NetworkManager and wifi -- what voodoo is it doing?

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Tue Jun 12 12:28:27 UTC 2007

On Tue, Jun 12, 2007 at 06:36:30AM -0400, Matthew Miller wrote:
> Ahhh, for the old simple days. :)

When men were men and reading the source was useful because programs
weren't so dang big and opaque.

> For whatever reason, NetworkManager crashes shortly after it starts about
> 90% of the time. I'm not a huge NetworkManager fan, because it doesn't quite
> offer the level of control that I like. And I'm not so keen on its design
> philosophy of "be really slick whenever it's doing the right thing / be
> really opaque in all other cases".

You've got that right.

> Ooops. If I don't have NetworkManager starting at boot, `iwlist eth0 scan`
> returns "No scan results" every time. But if I instead start NetworkManager
> at boot, it works fine -- even after it crashes or I stop it.
> Clearly, NetworkManager is doing some vital configuration of the interface
> at startup. But what?

That I don't know. I suspect it is modprobing the driver. But here is
a script I wrote to get my laptop onto my network when NM is being

# Log in to curleynet

# Time-stamp: <2007-03-27 06:05:47 root curleynet>

# clean out the driver, in case it is hung up, and reinitialize the
# hardware.

rmmod ipw2200
modprobe ipw2200
killall dhclient

# Detect the wireless interface, ignoring output to stderr.

IF=$(iwconfig 2> /dev/null | grep ESSID | cut -d ' ' -f1)
echo Interface is $IF

iwconfig $IF essid curleynet nick dragon channel 6 key 12345678901234567890123456 mode managed
dhclient $IF
ifconfig $IF
iwconfig $IF

NM cannot be running while you use this.

For normal, day to day use, I don't use NM on my home network. I leave
the "network" "service" running and have that set up correctly (which
took some work, but that's another issue). I have found that when I
leave my own network for another, before I go, I:

  Start up NM:

  service NetworkManager start ; service NetworkManagerDispatcher start

  Wait for NM to acquire my network.
  Suspend or hibernate, as needed.

On return I'll leave NM running until the next time I reboot or NM
looses its marbles (not hard for it to do).


Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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