SOLIS-AIR/eduroam access under Linux

The wireless network in several Utrecht University buildings supports logging in via vpn or 802.1x. Linux is not officially supported, but I decided to give it a try after trying wpa_supplicant for other networks.

My go was with Debian, but with wpa_supplicant configured 'the old way' with the file /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf and not through entries in /etc/network/interfaces.

I was able to use the SOLIS-AIR wireless network in the UBU library building.

The working wpa_supplicant.conf entry:

network={
        ssid="SOLIS-AIR"
        key_mgmt=IEEE8021X
        eap=TTLS
        phase2="auth=PAP"
        identity="SOLISID@soliscom.uu.nl"
}

# change SOLISID to your Solis-ID
For network SOLIS-AIR. This needs a password. You could add the password to this file, but it's safer to feed it to wpa_supplicant when needed. Using wpa_gui (will show a popup when a password is needed) or wpa_cli (will ask for a password when needed, read the wpa_cli manpage on how to enter it).

After that, you'll get an IP and you're on-line.

Screenshot of wpa_gui with solis-air

The working wpa_supplicant.conf entry for eduroam here:

network={
        ssid="eduroam"
		key_mgmt=WPA_EAP
		anonymous_identity="SOLISID@soliscom.uu.nl"
        identity="SOLISID@soliscom.uu.nl"
}

# change SOLISID to your Solis-ID
The same bits about a password apply. In theory, this should work on other eduroam networks all over the (academic) world. In practice, not every eduroam network has the same phase2 authentication settings.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/WPAHowTo has a good WPA howto for unbuntu (which is very readable for users of other distributions)
My experience with Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS is that the standard NetworkManager can't deal with this style of 802.1x. So I used the same wpa_supplicant.conf and changed /etc/network/interfaces for the wireless interface wlan0 to:

iface wlan0 inet dhcp
	wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
This means I have to start the wireless interface by hand, using sudo ifup wlan0. I could set the interface to auto.

Koos van den Hout, koos@cs.uu.nl