DHCP fails on boot in Feisty

On Friday, I upgraded my laptop to Kubuntu Feisty. For the most part, it was uneventful. My only immediate complaint was that this upgrade, too, took 24 hours to complete. There are just too many places where the upgrade tool prompts for user input, so if you walk away, it end up taking 5 times as long as it should.

However, later on, I did find one problem: my wireless network wasn't working. It's an integrated Broadcom BCM4318 which uses the Windows drivers through NDISwrapper. NDISwrapper was still working and the wireless extensions seemed to be functioning properly. Moreover, the interface was up. It's just that it never got an address from the DHCP server.

After some experimentation, it turned out that just restarting the network devices with sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart got things working. Same thing if I did an ifdown and ifup or even manually ran dhclient. Once the system if booted, pretty much any network re-initialization will fix things. It's just on initial boot that I don't get an IP.

KNetworkManager configuration progress
Another thing is that if I use the knetworkmanager to reconnect my wireless access point, I lose my IP again. For some reason, the progress never gets past 28%, the "Activation stage: Configuring device" stage. I suspect there's some relationship, but I really have no idea what it is. I'm not that deep into the bowels of Ubuntu configuration.

The immediate fix was to simply add /etc/init.d/networking restart to my /etc/rc.local. That gets us an IP at login time and keeps Sarah from calling me in because she can't check her e-mail. In the long term, I'd like to figure out what the heck is causing this. There's a bug in Launchpad that looks similar, but I didn't see a fix.

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Comments #

    No Subject

    how do i do what you did to fix this 28% problem? I'm new to linux.

    If you get this can you please respond via email as I'm lost all over the net trying to find a solution and no idea if will find this site again! even bookmarking is useless with all the formats!

    thanks, matt.

    • Comment posted on Tuesday 30 Oct 2007 at 5:06pm
    • By matt

    Upgrade to Gutsy

    Well, I never did get it fixed on Feisty. It seems that NetworkManager just wasn't working correctly with my WiFi card. I'm still not certain why.

    The long-term fix for me was simply upgrading to Kubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). With Gutsy, Kubuntu now has a restricted driver manager that allowed me to automatically download and install the firmware for my Broadcom WiFi card. With that firmware, the open-source driver now works correctly and I don't need NDISwrapper anymore. And with that fixed, NetworkManager now works properly with my card.

    If you really wanted to, I imagine it's possible to install the Broadcom firmware manually and use the open-source Broadcom driver on Feisty, but I've never tried it. If possible, I would recommend just installing Gutsy. It's probably easier, especially if you're a newbie.

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