DHCP using ral

Manolis Kiagias sonicy at otenet.gr
Mon Jun 29 19:52:14 UTC 2009

Robert Hall wrote:
> I'm trying to set up a connection between an FBSD box and a wireless
> access point. The background is that there's no security on this
> network; as the person who set it up says, "You just start your
> computer and it works!"
> I have an XP box with a wireless NIC working, but I don't want to use
> the XP box as the gateway for my personal lan to an insecure network.
> On the XP box, if I point a browser to, I'm told that the
> router is "WRT54GX2", which I take to be a popular Linksys router. I
> don't have physical access to the router and I don't have the password
> for the router.
> I've got a wireless Linksys NIC that uses the ral driver facing the
> wireless router. The NIC facing my lan uses the em driver and is
> working fine. "uname -a" says FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE #0. In rc.conf I
> have
>         ifconfig_ral0="DHCP"
> After booting, if I ping, I get "no route to host" and I
> have no lease file in /var/db. "ifconfig ral0" tells me that I have no
> inet address associated with ral0, status is "no carrier", and the
> ssid is an empty string. "dhclient ral0" sends a series of
> DHCPDISCOVER messages, but I get no DHCPOFFER messages, and I get an
> empty lease file. If I run "ifconfig ral0" again, inet is,
> status is "associated", and ssid is the proper ssid for the wireless
> router. "ifconfig ral0 list scan" gives the proper information for the
> router.
> At some point I did get a proper lease. I don't know when or how. I've
> never had a usable connection to the router from the FBSD box, and
> I've never had access to the nameservers listed in the lease. If I
> rename the old lease file to dhcp.leases.ral0, and then run "dhclient
> ral0", I send 3 DHCPREQUEST messages, 2 DHCPDISCOVER messages, 2
> DHCPREQUEST messages, and 6 DHCPDISCOVER messages. dhclient tells me
> that no DHCPOFFERs were received, and it binds to the address in lease
> file, However, "ifconfig ral0" shows no inet address. I
> still can't ping the router.
> "ifconfig ral0 inet netmask" assigns the
> specified values. Ping no longer tells me that there's no route to the
> host, but I'm getting about 95% packet loss. "netstat -r" now shows
> that link1 (ral0) is the gateway to I still don't have a
> usable connection.
> resolv.conf says "nameserver", which is the nameserver for
> my personal lan. I can't nslookup URLs outside of my lan. If I
> manually add the nameservers in the dhcp lease, I can nslookup
> www.google.com. But ping has 100% packet loss.
> /etc/hosts associates with localhost.krig.net, and
> with stamfordbru.krig.net, which is correct for my lan.
> I'm stumped. :)
> I don't know if this is related; the XP box is telling me that the
> router has no connection to the internet, but it obviously does have a
> connection because the XP box can load web pages and I can use my
> gmail account.
> Thanks for any help.
I happen to have a Linksys router (not the same model though) and a
Linksys pci card that uses the ral driver. Never had any problems,
though I am not using DHCP.
Here are a few manual steps to try:

First off, try setting the ssid on the command line:

ifconfig ral ssid Myssid

Execute ifconfig by itself, and see if you get an "associated" message.
(you may have to wait a minute before you do) If you don't, chances are
the following will do nothing

dhclient ral0

if this does not succeed, set an IP address manually:

ifconfig ral0 inet netmask

Before attempting to test the internet connection, add the router as
nameserver in /etc/resolv.conf and don't forget to add the router's
address as the default gateway:

route add default 192.168.1.X

>From my experience, the important part is to get the "associated"
message after the initial ifconfig. Not much hope otherwise.

As an afterthought, is the XP machine on while you are trying to
connect? If they are too close they maybe interfering.

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