[PC-BSD Testing] Sept 11 snapshot - Network manager bobbles wifi config

Rod Clark sc at sdf.lonestar.org
Wed Sep 12 23:45:14 PDT 2007

In a fresh install of today's (Sept 11) snapshot, there are
still some problems with the graphical network manager's wifi
config behavior.

1) The GUI network manager, unlike in some earlier versions,
does accept mnemonic ASCII key strings, which is good. But it
writes back to rc.conf an ASCII WEP keystring preceded by a 0x
hex string identifier: 0xthiskeystring. No carrier ensues on
reboot and troubleshooting is required.

2) It doesn't differentiate between ssid and bssid. When it
first read the rc.conf that I'd initially edited with nano, the
tray icon showed a live connection to the net, I could browse
with Konqueror, and we were off and running. It displayed the
access point's name as the bssid value in rc.conf. But when it
wrote its config back to rc.conf, it wrote ssid
00:0a:55:76:18:9a, not distinguishing between bssid and ssid,
thus causing no carrier on reboot. (I was using bssid because of
possibly unjustified paranoia about the handling of special
characters in the ssid strings.)

Video card setup suggestions:

1) It would be nice to have 1280x960 back. This resolution was
in the Sept 7 (if I recall correctly) snapshot and worked well,
at least with my FX5200. Having 1:1 aspect ratio pixels helps
when editing graphics, photos and such. It prevents having to
compress the width of the visible screen by about an inch on a
19" monitor, to view everything 1:1 square.

2) It would also be nice to have 800x600. Yes, I know someone
declared 1024 to be the minimum, but consider this: My local
King County Library branch has all 120 of its public-use PCs set
to a geezer-friendly 800x600, because quite a few of the patrons
who use them are members of the bifocal set. Taking all 43
branches into account, thousands of these monitors are set at
800x600 because a significant minority of the 1,000,000+ library
cardholders have poorer vision than the average KDE developer.
And now because of KCLS I've got to adjust a site to look and
work a little better in 800x600, and I can't do that easily or
very well in PC-BSD.

A general purpose desktop OS like BC-BSD that is designed for
ease of use by a very wide public, including older and
poor-vision users, should consider this in much the same light
as the library does.


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