Wireless in Powerbook G4

I have an old Powerbook G4 12 inch running Debian. I had issues connecting to the wireless if I was not using Gnome. I found out it was because of Network Manager. While Network Manager is running I can not connect to the wireless network from command line. Currently I am using OpenBox so it doesn’t connect automatically to the wireless. Here is a small howto.

First we check module b43 is installed.

[19:16:50] xavi@NewYork:/tmp $ sudo modinfo b43
filename:       /lib/modules/2.6.30-2-powerpc/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/b43/b43.ko
firmware:       FW13
license:        GPL
author:         Michael Buesch
author:         Stefano Brivio
author:         Martin Langer
description:    Broadcom B43 wireless driver
alias:          pcmcia:m02D0c0448f*fn*pfn*pa*pb*pc*pd*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev10*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev0F*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev0D*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev0B*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev0A*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev09*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev07*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev06*
alias:          ssb:v4243id0812rev05*
depends:        pcmcia,mac80211,ssb,input-polldev,pcmcia_core,rfkill,rng-core,cfg80211
vermagic:       2.6.30-2-powerpc mod_unload modversions 
parm:           bad_frames_preempt:enable(1) / disable(0) Bad Frames Preemption (int)
parm:           fwpostfix:Postfix for the .fw files to load. (string)
parm:           hwpctl:Enable hardware-side power control (default off) (int)
parm:           nohwcrypt:Disable hardware encryption. (int)
parm:           qos:Enable QOS support (default on) (int)
parm:           btcoex:Enable Bluetooth coexistance (default on) (int)
parm:           verbose:Log message verbosity: 0=error, 1=warn, 2=info(default), 3=debug (int)
[19:16:54] xavi@NewYork:/tmp $ lsmod | grep -i b43
b43                   138992  0 
rfkill                 15184  3 rfkill_input,b43
rng_core                7952  1 b43
mac80211              178904  1 b43
cfg80211               72376  2 b43,mac80211
input_polldev           7836  2 b43,ams
ssb                    51292  1 b43
pcmcia                 32336  2 b43,ssb
pcmcia_core            40868  3 b43,ssb,pcmcia
[19:17:09] xavi@NewYork:/tmp $ 

Stop Network Manager

bash$ sudo /etc/init.d/network-manager stop

Bring up wireless interface. Wlan0 in my case.

bash$ sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

Scan the available wireless networks.

bash$ sudo iwconfig wlan0 scanning

Connect to the ESSID

bash$ sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid

Get an IP from the wireless access point.

bash$ sudo dhclient wlan0 

Ping an external address to see you are connected to the internet.

[19:31:57] xavi@NewYork:/tmp $ !ping
ping -c 3 debian.org
PING debian.org (194.109.137.218) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from klecker.debian.org (194.109.137.218): icmp_req=1 ttl=50 time=119 ms
64 bytes from klecker.debian.org (194.109.137.218): icmp_req=2 ttl=50 time=116 ms
64 bytes from klecker.debian.org (194.109.137.218): icmp_req=3 ttl=50 time=101 ms

--- debian.org ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 2002ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 101.768/112.858/119.928/7.940 ms
[19:32:02] xavi@NewYork:/tmp $ 

You should now be ready to go. I will write more on this later on.

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