo and reiserfs/xfs do work, I've been using reiserfs probably since VL 4.0 and have now tested xfs in 5.8 as well. I also ran into the issue of not having xfs available for the /home partition, though I've been told there is a way.


- changing the language for most apps (including XFCE itself) is a matter of changing a few environment variables in the profile, mainly $LANG, etc. Some notable exceptions, of course, are the browsers. However, setting the language should have been a function of vasm, for sure. Unfortunately, the installer is not currently localizable, which is a big issue.


- And last, just to nitpick a bit, the KDE version in the repository has been 3.5.5 since long before release.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-06 11:07:07
Joel: Thank you for your comments. As you've noticedd I do appreciated Vector Linux. It's just not perfect. No distro is.


On the xfs issue.... hmmm... I tried it thinking something had changed and lilo installation failed. I will try it again and if it works I will most certainly correct the review.


Regarding changing language and locale: this only works if the translations for localization are present. For the most part in VL they are not. If you read the how-to for French localization you'll see they actually have users writing their own translations. I'll gladly try it again but I am not at all convinced that anything will work any differently than what I have seen so far.


Also, changing environment variables by editing configuration files is not newcomer friendly. You and I may be comfortable with it but this is one area, in terms of user friendliness for newbies, that (X)(K)Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, et al score over Vector Linux. It's certainly an issue that, if made easier by a more sophisticated display manager (i.e. gdm or the full kdm) and a graphical tool similar to the one in Ubuntu that grabs all the packages necessary for the chosen language, would make Vector Linux far more popular.


I'm changing the version number on KDE. That's likely a typo on my part and I do apologize for it.


Thanks again for your comments and corrections.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-06 11:12:21
One more note: All my partitions are, in fact, xfs. What I did was to fail to assign any other mount points other than the root partition during install and then did everything at the command line after the fact, including migrating all the necessary files and directories into my new /home and /opt partitions. Vector Linux does contain all the usual xfs tools. Unless I totally missed something you just can't do anything with them (i.e.: creating partitions) from within the installer.
Joe1962
2007-01-06 12:09:44
Caitlyn: thanks for your replies. About xfs and lilo, I installed couple of the 5.8 RCs with a single partition and it worked both times. Don't know what could be happening in your case. As soon as I get a chance, I'll try it from 5.8 Gold.


About the languages, when I set the profile, I get all GTK apps in spanish, including XFCE. The issue with this XFCE RC2 is that not all translations are finished, according to the graphs on their site. Anyway, bash and man pages switch to spanish this way, as do Abiword, Gnumeric, Gftp, Gqview, etc. Anything else I can't vouch for right now. I do know that the browsers will need language packs from their respective websites for now. And any KDE stuff will need the language pack from our repo. I haven't actually checked the QT apps though.


That said, I totally agree with you that language should be set from vasm, as I mentioned before.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-06 12:41:22
I'll see if I can get Xfce to work in Hebrew again. I may have fat fingered something -- always a possibility when hand editing a config file. If the translations are all present I will change that bit of my review above, of course. I have no problem admitting when I am wrong. I don't ever want to stop making mistakes because the alternative is worse :)


A couple of other nits to pick not in the review:


--the OpenOffice package in the repository won't install for lack of a gnome-vfs package. It's a dependency issue.


--what cups was lacking was libldap2.3, which is in the openldap package. I think somehow either the installer missed a dependency or else a dependency isn't listed in the package.


Again, the discussion here and in the VL Forum has been great. It's fantastic to see you guys are so responsive about getting issues solved. That's another very strong point in favor of Vector Linux.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-06 13:37:27
I've updated the review above to more accurately reflect the problem I ran into installing lilo to the mbr. I think you'll find the current text to be a good description of the situation.
Didier Spaier
2007-01-07 09:22:21

Caitlyn: Thanks for your review — though I'll keep my Slackware 11.0.

An information you could add: there is a very good third parties repository @ http://www.slacky.it/

Along with packages, they provide in src/ subdirectories:
- slack-desc,
- slack-required,
- Slackbuilds,and doinst.sh files,
- and in case of numerous dependencies, related packages bundled in an archive file,

so that you really know what you get, and yo can even make an upgrade yourself later on.

