Cavalier Wireless with Wicd

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This article is currently undergoing a major expansion or revamping by the author who placed this notice here. However, you are free to help in the construction of this page by improving it, if you so desire. Change is coming... eventually.



As long as your wireless card supports WPA Enterprise, you can put your GNU/Linux system on the UVa's wireless. This HOWTO will help you get your computer onto UVa's cavalier encrypted wireless network. For some reason, the people down at ITC decided to make this the most secure it could possibly be, which caused issues with less computer-literate people being unable to set it up. This was (initially) the case here. ITC had to make an automated tool to allow many people to use it, which worked overly well.

NOTE: This process has been automated with a bash script. However, it (crudely) only works with Debian-based distributions. If you want to look at it, do so here. Try Uva_wpa.sh_Usage for details on how to use it if you want to do so.

Get an Internet Connection

In order to get the packages described below, and get your certificate (unless you have already done these things), you will need to connect either using an ethernet cable, or connect to wahoo.

Required Packages

In order to begin setting up your computer for cavalier, you need to install some prerequisites. Make sure that you have the following packages:


This is all you really need. If you want to make your life easier, you can install

openssl (required to get stuff working with the three below)
knetworkmanager (Pretty applet for KDE)
nm-applet (Pretty applet for GNOME/everything else)
-- OR --

NetworkManager is installed by default on several distributions these days, so most should stop once they are done with the NetworkManager section.

NOTE: These packages may be named differently depending whatever distribution you are using. Those are accurate for Debian/Ubuntu.


Before you do anything else,

First, you must download a certificate from Enter your information into the fields.

Make sure that you enter your birthdate in YYYYMMDD format.

If all goes well, you will be downloading your certificate shortly. Make sure you remember where you downloaded it. It will be referenced here as "/path/to/cert", and the cert name will be "mst3k-cert.p12"

Configuring NetworkManager

NetworkManager makes this quite simple. However, it makes those same things quite hard to debug. The author of this page can't use it, but you can look here.

The latest Network Manager works well, and is easier than ever.
The Cavalier Wireless with Network Manager page is updated to reflect the changes.

Configuring wicd

Wicd is similar to NetworkManager, but it is not nearly as invasive. The authors of this page prefer it because of that feature.

Step one is to get it, since it is not included with most distributions. Look here: Make sure that you are downloading a version > 1.6.0, else the rest of these instructions will not work.

Click on (any one of the) cavalier, and then on "Advanced Settings". In that window, select "Use Encryption", and choose "EAP-TLS" from the combo box. Fill the fields as shown below. The "@Virginia.EDU" part is case sensitive! You will not be able to connect to some of UVA's access points otherwise!


The above image is a little old, EAP-TLS w/P12 should just be EAP-TLS.

Confirm, and click on "Connect" on the topmost "cavalier". You should be set.

Configuring Manually

See Configure Wireless Manually for instructions on how to manage the wireless connection at the command line.

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