Sunday, April 21, 2013

My openSUSE 12 Journal 13: NetworkManager Config for Cisco LEAP Wireless

This is my 100th blog entry!  :)

In short, I wasted a few days and a weekend to get my shiny new 12.3 to connect with my company's Cisco LEAP (henceforth referred to as just LEAP) wireless network.

For those who do not have a requirement to connect to wifi via LEAP but are curious anyways, please see this link for LEAP.

To save you the same grief, here is the answer (see screenshot below) on how to configure NetworkManager:

The one on the Left WORKED; the one on the Right did NOT work for me
Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary (YMMV) because I did not test this against another LEAP wifi network outside of my company's implementation.

For my scenario, I have to use WPA/WPA2 Enterprise in the Security field followed by LEAP in the Authentication field.  The rest is self-explanatory from the screenshot above.

Using the second method of LEAP in the Security field, I cannot connect with my company's LEAP
wireless network. Looking at /var/log/NetworkManager, you will see multiple attempts at Scanning, Authenticating followed by Disconnected status until a timeout is reached.

From the GUI usage perspective, for the Security field, the LEAP option comes first in the drop-down list and WPA/WPA2 Enterprise is the last item (alphabetically sorted).  A user will naturally choose select LEAP because they are looking to use LEAP to gain access to the wireless network.  Sadly, this did not work out for me.

I do not know the technical difference between the two options and I suspect there is a good reason to separate (make a distinction between) these two LEAP implementations, where one is just LEAP and the other is WPA/WPA2 Enterprise with LEAP as authentication.

Perhaps, there is a more elegant way to make the GUI more helpful?  This requires more thought and my scenario might be the exception rather than the norm.

Or perhaps, it is the responsibility of my company's network administration to provide proper documentation?  This opens up another can of worms, in my humble opinion, as most corporations (this is my generalization) support Windows and/or Mac OSX only.  I always shed a metaphorically tear for Year of the Linux Desktop (YoLD). :P

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