Although a long time user of linuxpackages.net I now prefer to get packages there whenever available. Though website be in Italian it's very easy to use even for a French speaking individual ;-)


AmitiĆ©s de Paris — Didier

Vi
2007-01-07 23:00:17
Worst distro i've tried. Period. The only thing I can suggest is to add a zero dot in front of their release number.
Marcus009
2007-01-08 04:16:39
Agree-what a waste of time. Best distro, not by a long shot.
Carla Schroder
2007-01-08 17:05:41
That's a good informative review, Caitlyn. Please forgive my grumpiness, but I must insert my ritual rant: Will everyone for shitsake quit re-inventing Linux, and put your energies into making it work better? Having five hundred half-baked distributions, and a half-dozen good solid ones, to choose from is INSANE and STUPID and VEXING oh dear, I'm shouting. But you get my drift. :)
Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-09 12:42:35
Carla: I agree with you about reinventing Linux. Vector Linux has been around since the late '90s. It's hardly new. Ubuntu, for example, is much newer.


Marcus and vi: Have you tried v. 5.8? If so, what didn't you like. Your comments add nothing to the discussion other than to say you disagree. What did you find wrong? I find the Vector Linux developers incredibly responsive to feedback.

Kaj Rasmussen
2007-01-09 14:38:28
With the release of Vector Linux 5.8, Vector has stepped several years backwards. I had a Vector 5.1 SOHO installation, that worked very well, and it even had danish menu's.


I installed 5.8 in top of it, but that was a big mistake. I couldn't reach the internet, and the netcard was not configured. I was able to configure the network, when i was root, but then it only worked for the root account, and the settings were gone by the next boot. When I couldn't get on the net, I couldn't download danish language packages and other programs, that i might want.


I tried to reinstall twice, but with the same result, so i dropped it again.
In stead I installed Zenwalk 4.0. I had similar problems with that, but was able to solve most of them.


Kaj Rasmussen from Denmark


Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-09 15:04:20
Kaj: One error in my review: the internationalization files for Xfce and most GTK2 apps are present. However many translations for Xfce 4.4 aren't done yet. If Danish isn't done it won't work in Vector Linux, Xubuntu, or anywhere else.


Network configuration worked just fine for me. vasm, however, is not terribly user friendly and it does take several steps to configure the network. Login with a user account (NOT root), go into vasm, select SUPER (which is superuser or root mode) and then go into the network menu. Your settings will stay. Also, you may want to run



slapt-get --update
slapt-get --upgrade


afterwards as there is an update to vasm.


Again, for me it all worked. I'm running VL 5.8 as I write this running on a wireless connection.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-10 13:22:16
I've updated the review above to correct my error: Xfce4 translations, as well of those for most GTK+ apps, are, in fact, included, though what's available for which language does vary as Kaj pointed out.


Also, I've noted that the formerly missing Xfce4 plugins save one (xfapplet) are now in the testing repository.

Frank
2007-01-10 21:42:51
Actually I only discovered Vector when it was at 5.0 but found it to be head and shoulders ahead of most other distros in the areas important to me. Far faster than most distros like Xandros and Suse, keeps working for longer than a week unlike PCLinuxOS, media files play without a hitch unlike Ubuntu and on and on the story goes. I love the ease of setting up Gnome and Enlightenment too. For me, Vector is the best but not perfect.


Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-22 12:21:51
Correction to my correction on internationalization/localization:


Support in gtk2 apps, including Xfce4, is limited and many localization files are missing, just not all. It appears the compilation option to include those files was not included when the packages were built. I've raised this issue on the Vector Linux forums.


In addition some packagers (myself now included) have been adding fonts, dictionaries, etc... to improve internationalization. For example, the French dictionary for aspell is now in the Extra repository, as are Culmus (Hebrew) Type 1 fonts. More will be trickling in as a growing number of volunteer packagers and translators do their thing. More help, though, is clearly being welcomed by the Vector Linux developers.

Greetings from Finland
2007-04-25 07:33:48
A great distro with minor but crusial failures. First of all, the VL web page. "We are proud of something and, oh yeah, we also encourage you to donate or buy a mug". Sounds proud, eh? "We won't give you a list which packages are available, but there is surely open office and xara exreme." Accordingly, as we are known to be lightweight and quite a fast distro, some newer versions are not that light and fast. Of course, you are not informed which versions are outdated, so you are almost forced to use the newest one, or find another disro.


