Guest Wireless Configuration for Linux

Most recent versions of Linux come with a graphical network manager tool that can be used to connect to the Caltech wireless networks. There were some earlier versions of the network manager that did not work reliably but this issue has been resolved with the most recent versions of Linux. There may be situations where a command line approach is preferable, but users are strongly encouraged to use the graphical tools whenever possible. The complexities of wireless networking are greatly simplified that way.

Command line instructions are here if you need them:
Command line instructions using Ubuntu as an example

Connecting to Caltech Guest with the Graphical Network Manager

To configure Linux for wireless, first locate the Network Manager icon. It will usually be located in the task bar of your desktop. Consult your distribution's user guide if you need the specific location.

Clicking on the Network Manager icon should bring up a menu with the available wireless networks, as in the illustration below.

You should see the Caltech wireless networks, and perhaps some others. If you don't see Caltech Guest, try the "More networks" item and see if it is there. Once you have located Caltech Guest, choose that item from the menu.

The Network Manager icon will indicate activity for a brief period. If your connection is successful, you should see a message indicating you are connected to Guest.

For the Guest network only, there is an additional step to take before using the network connection. Open a web browser, and browse to any web page. Your browser will be redirected to the Guest Network Usage Agreement web page:

Click on the Continue button to accept the terms of the agreement. Your browser will then be redirected to the web page you originally browsed to.

Note: If you don't see the Usage Argreement web page, you may need to turn off a feature in your web browser called OSCP. Instructions for turning off OSCP can be found here.

When you want to disconnect from Guest, choose the Disconnect item under Caltech Guest in the Network Manager menu.

You should see a brief message indicating that you have successfully disconnected.

Connecting to Caltech Guest using the command line

1. Open a Terminal window.

2. Use "su" to become root, or use the "sudo" command to execute the commands that follow in the steps below.

3. To list the wireless interfaces on your computer, use the "iwconfig" command. The default wireless interface is usually "wlan0".

4. To see a list of wireless network SSIDs available, use the "iwlist scan" command. The "Caltech Guest" SSID should be listed if you're within range of a wireless access point.

5. To connect to the Caltech Guest network, use the following command.

    iwconfig wlan0 essid "Caltech Guest"

6. In order for the wireless interface to receive an IP address, use the "sudo dhclient wlan0" command.

7. Check to see if you received an IP Address by using the "ifconfig" command. A valid IP address would be in the range.

8. In order to successfully connect and use the Caltech Guest wireless network, it is necessary to open up a web browser. Type in any URL to get redirected to the Caltech Guest wireless network welcome page. Click on the continue button to accept the guidelines and policies; you will then be redirected to the intended destination.