Ask OLPC a Question about the Network


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The Network

This page deals with issues related to the Network.

Return to Ask OLPC a Question.

There is a section in our Support FAQ dedicated to connecting to the Internet. There is also a quick-start guide.

General Questions

No wireless - eth0 no such device

Brief: put your WiFi router to transmit channel 06 (or some other frequently used channel).

Detail: I received 2 OLPC XOs in December 2007. The first connected flawlessly to my WiFi. The second did not: it showed nothing on the network, neither my WiFi router, nor the other XO, nor any other of the several networks in my neighbourhood.

"iwconfig eth0" returned "eth0 no such device".

When I reconfigured my router to use Transmit channel 06, the second XO started working (and the first continued working).

Why does the wireless neighbourhood look so different from different machines?

The OLPC XOs sophie and friend are literally next to each other, yet see a different neighborhood.


From "sophie" OLPC XO "friend" our WiFi mesh network 1 mesh network 6 mesh network 11
From "friend" OLPC XO "sophie" our WiFi mesh network 1 mesh network 6 mesh network 11 another network P35W6

For that matter, what are all these "mesh networks" in my neighbourhood?

Can Not connect to Trapeze

I have a wide-open (no log-in security) network at school. Every other wireless device that tries to get on, does get on (without a password). The XO does not. It shows the network, along with its name, but just blinks when trying to access. After it fails to access, the circle turns black and has a yellow circle around it. The wireless system is a Trapeze.

Any ideas? Thanks, Steve

Many schools have open networks with MAC filtering, so anyone can connect but browsing is restricted to campus or forbidden unless your computer is registered. Katie 12:39, 5 January 2008 (EST)

I have the same wide-open style network set up at work, and i can get the XO to connect to it, the software does not have mac filtering, but the laptop never redirects me to the login page when the browser is open. However the laptop is dished out an address from the dhcp server. Typing the login url directly does not work either. Any other ideas? Cheers Brendan

How Does Wireless Work?

Do you need to sign up for wireless internet? If not how does the wireless work?

The XO laptops can communicate several ways using wireless networking. They can communicate with the internet through a nearby wireless router, or they can communicate directly with other XOs nearby (the wireless "mesh"); if any laptop in the mesh is near a wireless router, the others in the mesh can access the internet through this connection. The countries participating in the OLPC program will be setting up the wireless routers in their schools so that the students can access the internet. (If you are asking about the laptops received through the Give-One-Get-One program, you will need to find your own wireless service. Some libraries, coffee shops, and internet cafes provide this service to their patrons; otherwise, you will have to ask your local internet service provider about setting up wireless networking.) —Joe 15:27, 5 November 2007 (EST)
Note: According to a news article on the front page of the wiki, T-Mobile is offering a year of free wireless internet access for the Give-One-Get-One machines in certain locations throughout the U.S. —Joe 17:46, 7 November 2007 (EST)


Is it possible to use the laptop at times without being hooked up to the internet? Can you access software that is included or that has been downloaded while not on the internet?

Yes, and yes. I've done it frequently, in the Australian outback, in locations that have no internet service. Applications (we call them activities) that require sharing as part of their design won't work unless there is another XO nearby or an internet connection is available. --Quozl 22:32, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Connecting to internet

I got the laptop on 20th and it was initially able to connect to internet without any problem. I have down loaded a couple of ativities also. However, on the following day , it did not connect to internet. form then onwards, I am unable to connect to internet. Browser activity, gmail (downloaded on day one) actiivityjust hang up with a message :"starting". Any help?

XO and PXE/Etherboot

Is it possible to network boot the XO using PXE and/or Etherboot? I ask because I'm a long-time K12LTSP user and would like to continue to provide this environment as an option to my teachers (and - who am I kidding - myself too!).

Best Regards, Mark

Booting over the net is certainly possible, but not with PXE or Etherboot. The XO uses Open Firmware instead of a PC BIOS. (like a PowerPC Macintosh or a Sun SPARC) The laptop can not directly run LILO, Grub, DOS, or Windows. There is no VGA-compatible video hardware. The built-in storage does not act like an IDE or SCSI device.

Is it possible to copy a folder(not a file;the whole folder) from the USB stick to the Xo

Manually adding a wireless network

my wireless network at home is hidden so my XO won't just see it. Is there anyway to manually add a connection?

Open the Terminal Activity and become root. The Linux commands you would use are:
/sbin/iwconfig eth0 mode managed essid myhiddennetwork
/sbin/dhclient eth0

The iwconfig command connects to your hidden network (of course, substitute the name of your access point for the string myhiddennetwork in the above example); and dhclient will ask for an IP address from the access point.

This process works fine, but is there any way to automate this so it does not have to be manually done each time the laptop is started?

Can you just add it to the startup script in /etc/rc.local ?

Connecting to a Linksys WRT54GSV4 with WEP and hidden ssid and static IP.

