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Configuring Strong Wi-Fi (802.1X) Authentication in Linux, Part II

Dec 15, 2009, 18:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Geier)

"In the previous part, we also discovered the two main 802.1X supplicants (clients): Xsupplicant and wpa_supplicant. We used wpa_supplicant via Ubuntu's networking GUI. Now we're going to discuss how to manually configure wpa_supplicant using it's configuration file, in case your Linux distribution doesn't interface with the supplicant.

"Configuring wpa_supplicant via the config file

"If you've installed wpa_supplicant yourself, you can set it up via the configuration file. If the supplicant came with your Linux distribution, you still might choose to use the configuration file to fine-tune the authentication and encryption settings. Here are a few general parameters you may want to set that apply to all networks you connect to:

eapol_version: Set to either 1 or 2. By default,

wpa_supplicant uses version 2 of EAPOL, as specified in the IEEE 802.1X-2004 standard. However, some APs still support only the first version.

fast_reauth: Leave set to 1 to enable fast re-authentication for all supported EAP methods, or set to 2 to disable fast re-authentication.

"You specify the details of networks you want to connect to in blocks using brackets. The supplicant will try to connect to the listed networks in the order they appear in. Before you take the time to configure all the settings, you might want to check if the supplicant is working fine with your wireless driver by connecting to an unencrypted AP first, using the following block:"

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