Working with WiFi on Edgy

Something broke in the transition between Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, the Dapper Drake, to Ubuntu 6.10, Edgy Eft: the WiFi configuration tools.

It used to be that on Dapper Drake, you could bring up the Network configuration dialog (System->Administration->Networking) and, if you had a recognized WiFi card, you'd get a listing of available hotspots. Not so in Edgy Eft.

I certainly hope this is something they fix in the next release, Feisty Fawn. But in the six months that I've been working with Edgy, I have managed to work around this limitation via the command line.

On a terminal, the command iwlist scanning gives you a list of available hotspots. iwlist eth0 scanning limits the results to the single interface you specify, in this case, eth0.

Here's a sample result:

eth0 Scan completed :
Cell 01 - Address: 00:16:B6:50:B4:45
Protocol:IEEE 802.11bg
Encryption key:off
Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s
11 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s; 24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s
48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
Quality=53/100 Signal level=-69 dBm
Extra: Last beacon: 4988ms ago

After getting this bit of info, I go back to the Network configuration dialog and fill in ESSID. Edgy attempts to bring up the interface, after which the WiFi connection now becomes active.

And just recently, I stumbled on another method though I'll admit it's still some sort of a kludge.

It's a tad inconvenient, I know, but it's not fatal. Still, I hope we go back to something more stable and user-friendly in the Feisty.