This works for my system. I won't guarantee other routers but I don't see why it wouldn't.
1) First the network manager has to be stopped to avoid having it change your settings later.
2) Next the parameters of your router have to be loaded into the wireless controller.
3) Then the routing address has to be defined. (This may be just because of my specific network, or because NetworkManager is stopped)
4) Then the DNS address is defined. (Also maybe because of my network, or because NetworkManager is stopped.)
I have mine set up so that on boot the XO looks for the closest WAP, then if I want, I run the script to change to my home network.
Save the script where ever you want. Mine is in /home.
To run, open the terminal and switch to root with "su - [enter]". Change to directory. Type "./filename"
You don't have to manually enter the key.
Oddly, after running this none of the WAPs show up in the neighborhood any more but it doesn't matter.
Probably because the NetworkManager is stopped.
#stop networkManager
/etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop

#set up the wifi parameters
iwconfig eth0 mode managed essid your-ssid
ifconfig eth0  #your static address or use "/sbin/dhclient eth0" for dynamic address

iwconfig eth0 key [1] 1234567890abcdef1234567890
iwconfig eth0 key [2] 2345678901bcdefa2345678901
iwconfig eth0 key [3] 3456789012cdefab3456789012
iwconfig eth0 key [4] 4567890123defabc4567890123

iwconfig eth0 key [1]  #your selected key.

#set the gateway
route add default gw  #or your gateway if different

#set DNS addresses if required.  Repeat for each different address.  
#This just keeps you from entering  repeating DNS if it already exists.

IPADD=`cat /etc/resolv.conf|awk '/x.x.x.x/ {print $2}'`

case $IPADD in
 *) echo 'nameserver x.x.x.x' >> /etc/resolv.conf

-- Terry S.

Can't connect again

I have an unsecure home network using a Linksys wireless router. When I select the neighborhood to view networks, it shows various networks including mine. However, when I click the the circle, it blinks, but shows "disconnecting" I tried another open network, but get the same results. Do I need to enroll at MIT to resolve this problem or is there a simple solution? Any assistance would be greatly appreciate, as the laptop is for my grandson. -TIA

I certainly see a lot of help suggestions regarding WPA internet router access. From my search, it appears only one other user has inquired about a WEP and I didn't note a response. How do I get it to work? I too get the blinking but never the white ring I need. No matter what "server" it finally connects to (mesh channels or a neighbors unlocked)the browser does not work - not even to the OLPC sites. Need help. I get so excited to hear of others successes but am really getting exhausted at trying, trying, trying, to no avail.


I have a Linksys router and had the same problem; what finally fixed it was changing the wireless channel on the router to channel 1. I have no idea why this worked or if it will solve your problem, but you might give it a try. Please post your results here. -- Chris J

I got the laptop on Dec,20th and it was initially able to connect to internet without any problem. I could download a couple of ativities also. However, on the following day , it did not connect to internet. from then onwards, I am unable to connect to internet. Browser activity, gmail (downloaded on day one) actiivity just hung up with a message :"starting". Any help? -Rao A

Connecting to home network

Having just received the XO and printing out the instructions on how to connect to a (home) network, I am having no success. I have put in my network key 4 times, the signal shows that it is substantial, but I have been unable to connect. The home network is WEP. The encription level is 128. I am using a Microsoft MN-700 Wireless Base Station.

I SOLVED IT - I failed to select "hexidecimal" from the pull-down menue, thinking that my password was in a different form!

What pull-down menu? Can you specify? I don't see this pull-down menu anywhere. Thanks.
When you try to connect to an encrypted network, you should get a prompt to enter your key. There is a pull-down menu associated with that prompt (Please see Wifi_Key_Popup.png). --Walter 22:24, 20 December 2007 (EST)

Unable to connect to home network

To add information to my previous question, I have a 128 bit encripted Microsoft MN-700 wireles router, it is working fine with all other computers, but I cannot connect my OX to it. Signal strength is high, but no matter now many times I enter my key, I cannot get a connection. Help! This is my first experience with my new OX.

Please see Ask_OLPC_a_Question/New#Connecting_to_home_network

Try changing the wireless channel on your router to channel 1. This fixed a similar problem I was having.


Start to make categories for questions like: Keyboard, Connection, WScreen ECT... This may come in handy later and you will utilize connectivity drive space from the Wiki better. Please fix the run off pages it is usually one or two questions that do this. Other computers steal memory there. I'm sure of this!

Saving Wireless Password

Ok, so I've got my XO laptop, and I've gotten it connected to my wireless, using WEP and the Hex password. But I'm at a loss as to how to make it remember the password. Is there a file I can edit to allow it to remember the password?

Ditto... I have the same problem. I have two XO's one works fine and never prompts me for the WEP password. The other does not seem to save the password and I have to set it every time we boot? I need to fix this because there is no way my nine year old is going tolerate setting a 26 character hex string every time he wants to use the XO.

Update: I figured it out. It looks like I had put the wrong password when I first intialized the XO and it kept that password. I edited the /home/olpc/.sugar/default/nm/networks.cfg file and updated the correct password and now it works fine. |JMW

More detail: this seems to be generic. In my case, it was not that I had entered the wrong password - instead, I had initially connected using open WiFi, and then only subsequently added (restored) the password. As one As one might expect from what JMW wrote, apparently the password is recorded when first entered (successfully). There doesn't seem to be a way to change this, except manually editing. Deleting networks.cfg is okay - it gets rebuilt, although saving the old copy is probably a good idea.