My point is, that every single piece of information has to be searched with effort; time and pain. If things are done in such a complex way to find out the basic information, there are surely better and more informative web pages to get a linux, more professional like presentations.


I surely wanted to hit hard, but only because the VL is much better in daily use than the first impression it gives, or the VL web page gives.



Language support, oh yes, that used to be in my old laptop powered by VL 5.1 standard. I miss you both. By the way, is VL 5.1 standard still supported and are there any security updates available for it? My poor old laptop newer saw the web.


For those reasons above, and those 10 % as you put it, the VL is not my choice. One more question, targeted especially to VL-team: Are you guys serious, or just having fun? Both, I hope.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-05-02 13:42:56
Greetings from Finland: Thank you for your comments. Improvement in documentation has gotten a lot of discussion on the Vector Linux fora. They know that it's deficient and some new and improved docs have come out recently. I suspect this is one area where VL will continue to improve.


Internationalization and localization has improved dramatically since the initial release of VL 5.8. Sadly support for Scandanavian languages including Finnis.h and Swedish is still very much lacking. Any translations for Xfce and for some apps that have been upgraded over the past six months are now included. Other than that you're pretty much out of luck, as in no dictionaries or language packs. This is one area where the VL crowd definitely could use some help.


Finally, no, VL 5.1 is no longer being supported or updated. 5.8 is pretty much it, plus 6.0 development, of course. Look for 6.0 to fork further away from VL's Slackware roots.

aardvark
2007-05-19 20:04:30
This is a very secure distro,you can't get online!! Network configuration is so borked it's disgraceful,one look at the forums shows even a simple(for every other distro) dhcp cable connection is asking too much. Wireless with wpa...forget it! Ironically 5.8 comes with 2 gui firewall options,4 browsers,and approx 96 wireless gui tools,apart from the one that works best,knetworkmanager that is.
If you like having to add multiple start-up scripts to start ifplugd,dhcpcd, and hand editing every .conf file you'll love it.
Place a dvd in the drive and no it won't play,despite libdvdcss.
Typical slackware package mismanagement,dependency hell so upgrading packages is not recommended,mind you if you can't get a net connection that isn't an issue I suppose.
The only positive features of this shambolic excuse for a distro are the attractive artwork and icons coupled with a relatively fast boot time.
Actually Vector Linux does do one thing other than artwork well,it shows how wonderful Mandriva 2007 Spring is. This is the quite probably the worst waste of a cd short of actually installing slackware itself.
Kelly
2007-05-21 15:23:39
OMG! Vector 5.8 is so broken in so many places Its not fit for public release.
I would hate to install their worst if this is their best!!!!
Vi,lol,.58 is about right,though having thought about it .058 is more like it.
If you like your box productive stay as far away as possible,you will be disappointed,hardware detected at boot isn't on reboot,and only randomly thereafter,most of the network tools are just plain broken,OpenOffice looks really bad,fonts system wide are terrible,xorg 6.8,Dillo? who the hell wants a gtk1 browser thats ugly and has no useful functions? SeaMonkey suite....only used by Luddites,the default install is 5 browsers!!....why? no-one can even get online!!!!!!!
This is an old school 5 apps for every function distro,all this does is make win95 look good. Vectot one step forward ten steps backward,worry less about nicking Linspires new icon set and fancy wallpaper and more on the basics.
Hey,new competition,first person to get Vector 5.8 SOHO online wins a penguin..hurry competition closes May 2010,better start now then......
keyfitter
2007-05-24 19:49:31
I have been using VL 5.8 Deluxe since the end of December, 2006 as my main operating system. So far it has beaten SuSE, Fedora and many others as my main choice.


It still has a ways to go to be perfect, but I didn't think the installer is all that bad. But, then I have been chain booting for a long time and there aren't too many surprises left,
except for the time I tried out Kubuntu "Crappy Cow" err Feisty Fawn.


The first suprise was the installer not giving me a choice of where to mount the bootloader.
The second strike out was the KDE desktop being
bug ridden. The third strike was the lack of multi media capability in Firefox.


