WiFi card can only connect to 5 GHz and not to 2.4 GHz band

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

WiFi card can only connect to 5 GHz and not to 2.4 GHz band

Postby NemoDakkar » 2021-02-08 12:53

I'm using a freshly installed Debian Buster with Xfce (but it's the same problem with i3wm) and NetworkManager.
My WiFi card is an Atheros AR9462, and it can connect to my router only using 5 GHz band. If I try to connect using 2.4 GHz band, I obtain only a connection timeout:
Code: Select all
[  712.621198] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlp3s0: link is not ready
[  712.631235] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlp3s0: link is not ready
[  712.721076] IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlp3s0: link is not ready
[  712.874653] wlp3s0: authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77
[  712.890101] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 1/3)
[  714.293778] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 2/3)
[  715.285811] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 3/3)
[  716.277832] wlp3s0: authentication with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 timed out
[  720.040373] wlp3s0: authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77
[  720.057627] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 1/3)
[  721.301989] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 2/3)
[  722.297971] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 3/3)
[  723.286081] wlp3s0: authentication with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 timed out
[  727.452710] wlp3s0: authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77
[  727.469115] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 1/3)
[  728.278216] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 2/3)
[  729.302244] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 3/3)
[  730.294284] wlp3s0: authentication with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 timed out
[  734.956364] wlp3s0: authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77
[  734.967457] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 1/3)
[  736.278469] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 2/3)
[  737.302439] wlp3s0: send auth to 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (try 3/3)
[  737.994756] wlp3s0: aborting authentication with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 by local choice (Reason: 3=DEAUTH_LEAVING)

Bluetooth is disabled to avoid interferences. The same thing happens if I try to connect to my smartphone used as hotspot (2.4 GHz).
I have also tried using wpa_supplicant, but the problem remains (btw, NetworkManager seems to use wpa_supplicant too).
In the search for a possible explanation, I tried to connect using two other distros (same pc): Manjaro and antiX Linux. Using these other distros, the notebook can connect flawlessly on both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz band. Moreover, antiX Linux shares the same binaries with Debian Buster (but without systemd).
So, it seems to me a distro-related problem. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: WiFi card can only connect to 5 GHz and not to 2.4 GHz b

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2021-02-08 14:39

I think antiX uses wicd, is that correct? How about Manjaro?

NemoDakkar wrote:I have also tried using wpa_supplicant

What did you try, exactly? Please post the exact command(s) and configuration file(s) along with any terminal output.

Check if the same kernel drivers are in use for the card:
Code: Select all
lspci -k
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Re: WiFi card can only connect to 5 GHz and not to 2.4 GHz b

Postby Deb-fan » 2021-02-08 21:08

Was going to suggest checking router settings to ensure it's even dual-band, what's config'ed there, also the uefi/bios settings in the system but they-OP tried other distro's + devices and apparently issue isn't happening in others. One reasonable explanation, the only one which occurs to me is that AntiX is setup by someone else for people who don't want to know what they need to install or how to configure a given system to work with Debian proper. It(Antix)includes non-free and etc out-of-box, whereas Debian expects people to learn to do this type of thing for themselves.

So the correct pkgs are probably not installed on Buster, which those are ? Don't know, check ... compare what networking related pkgs are in AntiX and missing from your Buster install. Then search the repositories and where needed read the information about the pkgs involved ie: "apt show packagename". Systemd has nothing to do with this, surely Manjaro uses it (had to google, yep.)

Wpasupplicant also has nothing to do with this, wicd-gtk, almost everything dealing with wireless encryption gnu/nix is going to, as it's been forever(oops anal edit: at least has for me,) it's well tested and proven, of course as with almost everything else gnu/nix that could be changed if someone wishes = iwd perhaps, whatever else. I'm perfectly happy with wpasupplicant so don't spend much time looking at such alternatives. Also atm am happy with wicd, works fine for what I'm doing with it, also unlikely that has anything to do with this, though someone could check in Gnome network managers settings and see if there's a check box saying use 5ghz somewhere in them, couldn't hurt. Arghhhh, anyway imo you need to push some buttons, turn dials and/or install some (the correct pkgs)for your networking to work as desired.