Connecting to internet

I got the laptop on 20th and it was initially able to connect to internet without any problem. I have down loaded a couple of ativities also. However, on the following day , it did not connect to internet. form then onwards, I am unable to connect to internet. Browser activity, gmail (downloaded on day one) actiivityjust hang up with a message :"starting". Any help?

  • This sounds like mgold's problem: see 3.239 above ("Applications hanging"). Perhaps write him an email, or perhaps he'll answer here, as to whether or not he figured out a resolution. Bill Wvbailey 13:13, 26 December 2007 (EST)

how do I access the Internet in my house when my home network has a firewall?

I receive a message stating "address not found" could not be found. Please check the name and try again.

Not knowing any of the details of how your firewall is configured, this is difficult to answer. I suggest trying to connect to an open network to get comfortable with the laptop's networking capabilities (Please see and subsequently working out a plan with whomever configured your firewall.

Where to obtain a MAC address on OLPC - XO

Please excuse my technological ignorance. My question is around obtaining a MAC address for the individual G1G1 XO - OLPC. I am wondering where, or if I can get this info? My internet connection requires this address in order to connect to the wireless network. Please help me. Thank you very much in advance.

Press CTRL+ALT+F2. Type in 'root', press enter, then type 'ifconfig'. Under eth0, a mac address should be listed. Keep in mind, though, that MAC address restriction does not make you more secure, as MAC addresses can be easily spoofed. ffm 18:02, 11 December 2007 (EST)
Unfortunately, there is no F2 key! do we have to plug in an external keyboard? control - alt -8dot got me to a console then the instructions work! -- User:AaronPeterson
Please refer to the Keyboard Shortcuts page for an explanation of the XO keyboard (and how to find F2 Image:Friends key f2 small.png). --Walter 03:19, 23 December 2007 (EST)
Alternatively, run the Terminal program, and type 'ifconfig -a'. I did not need to promote to root to view the information, and in general it's better not to have root when you only want to look at the information (that way, you can't change it by mistake).

Wireless connectivity

Can I connect to the OLPC XO wirelessly from a laptop with the 802.11 b, g wireless card running the Windows XP or Vista OS?

You should really direct such questions to the third-party software provider Microsoft rather than OLPC, as wireless connectivity with those systems is not a deployment goal. OLPC chooses not to pay for certification and support of this combination. However, the XO does interoperate with other 802.11g radios that are in infrastructure mode. Provided your other system has been configured as an access point, responds to DHCP queries from the XO, and provides a route to the internet, it should be possible to click on the icon representing the SSID and gain internet connectivity through that system. It may also be possible to configure networking in ad-hoc mode. Good question though, perhaps someone has tried it and might share their experience. --Quozl 05:52, 4 December 2007 (EST)


We have an iMac with Intel processor, running OS X 10.4.11. We initially bought a wireless router (from Apple Store) but it couldn't work properly; everyone's guess was that the fact that we live in a townhouse (thus, only two outer walls -- neighbors on both sides) was the problem.

We do have the following (from the System Profiler):

Wireless Card Type: AirPort Extreme (0x14E4, 0x89)
Wireless Card Firmware Version: Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (

The Mac is Bluetooth enabled.

Will we be able to use the G1G1 laptop in our home for simple Internet things?

Thanks. Mary Beth

The G1G1 laptop works with Apple's wireless routers. Wireless routers need more than just a power connection though; you must connect your wireless router to a cable modem or DSL modem. The modem needs internet service. Contact your local cable company or telephone company to get this. Meanwhile, you can use the laptop at places that offer free wireless access. Many places offer it. Also, the laptop comes with a year of wireless service that works at Starbucks. 03:33, 1 December 2007 (EST)

Wireless on/off switch?

Does the X0 have a hardware option to turn the wireless off and on? If so, what key(s) are used? If not, is there a simple software option?


It's in the Sugar Control Panel in 8.2.0 -- skierpage 12:35, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
It is possible to turn off wireless in software, once you have gone to the terminal and logged in as root. I do not know the precise command required. For most users, wireless on/off will be handled completely automatically. Ben 01:23, 31 October 2007 (EDT)

Antennas, plugs

Why do the antennas have to be sticking out, as it makes them easily breakable / fragile ? Couldn’¡Çt you put them alongside the screen like it is done on other laptops? Although it gives it a fun look, it probably cost more if they can resist real life bending and tearing? What about dust /sand in the plugs, are they isolated from the rest of the case? Are these plugs safe if a child puts in a paper clip? Hope I don't offend anyone in asking trivial questions.