When I downloaded Adobe Flasplayer, it would not support 64 bit architecture. I would sooner load Windows, than Ubuntu/Kubuntu ever again, and I don't like Windows either.
-

Caitlyn Martin
2007-05-25 12:50:30
I have to wonder if Kelly and aardvark are suffering from user error rather than any problems with VL. Can't get it online? You've got to be kidding? SOHO 5.8 was just released on the 17th and I had no problem downloading it or VL Live. Network tools work flawlessly for me both for wired and wireless connections. They seem to work for lots of other people too since this is a distro with a very large user community. My new review of Xubuntu Feisty Fawn is mixed at best and I definitely prefer VL 5.8 which just plain works for me.


Dependency hell? Not if you simply do:


slapt-get --update
slapt-get --upgrade


It's no harder than Debian or Ubuntu. The "not recommended" was in VL 5.1 documentation, not in 5.8. The repository managers have done a first calss job with VL 5.8 which is more than I can say for Fedora Core 6.


Rather than throwing stones why not file bug reports detailing your problems? I found the people in the VL forums are very quick to help.

Marc
2007-06-06 20:24:40
Quite the thorough review Caitlyn. I'm currently running Vector Linux 5.8 Gold Standard in a dual boot with Windows XP Black on an IBM Thinkpad R51 1829 KCF.


Everything pretty much worked from the beginning for me. I chose the alternate install iso and not the Live Cd install, since the alternate install method allows for choosing where to install LILO. I use GAG as my boot manager, so I didn't really need LILO to be in the MBR. GAG supports up to 9 operating systems. Which in the future my desktop will be running multiple OS's. Mainly for learning experience and curiosity about various distros of Linux.


Funny, (K)(X)Ubuntu were all on my list for consideration for my first step into the Linux world (I'm still a newbie mind you). I chose Vector, on asthetics, speed & being canadian :). I didn't want my first linux to be bloated. I'm coming from a windows background mainly.


My only nitpick with Vector so far...is installing packages/source that has been downloaded/acquired outside of slapt-get/gslapt. I've had a questionable time trying to find crystal clear documentation on this. Having the ability in Gslapt to choose independently downloaded packages would be a plus and managing any dependency issues also.


I love the vl-hotplug and the wi-fi radar. Kudos to the Vectelopers for those 2 features.


I'm actually considering putting Vector 5.8 SOHO on my main desktop also dualbooting with Windows XP Black. At the moment there are tasks that I still require Windows for, therefore can't completely cut the umbilical so to speak.


Since as of this writing I'm on my Thinkpad R51 on a wired dsl connection, I have no complaints. For an internet research workstation, I'd say that Vector Standard 5.8 Gold fits that bill.


I've also taken my Thinkpad to the Linux Cafe here in Toronto, Ontario and connected flawlessly to the wifi signals that the Linux Cafe had available.


Since I'm a newb, if I could figure out a idiot proof way for installing programs I like that are common on the windows/linux sides of the fence I'd be happy.


The other issue I have is the outdated documentation that comes the Vector 5.8 Gold.


so in essence my only 2 gripes are the documentation and installing packages that were downloaded outside of Gslapt/slapt-get.


once again, thanks for the review on Vector 5.8.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-06-09 15:43:03
Marc: Please be sure to enable the Extra and Patches repositories in slapt-get and gslapt. The number of new packages in Extra and the pace at which things are being packaged for Vector Linux is pretty breathtaking at the moment. You may find that much of what you want is available through a VL repository which means that gslapt/slapt-get will correctly handle dependencies for you. I don't know of any distribution that keeps things straight when you start using third party sources.
Marc
2007-06-13 18:33:06
Caitlyn : thanks for the tip, except I don't see which "source" is for the patches. Also, I recently installed openSUSE 10.2 on my desktop, and wasn't impressed...package management issues, even trying to mount another partition under yast was a pain...odds are I'm installing Vector SOHO 5.8 to replace openSUSE 10.2. Any chance you'd be able to post the address for the patches repository? Thanks
Caitlyn Martin
2007-06-13 19:41:20
Marc: Patches are at ftp://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/vectorlinux/veclinux-5.8/patches. I honestly think it was a mistake in the /etc/slapt-get/slapt-getrc file on the iso not to include the patches by default as this is where all the security updates and bugfixes for the packages on the iso go.