Errrr, also this came out more snarky than really intended, as first impression was the post might be some anti-systemd nonsense or veiled AntiX promotion, which on second thought doesn't appear to be, the OP did make reasonable effort to try other things and is looking for pointers. Believe what I just posted provides some possibly useful things to consider. Keep digging and you shall prevail OP. :)
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Re: WiFi card can only connect to 5 GHz and not to 2.4 GHz b

Postby NemoDakkar » 2021-02-09 05:59

Thank you for you reply.
On Debian:
Code: Select all
lspci -k
03:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
   Subsystem: Fujitsu Limited. AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter
   Kernel driver in use: ath9k
   Kernel modules: ath9k

and the same output on antiX.
Sequence of commands on Debian:
Code: Select all
sudo ifconfig wlp3s0 down
sudo systemctl stop NetworkManager
killall nm-applet
sudo ifconfig wlp3s0 up
sudo wpa_supplicant -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -i wlp3s0 -D nl80211,wext
Successfully initialized wpa_supplicant
wlp3s0: SME: Trying to authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (SSID='XT1039 1392' freq=2437 MHz)
wlp3s0: SME: Trying to authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (SSID='XT1039 1392' freq=2437 MHz)
wlp3s0: SME: Trying to authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (SSID='XT1039 1392' freq=2437 MHz)
wlp3s0: SME: Trying to authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (SSID='XT1039 1392' freq=2437 MHz)
wlp3s0: CTRL-EVENT-SSID-TEMP-DISABLED id=0 ssid="XT1039 1392" auth_failures=1 duration=10 reason=CONN_FAILED
wlp3s0: CTRL-EVENT-SSID-REENABLED id=0 ssid="XT1039 1392"
wlp3s0: SME: Trying to authenticate with 40:78:6a:38:76:77 (SSID='XT1039 1392' freq=2437 MHz)
wlp3s0: CTRL-EVENT-SSID-TEMP-DISABLED id=0 ssid="XT1039 1392" auth_failures=2 duration=23 reason=CONN_FAILED

wpa_supplicant configuration file (/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf):
Code: Select all
network={
   ssid="XT1039 1392"
   #psk="xxxxx"
   psk=xxxxxxxxx
}

As you can see, it's not my router anymore, because I'm choosing my old smartphone, since it uses only 2.4 GHz band (but it's the same with my router).
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I think antiX uses wicd, is that correct? How about Manjaro?

antiX 19.3 can use a shell interface called "ceni" (which uses wpa_supplicant) and Connman (which seems to use wpa_supplicant too). If I use ceni, it invokes wpa_supplicant in the same way I've done in Debian.
In Manjaro I constantly use i3wm with NetworkManager (wich invokes wpa_supplicant).
Deb-fan wrote:So the correct pkgs are probably not installed on Buster, which those are ? Don't know, check ... compare what networking related pkgs are in AntiX and missing from your Buster install.

I've done a binary comparison between wpa_supplicant supplied by Debian and by antiX. They're the same. But I don't exactly know what is the chain of commands that Debian invokes when connecting to a network by WiFi (it would help me to breakdown the problem).
Deb-fan wrote:Wpasupplicant also has nothing to do with this, wicd-gtk

In these months I've tried a bunch of combinations with NetworkManager, Connman, Wicd, wpa_supplicant. The dmesg output has been always the same. I've also created a hybrid Void Linux (where 2.4 GHz WiFi doesn't work too) with antiX kernels (where it works). The result is that on Void it doesn't work, so I can reasonably exclude that it is a kernel/modules problem.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Errrr, also this came out more snarky than really intended, as first impression was the post might be some anti-systemd nonsense or veiled AntiX promotion

No, I only want to understand why, in Linux, in some distros the problem persists and in others it all works flawlessly (in most cases, I have the timeout problem).
Moreover, in all the tests ì've done, antiX Linux has been the only one distro where both PCIe and USB WiFi cards work without a hassle (and the only thing I want is to understand why).
By the way, I'm a Debian user since kernel 2.0 (which doesn't make me a pro!), and I've always loved this distro!
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