I don't know much about the decisions behind the antennas, but there are several facts that may help answer your questions: The antennas serve double duty; they both provide wireless networking and cover the plugs to provide some protection against dust. Unlike typical laptops, the XO has almost all of its electronics in the screen portion (only the keyboard and battery are in the base), so having an antenna around the edge of the screen might not have been an option due to interference. If I recall correctly from when I last saw an XO, the antennas are rubberized and quite rugged; this is apparently a recent design change in reaction to field tests. This photo shows that the plugs are directly on the motherboard, not really isolated at all, but they may still be adequate for keeping out dust. According to the hardware specification, the laptop conforms to child toy safety standards, among others, which hopefully test for the safety of the ports as well. —Joe 14:04, 17 October 2007 (EDT)

setting up web proxy in the OLPC machine

Our network is under proxy settings.. could you please help us how to set up web proxy in OLPC machines

Go to the browser of XOs and type in the address bar about:config you will get all setting for browser then change the following setting.

pref("network.proxy.http",  "<set to your proxy server>");
pref("network.proxy.http_port",  <set to 8080 or the appropriate port>);

To change these setting simply double click the setting it will edit it. hope it helps Omer Niah OLPC Afghanistan

I'm not sure if this answers your question, but there is an answer to a similar question about configuring the XO's web activity for web proxies further up on this page. —Joe 19:21, 24 October 2007 (EDT)

Wireless networking health safety

Is there also a wired network card on the laptop ? I heard that wireless connections can cause brain tumors.

First of all, there is no wired network card built-in to the laptops, but USB ethernet adapters can be used. —Joe 12:55, 26 October 2007 (EDT)
The wireless system we do use is entirely safe. It is certified for safety in the US by the FCC and Underwriter's Laboratories. Ben 00:46, 31 October 2007 (EDT)
Also, wifi does NOT cause brain tumors. The idea that it does is a myth. ffm 15:40, 9 December 2007 (EST)

Actually there has been a lot of research that shows that wireless internet connections emit EMFs, and any kind of Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF) can cause brain tumors and other health problems(NOT TRUE). 500 minutes of cell phone use per month increases a persons risk of brain cancer by 140%(NOT TRUE). 2 minutes of cell phone use by a child can alter that childs natural brain activity for up to an hour afterwards(NOT STUDIED). So it is very important to keep your child from using a cell phone, if they must have them put it on speaker phone(BS).

Cells use EMF to communicate, when they are bombarded by a strong EMF, like from a cell phone or wireless internet connection, then the cells try to defend themselves by hardening the cell walls, which can make it harder for nutrients and oxygen to get in, and harder for waste to leave the cell(TOTAL BS). Many people believe that all disease is caused by improper waste elimination by cells(CRAZY PEOPLE). There is a lot of conflicting research on the effect of EMF on the human body. But I say its better to be safe than sorry, and so I have put a [SPAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!] on my child's XO to protect her from the EMFs. You can buy one at , click the contact tab if you have any questions.

Let Love Flow Listen

Mesh interoperability

Hi, Would the wireless mesh network work with any standard wireless router or wireless switch? Is the mesh network only internal between the mesh laptops and than some of the laptop's are connected to standard wireless routers as standard stations (not Mesh, so any wireless AP can be used)?

According to the Wireless page, the laptops implement 802.11b/g wireless networking standards (which are used by standard wireless routers) as well as the 802.11s standard, which is used for the mesh. From the info on that page, it seems that any laptop that can connect via 802.11b/g will offer "portal service" to other laptops through 802.11s, so that the mesh effectively extends the connectivity range of the standard 802.11b/g stations. See also Mesh Network Details and the Active Antenna. —Joe 21:37, 12 November 2007 (EST)

Graphical Terminal Client Availability?

Would Sugar support a remote graphical terminal client a such as NXClient (to connect to a NoMachine NXServer) or Remote Desktop Connection (for connection to a Windows Terminal Server)? It would seem to me that in contexts with more developed IT infrastructure, the XO's integrated WiFi and minimal local computing power would make a nearly ideal rugged, lightweight thin client device. A school with a robust wireless network and capable server infrastructure could run Windows Terminal Services or NXServer on central network servers and deliver a complete application environment with enormous data storage capacity with minimal network bandwidth requirements if one could install a Remote Desktop Protocol or NX client on the XO. While this approach fails to leverage the research & effort OLPC software engineers have put into the Sugar user interface, it dramatically lowers the barriers to adoption of the XO hardware in developed countries by potentially allowing schools to deliver very nearly the same computing experience that students and teachers are already accustomed to receiving, but on the low-cost, lightweight, child-friendly XO hardware. --Keith.Gillette 15:35, 13 November 2007 (EST)

The XO is general purpose in that respect. Both rdesktop (RDP) and VNC have worked for me on the XO, and I imagine that NXClient would work but it isn't in the Debian repository I used, presumably because of license restrictions. But while use as a Thin client is possible, it isn't really where the big benefits lie ... we want these units to work without network connection as well. Such countries with already deployed infrastructure would figure out how to re-use it. --Quozl 20:31, 13 November 2007 (EST)

Internet access?

Does this computer have full internet access? My grandchildren use the internet to play Disney games and other websites for games and e-mail.

Thanks for your attention.