One note: Enabling this will upgrade gtk+2 to 2.10.11. This was necessary when they made GNOME 2.18.0 available for VL. Unfortunately it broke wifi-radar. A new wifi-radar 1.9.8 package is now in testing and should be in patches shortly. Grab that as well if you upgrade everything at once.

Marc
2007-06-20 19:22:07
Caitlyn : in your honest opinion, would you suggest the use of Slackware repositories with Vector, or should those be avoided?


In the event that your reply is positive, are there any slackware repositories that you would suggest? Thanks

Cailtyn Martin
2007-06-20 20:52:23
Marc: Using Slack repositories with VL is a one way ticket into dependency hell. I don't recommend it. It is MUCH better to build from source because the configure script should tell you what, if anything, you are missing. You can then go and get the missing bits and compile them as well.


Before you assume that something isn't packaged for Vector Linux take a few minutes to peruse the testing repository. Don't enable it in your /etc/slapt-get/slapt-getrc file (really bad idea!) but rather browse the repository. You might be pleasantly surprised to find the package you want is still in testing but works just fine. New stuff is added daily.

keyfitter
2007-06-21 18:08:56
Marc: Using Slack repositories with VL is a one way ticket into dependency hell. I don't recommend it. It is MUCH better to build from source because the configure script should tell you what, if anything, you are missing. You can then go and get the missing bits and compile them as well.
===================================================================



I have been using the slackware repository for some time and never had any dependency problems. I have even gotten away with installing packages from http://www.linuxpackages.net/ without
any problems either, but after reading this I will stick to VL repository and binaries. After all, I don't need any problems with an excellent running system like VL 5.8 SOHO.


Vector is supposed to be rated as ONE of the fastest distro's. I am
starting to think that it could be rated as THE fastest.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-06-22 08:59:47
keyfitter: Slackware packages work fine if you have all the dependencies installed or if you know what they are and can go get them first. My concern is that vanilla Slack packages don't have the dependency checking that VL packages have. See some of the comments by the VL detractors above about dependency hell. Want to bet they uncommented some interesting lines in their /etc/slapt-get/slapt-getrc file, found all kinds of new neat stuff in gslapt, and then ran into trouble?


My advice comes down to this: the /etc/slapt-get/slapt-getrc tells the slapt (Slackware apt) systems what to use for things like slapt-get --update and slapt-get --upgrade. Upgrading from non-compatible repositories causes problems in almost any distro. Look at the issues Fedora users complain about when using third party repositories for a good example. Vector is no different.


Regarding speed: VL 5.8 Standard and Xubuntu Feisty are about equally fast on my system. VL 5.8 SOHO manages to squeeze more speed out of KDE than any distro I've seen. It is the ONLY distro where KDE isn't sluggish to the point of annoying on my system. If someone absolutely, positively has to have KDE and doesn't have a fast, well equipped system then SOHO definitely is an excellent choice. I'll be reviewing SOHO separately as in the six months between the Standard and SOHO releases a whole lot changed, mostly for the better.

Caitlyn Martin
2007-06-26 08:40:22
Following up on my last comment, Vector Linux 5.8 SOHO was released on May 17th. Since the changes in the five months between the releases of Standard and SOHO are quite large (as in the two shouldn't have the same version number), I have posted a new review of Vector Linux 5.8 SOHO. You may want to read that one as well before deciding which version of VL (Standard or SOHO) is right for you.
Marc
2007-07-26 18:28:07
Caitlyn : I've recently installed Vector Linux SOHO 5.8 Final on my Thinkpad R51 1829 KCF, and I like it much better over the standard version. Still trying to figure out how to get dvds to play under xine/vlc/mplayer..still hitting my head against the wall with that.


However, I'd like to inquire if you have any suggestions for software that is functional under Vector SOHO 5.8 that has similar functionality as ACT under Windows.


Thanks!

