Linux Unwired: A Complete Guide to Wireless Configuration


In Linux Unwired, you'll learn the basics of wireless computing, from the reasons why you'd want to go wireless in the first place, to setting up your wireless network or accessing wireless data services on the road. The book provides a complete introduction to all the wireless technologies supported by Linux. You'll learn how to install and configure a variety of wireless technologies to fit different scenarios, including an office or home network and for use on the road. You'll also learn how to get Wi-Fi ...

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In Linux Unwired, you'll learn the basics of wireless computing, from the reasons why you'd want to go wireless in the first place, to setting up your wireless network or accessing wireless data services on the road. The book provides a complete introduction to all the wireless technologies supported by Linux. You'll learn how to install and configure a variety of wireless technologies to fit different scenarios, including an office or home network and for use on the road. You'll also learn how to get Wi-Fi running on a laptop, how to use Linux to create your own access point, and how to deal with cellular networks, Bluetooth, and Infrared.Other topics covered in the book include:

  • Connecting to wireless hotspots
  • Cellular data plans you can use with Linux
  • Wireless security, including WPA and 802.1x
  • Finding and mapping Wi-Fi networks with kismet and gpsd
  • Connecting Linux to your Palm or Pocket PC
  • Sending text messages and faxes from Linux through your cellular phone
Linux Unwired is a one-stop wireless information source for on-the-go Linux users. Whether you're considering Wi-Fi as a supplement or alternative to cable and DSL, using Bluetooth to network devices in your home or office,or want to use cellular data plans for access to data nearly everywhere, this book will show you the full-spectrum view of wireless capabilities of Linux, and how to take advantage of them.

From the author of "Wireless Hacks," comes a Linux guide for home, for the office, and for the road.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Linux + wireless = freedom. But freedom isn’t free: You have to know something to make the most of wireless on your Linux notebook, desktop, or other device. That’s where Linux Unwired comes in. It covers all the technologies, from standard 802.11b and 802.11g to infrared, Bluetooth, and cellphone networks. And it covers virtually everything you’d want to do: connecting to hotspots, finding them, mapping them, creating them, securing them, you name it.

As the authors note, “Wireless support on Linux has come a long way.” This book takes you the rest of the way. If you haven’t bought your Wi-Fi card yet, they tell you which ones offer the best Linux support. You’ll learn what you need to know about installation and configuration: everything from providing PCMCIA support to installing Linux Wireless Tools to recompiling your kernel (often still necessary).

Linux Unwired walks you through getting on a network, then presents a full chapter on security -- including your options for WPA support. (Unfortunately, you can’t use your Linux box as a WPA authenticator yet. But that’s in progress. The authors tell you who’s doing the work.)

There’s detailed coverage of Linux-friendly access points, including a lengthy chapter on building your own. Next, the authors turn to alternative wireless technologies, beginning with Bluetooth. There’s coverage of infrared syncing with Palms and Pocket PCs, cellular data connections, even GPS.

Along the way, there are plenty of tips, workarounds, troubleshooting solutions, pointers to third-party drivers and open source add-ons, sample settings, diagrams...everything you need to make wireless Linux work. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2003 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.

Library Journal
Linux's popularity continues to grow owing to its lower cost and better security. Multiple flavors and uses of the OS lead to multiple guides; those listed here mainly cover the popular licensed Red Hat Enterprise and freely downloadable Fedora, both distributed by Red Hat. Pocket Guide explains the common commands (organized by function), uses, and options of Fedora Linux, focusing on the command line; minimal attention is given to graphical interfaces. A succinct reference for larger libraries owning more comprehensive guides. For beginners, Learning Red Hat Enterprise addresses both Red Hat Enterprise and Fedora and includes the smaller publisher's edition of Fedora on CD. After an introduction and history, the book moves from installing the operating system to setting up networking and understanding shell scripts. This clear, well-organized guide is highly recommended for all libraries. For intermediate users, Linux Unwired mixes two hot topics in one short text, showing with humor and enthusiasm how to use Linux with several wireless protocols and standards, including 802.11, Bluetooth, cellular data, and GPS. The authors explain how wireless works as well as how to set up your Linux box for wireless and create your own access point. Given the increased popularity of both Linux and wireless in addition to the increased complexity of configuring wireless on Linux this is recommended for medium and larger libraries. Moving includes Knoppix on CD-ROM, which allows readers to run a Debian-based Linux distribution without installing it on their hard drives, plus open source application software. It targets Microsoft administrators wanting to switch their business networks to a Linux environment, covering both system administration for the most common distributions and applications (e.g.,, Mozilla, and KOrganizer) and focusing on the KDE desktop; for larger libraries. For beginners, Beginning Fedora 2 contains the publisher's edition on DVD (or downloadable for readers without DVD drives). Step-by-step instructions, chapter summaries, and exercises help teach the OS. A little more comprehensive but less clear than Learning Red Hat; appropriate for medium and larger libraries. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596005832
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Weeks has been living and working with computers since 1982 when he got his first Atari, and discovered a whole new world with the purchase of a 300bps modem.