Arlene Storfer

Yes, it can have full internet access, through a wireless internet service within range of the antenna. For North Americans, you would have to be in a location that provided that service. Many people have a wireless access point at home, connected to their normal internet service. Some web sites may not work in the same way, or at all. The way the computer works will seem different. So if your grandchildren are already quite familiar with another computer they may reject this one, or need extra leading. See item 10 of the terms and conditions for the official warning about internet access. --Quozl 18:30, 20 November 2007 (EST)
If you got G1G1 XO's for your grandchildren, they could use them to surf the internet if the house they live in has wireless internet. And so they'd be able to go to websites they know. On the other hand, I'd bet that the games they play are Adobe flash based, and it seems to be the case that it takes some tweaking to get the XO brower to render flash correctly.
But step back a bit -- the revolutionary promise of the XO is not that it would let your grandkids do what they do already -- but that it would be a window to new things to do. Kick around within this wiki for a while (for example see Inside_the_OLPC_XO:_Software#Activities or Educational_ideas ) to get some intuitive notion of what new, perhaps better ways of using technology they might discover. If you're in a position to get each of your grandchildren their own XO, then with any luck the amazingly easy way children can collaborate in fun discovery should make you glad you made the plunge. Hexagonal 19:51, 20 November 2007 (EST)

i know this sounds silly

but will my son be able to use it to surf the internet?

If you get him an XO, he will probably figure out how to surf the internet. The XO has long-range wireless internet antennas. Free wireless internet connections are available in many places. The XOs for the Give 1 Get 1 program will also come with T-Mobile wireless service for a year. The XO also has USB ports, in case you would prefer to attach a USB-to-Ethernet device. Using a USB modem is also possible, but would require some technical expertise. 14:34, 21 November 2007 (EST)
If you already have a wireless internet router in your house, for your notebook computer, the G1G1 participant gift XO you get should be able to get to the internet fairly easily. Hexagonal


I'm considering giving one and getting one. The one I get would be for my 5 yr old newphew living in Delaware. His family has a telephone and cable television. I'm wondering how he would connect to the internet.

Is there a connector for connecting through a telephone line, or would he need to use a wireless router?

Thanks, Bob B.

He'd need to connect either via a wireless router or via a wired router plus a compatible USB ethernet adapter. Some people have mentioned that the laptop will work with a USB-serial adapter and a modem (see above), but this requires some familiarity with Linux and is not something that a child could easily configure at this point. There are ways to hook a router up to a dial-up phone line, but it may require additional hardware and software, as well as some experimentation and technical skill—try searching Google for "dialup modem sharing". If that proves unsuccessful or too complicated, the recipients may have to contact a local ISP to find another way to connect. Note that many XO recipients will be in the same boat—only able to connect via dialup—so easier solutions to this problem may surface on this site in the coming months. —Joe 13:03, 25 November 2007 (EST)

OLPC since Christmas and still no internet connection

I have two OLPC. I have been trying to connect them to the internet through my wireless network at home since before Christmas. They are currently running Build 656. The router is a 2WIRE BT2700HGV which is the UK version of the AT&T 2WRIE 2700HGV - both the same.

I have tried every channel (1 to 11). I have tried fully open, no security. I have tried with WEP. I have tried MAC filter.

They find the channel that the router is on - but then it is like they can not stay connected after that. They certainly do not appear to be gaining an IP address.

Help - any ideas? Stuart.

Have you tried connecting to any of the access points listed here? --Walter 11:09, 12 February 2008 (EST)

Hi Walter, I do not have access to any other routers. Any ideas on the configuration? stuart.

You don't have a neighbor or library or internet cafe near by to test connections??? I don't know that anyone has tested the 2Wire router... Maybe post a question to Best of luck. --Walter 22:33, 16 February 2008 (EST)

Can't connect to ANY networks after the first time connecting

Not sure if anyone's been able to resolve this. We are able to connect the first time (secure or non-secure WAP.) However, the second time (after a reboot, etc) we cannot connect at all, securely or otherwise, to our network or anyone else's. For a secure network, it keeps asking for the key (which was set up the first time, and even if you re-key it, it still loops.) For an open connection, it simply doesn't connect. There has to be a way around this. Looks like others are having the same problem... does anyone have a resolution? (Please don't tell me to read the website -- we've been through it top to bottom and there is no useful info on this topic.) Thanks.

Frequnetly you can get good feedback/advice at the OLPCNews Forum. You'd specifically want to try at the Network sub-forum. Specifically for your problem, I can't say what's happening, but something which has worked on similar problems is to delete the networks.cfg file. That file contains information about the various connections you've made, and if something goes wrong/changes, it can stay confused rather than starting over from scratch. So, in the Terminal:
su -
rm /home/olpc/.sugar/default/nm/networks.cfg
That should make it forget everything (all network access stuff you've done) so you can try starting over from scratch. If it doesn't work, I suggest the forum. Good luck. Tdang 20:27, 22 May 2008 (EDT)


WEP keys

We recieved our XO today (December 15) having ordered it on the third day of the G1G1 program. I started going through it to set it up for my 4-year old son. He is already impressed by the oscilloscope program and the camera and recorder. He can't wait to start tinkering with it. The antennae remind him of Power Rangers, BTW.

