[clug] Raspberry Pi WLAN issues

Jessica Smith jessica at itgrrl.com
Tue May 27 06:43:01 MDT 2014

Hey all,

I work in a college environment, where people are doing interesting things
with RPis to engage students. We have a fairly typical enterprise-type
network environment, with all the joys and tears pertaining thereto…

We have an RPi that is giving one of the IT teachers some grief, and I took
a quick look at it today. He's trying to get it connecting via wifi using a
USB wifi dongle, and it seems to be… somewhat flaky. Using the wifi
config util (GUI), sometimes nearby networks are discovered and displayed,
sometimes not. When attempting to connect to the desired WLAN (802.1x, all
settings correct), it will appear to connect, then drop. Occasionally, the
wifi config util seems to lose the WLAN0 interface altogether, and only a
reboot restores (wlan0 down/up doesn't fix).

I'm thinking flaky adapter, and am arranging to swap out the adapter, but
it's possible/probable I'm missing something obvious. The RPi is running

Does this sound like a flaky adapter to y'all, or is there a known
flakiness in support for USB wifi adapters in Raspbian that's unknown to
me? (I don't know what chipset the dongle is running, but can find out.) Is
it likely an issue with the RPi not having correct datetime set? (I didn't
check this today but will tomorrow.) If a time problem, how do people
usually manage this without access to an NTP server until after connecting…?

Any other troubleshooting suggestions much appreciated.



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