Any Linux geeks (USB Wireless networking)?

Last weekend I got all the parts together to set up my Myth box. I’ve been busy this week so haven’t had time to futz with it, but would like to get my USB wireless networking working on my access point. (Currently it’s leeching off of someone else’s DSL modem which makes me feel both sleazy and paranoid.)

I have the drivers; they’re installed properly (since it’s working). My access point is running in WPA2 AES +TIK forget the letters but I double checked) mode with a PSK. I can get to the point where my router shows the mac address for my USB adapter, but this is where I just get utterly stuck. Once all this is set and configured and the router is accepting the macaddress from the adapter (which I take to mean that the encryption/authentication methods are correctly set and the passkey is accepted), I try to run dhclient to get the router to give the adapter a USB address and get nowhere. Just a series of broadcasts to try to get a DHCP session working followed by eventual timeout.

I’m wondering if there’s a way to specify to/from the router what to look for that I’m missing? Or a way to test whether, indeed, the encryption/passkey is actually working? Pointers to documentation/howtos that aren’t comprised solely of “If you have this card/chipset you can get the driver here, if you have this card/chipset…” are welcome too. I tried doing the normal Linux geek find the documentation marathon, but everything I find is about where to get drivers/how to get the drivers working, not about actually configuring the network setup properly!

Just as a general comment, I’d simplify things to start with. I’d turn off security and just worry about getting the thing working with your router first (drop your other systems off the network while you’re running the open network).

Once you’ve got it online via your router, then you can work on the security part. If that’s still balky, try an older standard like WEP then work your way onward towards more recent methods.

So it turns out the problem seems to be the following:

USB Wireless takes a few moments to come up. However, ifup runs a script that doesn’t wait for the interface to come up (because other interfaces don’t take long to come up). So I end up trying to call the parameter setups for the wireless device before it’s up, and they bounce. This prevents me from even having a shot at connecting to my own network automatically as I’m on channel 11 instead of the default channel 6 (like the other 6 wireless networks I can detect from my apartment). However, the command to change the channel for the interface requires that the interface be up, and I can’t figure out how to inject a suitable delay into the boot scripts. Anyone have any suggestions? (If I can figure that out, I can either figure encryption out or leave it as I currently have it, with no encryption but only accepting connections from machines whose mac addresses I list, which is of course my own machines and nobody else’s.)

Every distribution’s boot scripts are different, but when I had exactly this problem on my gentoo box I gave up on the standard boot scripts and just put the wireless initialization steps in a user boot script myself. Just put in a sleep 5 to sleep for 5 seconds after you bring up the interface and things work out. I’d post more details but the PC has since gone to my son and has Windows back on it.