Is there any way to store a WEP key so that we don't need to enter it each time we access the internet (or set up a connection)?

The system should be remembering the WEP key between sessions. We'll have to investigate. Can you please be more specific in regard to your network configuration? What key type? What model access point? Thanks.

My XO (received Dec. 19) also fails to remember the WEP key. I'm using a 64 bit hex key. The AP is a Linksys WRT54G. The system completely refused to log in, until I happened to try changing the channel from 9 to 1. Now it consistently finds the AP and will log in using the right key, but asks for the key every time.

Problems Connecting (WEP)

I received my XO yesterday but am unable to connect to my home wireless network. It is an AirPort network with WEP 128 bit security. The signal is strong (full color in the network circle and 2 Macs connecting from the same place). AirPort Utility (Mac OS 10.5.1) gives me a WEP key (26 Hex digits called "Hex equivalent password") which I enter with the options Hex (40/128-bit) and Shared Key selected as you recommend. The network circle blinks a few times but the periphery never turns white and there is no evidence of connection. What else can I try? I have also tried other options from the drop-down menus without success. I also use the feature "MAC address Access Control" on the AirPort, so this may be preventing access. If so, I would need to add the XO to this list -- is this possible? Where would I find the MAC address of the XO.

I have a similar security arrangement for my Netgear router I use with several PCs: WEP security, MAC access control and no SSID broadcast. I would like to configure my new XO to use this network and am wondering how to do it. On the bright side, the XO picks up lots more neighborhood networks than our other laptops do, so I've actually managed to get online already.

Looking further I find the instructions above for getting the XO's MAC address: "Press CTRL+ALT+F2. Type in 'root', press enter, then type 'ifconfig'. Under eth0, a mac address should be listed." This worked fine and I was able to get on my home network.

I also have this security setup (WEP, MAC control, no SSID broadcast). I managed to get the XO connected manually with iwconfig. But is there a way to get the network to show up in the Neighborhood? It doesn't, even when the XO is connected to it. Ideally, I'd like the XO to remember the information I fed it with iwconfig, so that the network will show up and I don't have to use the commandline every time. Is there a way?

I've also wondered why the Neighborhood doesn't show wireless APs with hidden SSID. When I scan on my other laptop, it shows the APs along with their MAC address, whether it knows the SSID or not. This would seem useful for the Neighborhood.

connection problem with Apple Airport

These are the instructions for connecting to AP.

Connect to an Airport Extreme access point with a WEP key.
  • You need to follow these steps when you login in the Airport configuration utility:
  1. Choose a network security level of 40-bit or 128-bit WEP.
  2. Set any password(you may tick the plain text option) and Update.
  3. After the update login again and note the HEX password in the summary view.
  • On the XO neighborhood view click the access point.
  1. In the security popup type $:XXXXX, where XXXXX is the HEX password.
  2. Choose the Shared Key option.
  • If the AP changes or removes its WEP key, the XO will not realize it directly. You will need to:
  1. Remove /home/olpc/.sugar/default/nm/networks.cfg from the Terminal activity:
rm /home/olpc/.sugar/default/nm/networks.cfg
  • and reboot

Unfortunately, they are not working for me. Is the "$:" critical? It does not result in a successful connection although the circle in the Neighborhood keeps blinking indefinitely.

In Home, the circle indicates that the olpc is connected to the AP network, but it is not. The "disconnect" option is offered but no connection to the Internet works and the circle around the AP icon never turns white.

There is no "shared key" option in the popup.

Copy and Paste into Terminal Window

I have not been able to paste the text in clipboard into terminal. Is there a way to accomplish this?

You can find some help on this at the Terminal Activity page.

Help - Can't see or connect to Wireless

My wireless network runs Web 64 bit security. The OLPC is having trouble finding my access point (see bunches around the neighborhood). When it does find out network, I can't figure out which setting to choose when I log on. My password is 0x followed by my cellphone #.

Ideas and suggestions welcomed. Thanks

If the access point requires a key, you will be prompted. Note that different types of access points require different types of keys: be sure to select the correct type from the pull-down menu that is presented. Some access points (such as the Apple Extreme®) will only work with a hexidecimal value. If you have a password or passphrase, go to Hex Converter to get the hex key. Also, with the Apple Extreme you need to set "shared key". Most other access points prefer the "open key" setting when using WEP. Currently, we do not support WPA-enabled WiFi access points; we anticipate including WPA support in early 2008.

That's what the manual says and it's not helpful. Given the set-up I described, how should I be entering my WEP key on the OLPC? --, 18:16, 14 December 2007

Given the setup you have described (I assume that Web 64 bit is a typo) I believe the setting you want to use in the pull-down menu is Hex (40/128-bit). 40-bit and 64-bit should be inter-compatible. The question is the exact format of the key. I'd suggest trying with and without the 0x prefix, and with and without a hex encoding as per the hex converter referred to above.

