Setting up FreeBSD wireless for sales person

James Earl james at
Tue Nov 29 16:05:32 GMT 2005

Hi Mike,

Thanks, everything worked pretty good!  I didn't have alot of time
before I had to give the notebook back, but I should have an
opportunity to work on it over time.  Just for the record, here's what
I ended up doing:

I used the nicmond port to monitor the xl0 interface, which allowed me
to unplug one device, and plug in the other without any problems.  I
created a link on the GNOME desktop to the start_if.ath0 file and
provided a number of commented examples.  GNOME had a pretty good
network monitor applet (with minimal config capability) which showed
the connection strength of the ath0 device and gave some good visual

The only improvements that I'd like to look into further, which might
make this setup easier for someone who doesn't know much about
computers are:

- A GUI configuration tool (which may happen as apps get ported to FreeBSD)
- No waiting at boot-up for dhclient to timeout
- And the handling of situations where both devices are active
(perhaps give one device a higher priority than the other?)

On 11/29/05, Michael Vince <mv at> wrote:
> For FreeBSD 6 check out this wireless documentation
> as well as the offical handbook one,
> That wireless device does appear to be atheros based so you wont need to
> use the ndis driver with project evil but can use a native FreeBSD driver.
> I would recommend using dhcp setup with the wireless device, if you need
> something more easy then that then you will probably have to roll your own.
> Mike
> James Earl wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >I'm setting up a sales person's notebook with a wireless card.  This
> >sales person travels around and usually stays in hotels.  He needs to
> >be able to connect to the hotel's internet connection whether it be a
> >wired or wireless connection.  I previously had him running OpenBSD
> >with a Sierra AirCard (would've been FreeBSD but I couldn't get it
> >working :).
> >
> >I picked up a D-Link DWL-AG660.  I currently have FreeBSD 6.0-RELEASE
> >on the notebook.  I see the DWL-AG660 isn't detected by 6-RELEASE,
> >hopefully just because it needs to have the device ids added?
> >
> >I don't have much experience with running a wireless setup with
> >FreeBSD so I thought I'd seek your thoughts on whether I should turn
> >this guy loose with FreeBSD and wireless, or if I should just put
> >win98 on it for him.  I imagine there may be cases where he'd have to
> >change ssid's depending on the hotel network he's connecting to...
> >which may complicate things... although I see there's some GNOME
> >wireless applets which may work with FreeBSD?
> >
> >I guess the key question is whether it's possible to set this up to be
> >user friendly enough for a non-technical person... the less
> >interaction, the better?
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