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Thread: Can connect only to my router. No other wifi possible.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    48

    Can connect only to my router. No other wifi possible.

    After extensive testing I can connect wirelessly to only my router at home and I have no idea why. And it does not matter what the configuration of the other router is. It can be a wide open public router like at our laundromat, or it can be my friends encrypted home connection (which BTW, is a different brand but set up to be basically the same as mine), or it can be the walled garden of the captive portal down at McD's.

    I rolled my own distro. I had to. I've been in to *nix for ~18 months. I moved from doze vm's to hardware ~12+ months ago. I have 64Bit + Optimus. A little over a year ago the soultions for that combo required almost guru skill level to implement. The only way I personally could figure out how to get it to work was to start from a cli / mimimal install of 12.04. Plus, I really don't like unity. I wanted a custom DE. I use the XFCE desktop without its program / toolset coupled with all of the gnome tools and programs without its DE or shell.

    Over time it has progressed to a hybrid of 12.04.2 + 12.10 + 13.10 + rolled from source (~90%+ 12.04.2). I had no choice but to do that either. I'm trying to learn. I need tools. All of the tools I need in the 12.04 repos are old and outdated versions. The backend stuff in the 12.04 repos (like java and QT4) is too old to support new versions of the tools I need. The backend stuff in the 12.04 repos can not be upgraded to the newest versions because of hundreds (if not thousands) of versioning and pinning error that cause you to get stuck in a negative feedback loop and makes those modules un-upgradable.

    So now I have this monstrosity and it's light, fast, powerful, full of hundreds of spiffy tools and will do everything I want except travel. It's all on a laptop that can never leave home.

    I would rate my skill level as intermediate at best. I'm no guru. And I'm a brand spankin new, wet behind the ears, totally green noob at networking (one of the things I'm trying to learn).

    I'm assuming that this is something stupid that I have done and don't even realize it; I.E. something I didn't install correctly or at all or something I didn't configure properly or a conflict between the mismash of parts. However, I don't think the last one is likely. I originally built this monster on strictly 12.04 on another machine and used remastersys to move over to this machine. The original machine belongs to my wife. Even though it is strictly 12.04 it has the exact same problem.

    I had assumesd that the issue was due to not being able to resolve DNS; which we couldn't until just recently. After reading about some security concerns I had taken dnsmasq out of the system. I installed bind9. I could not get it to resolve DNS for my connections; even though every diagnostic I ran that I found on the web said it was working. So I took bind out, reinstalled dnsmaq and ran in to the exact same problem.

    So, I finally dropped a ton of addresses in to my network interfaces: OpenDNS, my router and the defualt IP addresses of the two dozen most popular routers.

    I can resolve DNS now, no problem. When I dig google it shows the name server as OpendDNS and not my router. And even though I told the network interfaces to run through the list of IPs for all of the most popular routers to resolve DNS I still can't connect to any router other than my own.

    Another thing I've noticed: When I want any VM (doze or *nix) to connect to another router I have to completely separate it from the internal virtual network by "disconnecting" (unchecking) its LAN card and plugging in a USB wifi card. Even with the UB wifi card, if the LAN card is not "unplugged" the VM cannot connect to the outside router.

    I have chased this for weeks on end. I have run every diagnostic I can find on the web and in my books. Everything appears to be working, except for the fact that it's not!

    Any help greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by somethingcatchy; April 15th, 2013 at 06:26 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    48

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Sitting here experimenting and I still think that this has something to wth me having some how fouled DNS resolution.

    Since I can connect to wireless out in the world with a VM if I disable the VLAN card and since I can connect to my router from the host via wifi I tried to connect to my router from a doze VM via USB wifi card with the VLAN enabled.

    I was able to connect to my router with the USB wifi card with the VLAN enabled. However, I cannot identify the routers network or connect to the internet through the router. But, my VLAN card is connected to the internet through my host wifi card.

    The ASUS control panel for the USB wifi card shows the DNS server on the Vnet at 10.0.2.3 with no DHCP server listed.

    But, the doze wireless control panel shows no info at all for a an IPv4 DNS server. It does however have three DNS servers listed for IPv6. But, I have IPv6 turned off in the host.

    Putting OpenDNS addresses in the doze control panel for the USB wifi card made no difference.

    The ASUS control panel for the card does not have a way to change DNS. So I deleted the config file and restarted the connection. It then kept the local Vnet address for DNS resolution and did not pick up the OpenDNS address for DNS resolution from doze. But, it also now has the local Vnet address listed as DCHP server where it had nothing listed before. Just as before, it will connect to my router with the VLAN enabled; however, it cannot identify the network nor connect to the internet.

    So then I tried "splitting" DNS resolution by putting the Vnet address in the doze control panel (10.0.2.3) as the primary DNS and then an OpenDNS address as the secondary and got the exact same results.

    Then I tried it with just the Vnet address as the primary DNS server with no secondary address in the doze control panel. And to my complete shock it actually worked. The ASUS doze control panel is now completely populated with the local Vnet address acting as both DNS and DHCP server and my router acting as the primary gateway.

    Frankly I'm working on trial and error and do not understand why it worked.

    Just for giggles I set my router to intentionally use a malformed local network IP addresses to resolve DNS. I'm still able to resolve DNS just fine in both the host and the doze VM because I can ping www.google.com from both with no issue. Of course dig tells me it's using OpenDNS to resolve addresses and doze is using the Vnet to do it. In the doze VM IPconfig shows the wireless gateway as the router's IP and the LAN gateway as a Vnet address.