Thanks - should have been "WEP Encryption = 64 bits 10 HEX digits" That's the setting in my linksys router control panel.

Did entering your phone number as hex digits work?

I had the same problem. Then I followed the procedure at Now I can connect. Interestingly, the pop=up box asks for a 128 bit key. My router is set for a 64 bit key, and entering that shorter key works. Another point - my router is WPA-capable, but that feature is turned off.


Wireless WPA Security

I really haven't seen this answered yet. Does the network driver support wireless security protocols??? WPA??? How easy & specifically what app is used to configure it as a security-enabled wireless access point?? All I've seen so far is nebulous answers.

I haven't seen it addressed, either, but apparently there is a closed trac ticket to fix WPA, so it seems reasonable to assume that WPA is possible with the XO's network driver, although it may not be easy to configure via a user interface, yet. This mailing list post implies that making advanced wireless security protocols easy to use is not a high priority, as of about a year ago. —Joe 03:36, 10 November 2007 (EST)

applications hanging

problem is that applications say "Starting..." but do not start.

history: tried connecting wifi last night. failed because my home wireless was WPA encrypted.ok. my 9yr old son (Dsvid) was then able to use various applications.. browse, paint, write.

reset my wireless to be 128-bit encrypted. still could not connect. after multiple attempts, tried some other applications. non will start. after multiple reboots, and multiple attempts to open various applications, they all seem to hang with "Starting..."


--Michael Gold albuqerque, NM

Can you access the Journal activity?
Your inability to access the network is not in—all likelihood—correlated with your inability to start applications. The latter is a symptom of Journal datastore corruption, hence my question about the Journal activity itself. --Walter 11:15, 23 December 2007 (EST)


My understanding is that the machine isn't supporting WPA yet, but will in an upgrade. I have 64 bit WEP in the house and when I set it up I had to follow these instructions (that I'd kept... luckily. It's a "VersaLink" cf ), It's been working like a charm ever since. The whole family has used the machine (with a wireless Microsoft mouse; our touch-pad will not work (even after repeated 4-finger salutes, etc. Also: for fat fingers like mine, a USB keyboard also works):
"Choose WEP wireless security in the adapter setup process. If your adapater setup gives you a choice of 64 bit or 128 bit operation, shoose 64 bit. If propted to select HEX or ASCII, select HEX. Then, select the "Open" option rather than the "shared" option."
"Enter the WEP KEY in the space provided. The default WEP KEY of your VersaLink is the 10-digit hexadecimal number located on the bottom label just below the serial number."
I hope this helps someone; I'll cc this to your e-mail too. Bill Wvbailey 11:05, 23 December 2007 (EST)


thanks for the comments on the wireless. will try the 64-bit if possible, but otherwise i went thru the same steps as described by Bill Wvbailey.

getting back to the main issue of hanging applications, indeed the JOURNAL ACTIVITY does not start on boot and I don't see another way to start it. In all the screen pics it is there at start-up, and as I recall it was there the first time I booted. so I am thinking that it is supposed to start on boot.

last nite I tried booting with holding down the "x" key above the start button as I read in one of these pages. I was able to see linux boot info, but not access a lower run level or the FORTH environment as described somewhere in the wiki. --Mgold 11:52, 23 December 2007 (EST)

There is a patch being issued shortly to fix the "Journal doesn't launch" bug. --Walter 19:53, 27 December 2007 (EST)

WPA support

Just got the laptop today (I called at 6:10AM on day 1). Took me a while to open up the laptop (w/o reading the manual of course :) ).

Can I work around the lack of support of WPA-TKIP? If not, then the laptop is 100% useless for my 8 year old daughter if she cannot connect to my network. While I'm an expert Windows developer, I'm only so-so on Linux, so asking me to load a different distro isn't going to cut it. I suspect that I'm not alone on this. WEP is universally considered to be useless if you care at all about security.

Great news that the G1G1's are arriving. has an online "Getting Started" guide at this site. Their information on getting connected is here. A WPA workaround, which might apply to your situation, is in this wiki: WPA_Manual_Setting. ~ Hexagonal
It's alive!!! Thanks for your help.
Great. If other folks have problems, check out this useful new blog "Experience: Testing the XO", a joint project of ffm, Nortel LearniT, and Matthew Gallagher. They've found WPA fiddly too: at one point one of their "Goals for next week" was to "Increase WPA networking success rate to above 50%." You can climb Matthew Gallagher's learning curve at their "Networking Quick Tips" post. ~ Hex
Here's a couple of things to try when connecting to encrypted networks on the XO:
* Be very specific about your encryption type, the XO's network autoconfiguration needs some work.
* On a WPA network, if you have an key that looks like a password, select ascii for the key type. If it looks like a long random sequence, it is probably a hex key.
* On a WPA network, I have had improved success by entering the full hex key, even if the key is normally a string.
(Later): OLPC acknowledges elsewhere on this website that WPA-encrypted connections are problematic: WPA does not work in build 650: "You cannot connect to a WPA access point through the User Interface in the current software version, 650. Click here for the WPA workaround script and the detailed instructions to get around this bug." Watch the developers grapple with this bear on these devel listserv posts from 2007: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] ~ Hex
The XO uses encrypted protocols with strong authentication. The XO is meant to be secure on totally open networks. The WPA-TKIP, WEP, and anything else like that is mostly redundant. Worst case, some joker messes with your non-SSL web connections. Hopefully you aren't doing anything important over non-SSL web connections. In any case, this is a firmware issue that can get fixed. 21:25, 13 December 2007 (EST)
I'm curious if you had to sign for it when it was delivered? I also ordered mine first thing in the morning on the first day... thanks.... gina.