He has designed, built and supported large and small server installations and networks from LAN to WAN to wireless. He was a part of the NoCat wireless group in Sebastopol, CA for several years and considers that one of the best experiences of his life. In the past several years he has focused on security, from wireless to service providers to storage.

He is currently a Technical Marketing Engineer focused on Product Security at NetApp in Sunnyvale, CA. Roger is a coauthor of Linux Unwired and Wireless Hacks, 2nd Edition.

Edd Dumbill is Managing Editor of He is an enthusiastic software developer as well as a writer. Edd is also the chair of the XML Europe 2002 conference, and chaired the O'Reilly XTech 2001 conference on XML.

Brian Jepson is an O'Reilly editor, programmer, and co-author of Mac OS X Panther for Unix Geeks. He's also a volunteer system administrator and all-around geek for AS220, a non-profit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 gives Rhode Island artists uncensored and unjuried forums for their work. These forums include galleries, performance space, and publications.

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Table of Contents

What This Book Covers;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Comments and Questions;
Chapter 1: Introduction to Wireless;
1.1 Radio Waves;
1.2 Connections Without Wires;
1.3 Wireless Alphabet Soup;
1.4 Bluetooth;
1.5 Cellular Data;
1.6 Infrared;
Chapter 2: Wi-Fi on Your Linux Box;
2.1 Quick Start;
2.2 Chipset Compatibility;
2.3 Four Steps to Wi-Fi;
2.4 Linux Wi-Fi Drivers in Depth;
Chapter 3: Getting On the Network;
3.1 Hotspots;
3.2 Wireless Network Discovery;
Chapter 4: Communicating Securely;
4.1 The Pitfalls of WEP;
4.2 The Future Is 802.11i;
4.3 WPA: a Subset of 802.11i;
4.4 WPA on Linux;
Chapter 5: Configuring Access Points with Linux;
5.1 Linux-Friendly Wireless Vendors;
5.2 Commercial Wireless Equipment Overview;
5.3 Configuring Access Points;
5.4 Flashing Your Access Point;
Chapter 6: Building Your Own Access Point;
6.1 Hardware;
6.2 Software;
6.3 Linux-Powered Off-the-Shelf;
Chapter 7: Bluetooth;
7.1 Quick Start;
7.2 Bluetooth Basics;
7.3 Bluetooth Hardware;
7.4 Linux Bluetooth Support;
7.5 Installing the BlueZ Utilities;
7.6 Basic Configuration and Operation;
7.7 Graphical Applications;
7.8 Cool Bluetooth Tricks;
Chapter 8: Infrared;
8.1 IrDA in the Kernel;
8.2 PC Laptop with Built-In IrDA;
8.3 Infrared Dongle;
8.4 Sharing a Network Connection over IrDA;
8.5 Connecting to the Internet with a Cell Phone;
8.6 Transferring Files with OpenOBEX;
8.7 Synchronizing with a Palm;
8.8 Pocket PC;
Chapter 9: Cellular Networking;
9.1 Cellular Data;
9.2 Some Cellular Carriers;
9.3 Phones and Cards;
9.4 Sending a Fax;
9.5 Text Messaging;
9.6 Acceleration;
Chapter 10: GPS;
10.1 Uses of GPS;
10.2 A GPS Glossary;
10.3 GPS Devices;
10.4 Listening to a GPS;
10.5 Mapping Wi-Fi Networks with Kismet;
10.6 GpsDrive;
10.7 Other Applications;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2004

    Linux + Wireless = A Viable Approach

    The authors describe the convergence of two trends. The first is the usage of linux as a free operating system. This has intersected with the second trend, wireless networking. The book is a detailed description of the extent of this overlap. To some of you, it will be a sign of the vitality of the linux market; that it already has and continuous to develop support for the major wireless modalities. Half the book is devoted to WiFi. A direct measure of its popularity. It describes the various types of hardware available for the different 802.11 protocols. Specific instructions on installing and using. They also provide an entire chapter on the installing and running of an access point. Some WiFi users have this as their key need, because the access point is how a WiFi net communicates with the rest of the world. Other types of wireless interactions are possible. Bluetooth. Infrared. Cellular. GPS. Each gets its own chapter. Typically with a survey of the latest vendors' hardware. The level of discussion is detailed enough for practical use.

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