    So, since the VLAN can resolve IP adresses from 10.0.2.2 and the host LAN is resolving from OpenDNS from both eth0 and wlan0 then why will a VM guest wlan not resolve DNS until I specifically tell it to use the Vnet and why won't my host wlan resolv DNS with any router other than mine; even though I have it set to use external DNS resolution and everything still works just fine even though I've made it impossible for my router to resolve DNS?

    There's obviously some kind of issue with wlan0 DNS resolution on the host / guests? But I'll be danged if I know what it is. Do I have a misconfigured IPTables FW that is preventing local, remote and Vnet DNS resolution on on wlan0 on the host and guests? Is this because I'm resolving remotely and never could get it to resolve locally? Is it a combo of the two?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    48

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Note: I just realized that all of the above experiments were done with a LAN connection established on the host. So I turned it off. With the host LAN disconnected the doze guest cannot resolve the name of the routers network from the USB wifi via the Vnet address even if a wlan0 host wifi connection is established!

    I have DNS resolution disabled in my router. So how is it I can connect to my router via wifi in my host without the router resolving DNS when the host wlan0 can't resolve DNS for the VNET, but I can't connect to any other router at all?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    7,277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Hi somethingcatchy.

    How do you set up your network?
    Do you have network-manager installed, or do you set it using /etc/network/interfaces?

    Regards.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    48

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Both actually. I have network manager installed and I could connect to my router with no issue because I have it set up to resolve DNS. But, when I started trying to travel with my laptop I couldn't connect to any other router. After lot's of reading and experimentation I became convinced that it was due to the fact that I was not resolving DNS at all on the lasptop itself. I had removed dnsmasq after reading about some security concerns. I installed bind 9, but never got it working properly. Convinced that the problem was DNS related I took bind out and put DNSmasq back. I don't think it's working properly either? So, in order to enable my system to be able to resolve DNS in at least some way, shape or form I added OpenDNS addresses to network interfaces. Now it appears I can resolve DNS on eth0, but not wlan0?
    Last edited by somethingcatchy; April 10th, 2013 at 02:14 AM. Reason: typos / clarity

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    48

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    OK? I might have found part of the issue? Just for giggles I tired reinstalling network-manager, network-manager-gome, dnsmasq-base and installing dnsmasq and then running dpkg-reconfigure on all of them. I got this error on dnsmasq: "resolvconf: Error: /etc/resolv.conf isn't a symlink, not doing anything."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Beans
    7,277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Try this then:
    Code:
    sudo mv /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.old
    
    sudo ln -s /etc/resolv.conf /run/resolvconf/resolv.conf
    
    sudo service network-manager restart
    Let us know how it goes.
    Regards.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Beans
    48

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Well, I wish I had caught you before I went digging. I tried reinstalling resolvconf and then ran dpkg-reconfigure on it. I followed the prompts and told the system to create the new dynamic link and to append the old network interfaces file to the new dynamic file and that fouled things up a lot.

    Now my system runs like a snail and all connections time out to the outside world. (I'm on my wife's computer now.) Sudo takes forever to respond, so does anything that tries to connect to the localhost. I can ping, dig and host the localhost but they all run slow. I can't resolve anything outside my own local host. My DNS name server is now local host in /etc/resolv.conf (I restored it.) I've tried re-running sudo dpkg-reconfigure resolvconf and rebooting / restarting services to no avail.

    I think I have mulitple issues here.

    I have webmin installed. When I was trying to fix things before I tried adding addresses directly to the interfaces file and my system would become super slow. When I used webmin to add the addresses to interfaces my system was fast, but the addresses were not recorded in interfaces; at least not that I could see. Also, none of the appended addresses from the old interfaces file were carried over to /etc/resolvconf/resolv.conf.d/tail as the dpkg prompts said they would be. This plus the fact that when I used webmin on my wife's computer to add the interfaces those addresses were actually recorded in the interfaces file leads me to believe that the /etc/network/interfaces file on my system has some kind of corruption in it.

    So now I need to figure out a way to repair that with no direct net access. Once I fix that corruption then I think I need to fix resolvconf. But, since I doofed around before I saw your message your second command just returned an error saying the link already existed.

    Any ideas on how to fix a possible corruption in the interfaces file without a direct net connection?

    I'm thinking I'll pull a copy of the folder and file off of my wife's machine and delete mine / copy her's over.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Beans
    48

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Well pulling the folder and files from etc/network off of her system didn't fix anything. And I realized that since I had just run everything it would still be in my apt cache, so I reinstalled everything with aptitude and ran dpkg-reconfigure on everything. Of course when I reconfigure resolvconf now I get asked no questions because the network interfaces file is not populated any more. But, even though everything appears to go right all of my connections to the outside world still time out and my system is very slow.
    Last edited by somethingcatchy; April 10th, 2013 at 05:17 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    7,277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Can connect !*ONLY*! to my router. No other wifi possible! Why!?

    Could you post the result of these commands?
    Code:
    cat /etc/network/interfaces
    
    cat /etc/resolv.conf
    
    grep dnsmasq /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf
    
    cat /var/run/nm-dns-dnsmasq.conf
    Regards.

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