Wired network

Internet connection in a no wifi ambient

Can I use usb port to connect OLPC via cable? In a lot on country (in china for example) is easier to meat a lan cable connection. The usb to lan adapters work on OLPC?

Yes. See USB ethernet adapters for a list of adapters known to work. —Joe 12:04, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Connecting to Internet with USB Ethernet adaptor

My local network uses WPA security. In order to use the XO with this network, I would have to "Break" all the other connections. I am using the Linksys WRT54G router, so (according to the Wiki) I would not be able to use it anyway. In other sections of this Wiki, it mentions that you can use a USB ethernet adaptor. I purchased the Airlink model listed (ASOHOUSB). What are the further details/steps needed to get everything connected? Thanks, Dan.

I found the answer! The key thing to note is that this is NOT windows! You need to reboot the system after you attach the adaptor. Once you do that, you can surf at will. [It does not show up in the neighborhood, though.]

Internet connection in a no wifi ambient

Can I use usb port to connect OLPC via cable? In a lot on country (in china for example) is easier to meat a lan cable connection. The usb to lan adapters work on OLPC?

Yes. See USB ethernet adaptors for a list of adapters known to work. —Joe 12:04, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Dial up

Will G1G1 XO recipients be able to use dial-up connections to the internet?

Sorry if I'm dumb. If I do the "buy one, give one" thing, and I don't have wireless access, will I be able to access the internet via dial-up?

T-Mobile offers the free wireless access for a year in areas where they provide it, maybe cafes or other places. You might see if you can find a convenient T-Mobile hotspot in your area where you could make use of it.

You can use a USB to serial (RS-232) converter to connect to a modem for dial-up access. Chris 21:25, 14 October 2007 (EDT)
However the software as shipped will not include this, you will have to build a solution using Linux based tools. --Quozl 06:38, 27 November 2007 (EST)
It's not obvious what Quozl means by "the software" or "this". I hope that doesn't mean that "the browser" doesn't support "dial-up as a method of access". I recently purchased a Zoom USB modem because it specifically identified Linux as a supported operating system. It comes with Linux drivers but the instructions talk about several things that I don't understand because I'm not knowledgeable about Linux. It comes with three flavors of driver packaging (rpm, Debian, and tar). Which is appropriate for the OLPC? It also asks you to "enter the Linux source build directory that matches your running kernel". What would that be for the OLPC? Finally it says to configure your PPP client to use the USB modem. What would that entail?-- 16:04, 7 December 2007 (EST)
Dial-up is not included in the software that is shipped, but you can add it if you wish to. On my desk here is an XO with software version ship.2-650, which is what you should receive, (or a later version), and I see that:
  • the Browse activity does not support any particular method of internet access, but works with whatever internet access that the operating system kernel provides,
  • the kernel provides wireless internet access, but only for 802.11g and 802.11s,
  • the kernel provides USB ethernet internet access, but only for certain models of USB ethernet,
  • the kernel provides USB serial port internet access, but only for certain models of USB serial devices or modems, along with the PPP modules for serial links using the point to point protocol, but the PPP client (pppd program) needed to set it up is not present.
The PPP client can be installed using a command yum install ppp ... and this worked for me, but I don't have a USB modem to test further.
While the Zoom USB modem you have may be supported on some versions of Linux, it may not be supported on this version of Linux. Also, while the Zoom USB modem you have may work on some versions of Linux, it might not work on this version of Linux, because OLPC have removed things that are not expected to be needed for deployment to the target countries. These things can be added back, but that is extra work. --Quozl 00:29, 8 December 2007 (EST)

Fascinating idea though, so I've started a Dial-up access page as a focal point for people who may have the same goal. --Quozl 00:56, 8 December 2007 (EST)

Link Local


Is it possible to use the laptop at times without being hooked up to the internet? Can you access software that is included or that has been downloaded while not on the internet?

Yes, and yes. I've done it frequently, in the Australian outback, in locations that have no internet service. Applications (we call them activities) that require sharing as part of their design won't work unless there is another XO nearby or an internet connection is available. --Quozl 22:32, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Contacting support for networking

Does anyone know a help desk telephone number to find help with connectivity to the internet? We are unable to make a connection from the neighborhood screen.

I don't think they've got a support telephone number set up yet. You might want to try the support forum, IRC channels, or the help e-mail address, as described on the Support page. —Joe 21:04, 29 January 2008 (EST)
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