Caitlyn Martin
2007-07-30 15:40:50
@Marc: I've never used ACT so I really don't know what it does in detail. I've always just managed contacts within a mail program (i.e.: Evolution, which is reasonably sophisticated in that area). Sorry I can't be of more help.
Marc
2007-08-02 19:53:12
Caitlyn : oh sorry, just for clarification on ACT, it's CRM software, Contact Relationship Management, along with an email client & a calender client built in. That's okay, tho, cause I'm starting to like the PIM in vector soho 5.8, Kontact and all the related apps, except for Kmail, can't completely figure that out yet, using seamonkey mail in the mean time.
Caitlyn Martin
2007-08-03 11:03:30
@Marc: kmail is probably one of the best KDE apps, IMHO. It's very flexible and configurable. Give it a chance and get used to it. You may find you like it very well and that it integrates with the PIM tools you are already using.
Marc
2007-09-09 14:21:45
@Caitlyn, Hi again Caitlyn, I was just wondering if you knew of a security vpn software similar to what anchorfree.com does on the windows side. I haven't used anchorfree hotspot shield, but from what I read it creates a secure vpn between a wifi enabled computer (notebook) and the router. Any thoughts?
Marc
2007-10-17 21:18:42
@Caitlyn Hi again, I was just wondering if you have any tips or insights in how to configure wpa-supplicant with Vector Linux SOHO 5.8? I recently picked up a wifi router for home use (first time at this) I can get Vector SOHO 5.8 to connect over wifi with 128bit WEP but not WPA. Not quite sure how to go about it..since when I try to do WPA in the Configure option when I click on my home network's ESSID it asks for a driver..not sure what to put in there..I tried "ndiswrapper" "hostap" "ipw" "atmel" "broadcom" and nothing happens. Any tips?
Caitlyn Martin
2007-10-18 09:15:15
@Marc: I don't use WPA on the wireless network here so I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to help you. This type of question is EXACTLY what the Vector Linux forum handle on a daily basis. There may already be a How-To or someone else may have already asked that question. If not I think you'll find the people in the forum friendly and helpful.
Gerardo
2007-10-25 01:01:52
Mini How-to for WPA wireless:


1) First of all, ensure your wifi card is enable and working.


# ifconfig ath0


You should see something like this:


ath0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:11:22:33:44:55
inet addr:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx Bcast:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx Mask:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
UP BROADCAST NOTRAILERS RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1
RX packets:5056 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:4576 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:5557326 (5.2 MiB) TX bytes:602650 (588.5 KiB)



2) It step (1) is correct, then lets configure the WPA. Edit or create /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf with your own data.


Mine is something like this:


ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
#
# Home network
network={
ssid="your_essid"
scan_ssid=1
key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
pairwise=TKIP CCMP
group=TKIP
ssid="your_essid"
#psk="your_passphrase"
psk=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
}


Note: To create the psk key type:
# wpa_passphrase [passphrase]


And include the output in /etc/wpa_supplicant


3) Activate the configuration. I put this lines in /etc/rc.d/rc.local to enable WPA at boot time, but if you don't want this, you just have to execute the commands above.


My /etc/rc.d/rc.local is:


# To enable WPA in Atheros wifi card in boot time
wpa_supplicant -B -Dwext -iath0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
dhcpcd ath0



If you don't have Atheros chipset, you can use ndiswrapped in the -D option. So replace "-Dwext" with "-Dndiswrapper".


4) That's all. Hope your wireless network is running after this steps.


5) For more information refer to http://www.vectorlinux.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1282.0 in Vector Linux Forum.

Marc
2007-11-10 23:45:38
@Gerardo
Thanks for the mini-howto. I only saw the post just today (Sun November 11, 2007 @ 02:44ESt) I'll take a crack at it later today. Thanks again!


Marc

Marc Co
2008-03-16 17:05:08
@Gerardo, thanks for the wifi wpa mini how-to I only got around to actually doing it today (Sunday March 16, 2008) I put the information in rc.local.


I had a hard time getting the psk tho, I had to enter my passphrase into the wireless configurator /sbin/vwireless then that created the psk. I tried doing it with wpa_passphrase [passphrase here] but in the konsole under root it got stuck or hung or something. I take it if I have other WPA type wifi networks to connect to (I'm an independent contractor with Nerds On Site, so on occasion I have to connect to client WPA protected networks)I just adjust the ssid & get the appropriate psk created and for the most part everything should be fine?


thanks again Gerardo