DD-WRT and Linux Wireless Issues: A Possible Fix

KeyWords: linux, wireless, issues, looping, no connection, loop, unable to connect, ubuntu, debian, arch, intel, broadcom, buffalo, router, openwrt, tomato, fix, working, wicd, \x00, weird network name

After installing many different Linux Distributions, I was getting fed up with my wireless not working properly. At first I thought it was just the Broadcom chip, but after switching to an Intel Chip, I was having the same issues as with the Broadcom. Doing massive googling, I was unable to actually narrow down the problem to anything in particular. That is until last week when I found an interesting forum post on Linux Drivers using DD-WRT. This is not widely known, hence the blog post with all the right key words. If you are using DD-WRT and are having Linux Wireless issues, read on!

All credit is due to pigiron given he found all this information out and posted it! I am stoked he did because it led to me figuring out how to fix my problems and finally being able to stick to a Linux Distro! I cannot explain the problem as well as he did, but you can read the details about it here.

The symptoms, namely, after I would put the computer to sleep and then wake it back up, my wireless network would never reconnect it would keep asking for the network key, I would input the right network key and it would just continue to loop never connecting. I had NetworkManager installed by default, so I decided to try Wicd. Wicd was actually worse in that it just showed a weird network name of “\x0b...\x00\x00\x00” etc. This was a weird situation that I could not explain. What it ends up being is that DD-WRT does not obey a Specification and send an extra signal or beacon, which the Linux Wireless Drivers pick up and think is the “Access Point”, which it is not. Windows / Mac so nicely ignoring the extra data sent. But why send it out if it is not apart of the specification? Reading the post above, the basic gist is, “you are screwed, deal with it” from what I gathered, given no one truly responded.

So in light of that I looked for alternatives. What first peaked my mind was Tomato, unfortunately it only works with Broadcom Chipsets. I settled on OpenWRT. The install on my Buffalo router WZR-HP-G300NH was easy using the Wiki / SSH to my router. Did the install and within 15 minutes was back up and running. OpenWRT’s interface may not be as nice as DD-WRT, but after I installed the Wireless Drivers for it and setup QOS / Wireless, it was working. To top it all off...it was working better. The QOS actually works, with DD-WRT, it never seemed to work at all. So all in all, it was totally worth the trade to actually have my Linux Wireless Card Drivers supported and a whole host of extras that are easily installed. Too bad the interface does fall a bit short, but hey, at least it works!

Hopefully this helps you, whether you were having wireless issues on Ubuntu, Debian, ArchLinux, #!CrunchBang, Fedora Core, CentOS, Slackware, etc.

Installing OpenWRT completely solved my issue and I will never go back to a Windows box now as the issue was DD-WRT all this time! So if your wireless seems like it is in an endless loop / keeps asking you for a network key, but never connects, or shows a weird wireless network name like \x0B\x00\x00\x00\x00 and you have DD-WRT, think about trying out OpenWRT if there is a build for your router model!

Posted by frost on Mar 18th, 2011 00:38 - Subscribe Bookmark and Share

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Posted by anonymous on October 25th, 2011

I have a strange issue now with Debian and DD-WRT on Linksys WRT54G/GL/GS. I recently installed Debian because I was very annoyed with Ubuntu. I think Ubuntu 64bit is totaly incompatible with my Dell M4300 laptop (with wirless Broadcom BCM4312, 4GB ram and VT enabled Core2Duo 2,5 GHz on board). I tried Ubuntu 9.04, then after a lot of struggle (7 reinstalations, repetous total hangups, problems with dual booting, wrecking harddrive) I gave up. A year has passed then 10.04 shows up. I thought that I'll give it a try, I had enough of Windows crap. No succes. Same now when I tried with 11.04 and 11.10. Then I tried Debian 6.0.3 and it is perfect, it just loves my Dell, nothing hangs up, everything works perfectly with a medium amount of configuring (I like it, I am a geek), but there is one flaw. It is the wireless connection. Opposit to Ubuntu, Debian just can't see my wireless network, so I can't connect to Internet using Wi-Fi - it is very strange because all earlier Ubuntu versions I just named here were able to connect to my WiFi DD-WRT. There was just small problem with b43 drivers but making wired connection and connecting with the Net always resolved that problem. It is strange because all nearby WiFi's from my neighbours are detectable, and I am able to make Debian connect to unprotected ones.
I used this
wiki . debian . org / bcm43xx
and this guide
wireless . kernel . org / en / users /Drivers / b43
And then I googled and landed here. If anyone could help my, please leave a comment below.

Posted by anonymous on May 02nd, 2012

I was having similar problems with my ubuntu 10.04.4. It has always had problems to connect to various types of WiFis, which seems to be much better since I installed Wicd instead of NetworkManager. However, there is (at least) one wireless spot that I can't seem to connect to, which shows up with a strange name like \x0B\x00\x00\x00\x00... in my Wcid, even though it has a "regular" name on other devices. Since it is not my WiFi (it's in my workplace), I cannot change the router's OS. What else could I do?





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