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wmaster0 in Fedora 8 i386 Running On A Dell Latitude D420 Laptop



Does anyone know what the wmaster0 interface does in terms of wireless networking on a Dell Latitude D420 laptop?

Here is my story:

Installed Fedora 8 i386 to an external USB hard drive which the Dell can boot from (yes, over USB.) I can almost immediately connect to my home wifi network on the wlan0 interface. All I needed to do was go to System-->Administration --> Network and "Edit" the wlan0 configuration:

specify my SSID, WEP key (I'm still using WEP), and channel. I think at some point in this process I set the type to "master" instead of "auto" but I later corrected it to "auto". The "Activate on boot" box was/is checked. The DHCP box is checked too. Presto, I can get an IP and surf the net wirelessly.

Then Thanksgiving came around and I stayed in a Hyatt Hotel for a few days. Naturally I played with Fedora 8. The Hyatt chain offers wireless internet through T-Mobile, so I went to System-->Administration --> Network and copied the wlan0 interface to a new interface wlan0 with the nickname wlan0tmobile. I changed the connection settings on this so they are appropriate to T-Mobile: no security key, and the ssid is 'tmobile'. Activating this interface worked wonderfully and I could connect and then log on to the T-mobile network. Again, I seem to recall accidentally specifying this as a "master" rather than "auto" connection.

I returned home from the hotel stay and couldn't connect to my home network any longer! I deleted the "wlan0tmobile" connection in the Network configuration gui and changed the WEP key while I was comparing it to the key in my access point. After a few tries, the machine connected to my access point and all was well.

Then this morning I noticed that one of my CentOS virtual machines wasn't getting the same hostname assigned to it as before from dhcpd, so I changed dhcpd.conf to assign a fixed hostname and IP address to that machine. That corrected the issue for that one machine, but then when I booted Fedora 8 on my laptop, I could no longer get any DHCPOFFERs for wlan0 and the wmaster0 interface began showing up as a network interface. This same laptop computer runs Windows XP, and I can get a good IP address for it wirelessly under that, so I know the radio is working and the software is keeping dhcpd happy.

What is 'wmaster0' and do I really need it? (I never checked before-the-hotel/after-the-hotel ifconfig output to see if wmaster0 was there consistently.) How can I get rid of the interface?

Thanks

Bob Cochran
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA






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