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Linux PHC for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

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The PHC kernel for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal is now available in the linux-phc PPA on Launchpad.

The Linux PHC project provides cpufreq kernel modules for undervolting Intel and AMD processors on a Linux platforms. This gives you the ability to save energy, lower the CPU temperature and expand battery time.

If you want to know more about Linux PHC take a look at the Linux PHC forum and the PHC wiki. The installation notes for the PHC kernel can be found in this thread. If you are going to measure the total power consumption, keep in mind the "10-30% increase in power consumption" bug.

bleeding-edge wl1251 driver for Maemo Fremantle

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The bleeding-edge wl1251 wifi driver for Maemo Fremantle is now available!

It is based on the upstream bleeding-edge wireless-testing tree and incorporates nearly all features found in the stock wl12xx driver used in Maemo Fremantle, adds some bugfixes and also provides some unique features like packet injection.

More information can be found on this page.

Linux PHC for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

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Today I have officially published the PHC kernel for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. The Linux PHC project provides cpufreq kernel modules for undervolting Intel and AMD processors on a Linux platforms. This gives you the ability to save energy, lower the CPU temperature and expand battery time.

Linux PHC usually doesn't need a custom kernel, as it only provides some additional kernel modules, which can be compiled out-of-tree. Unfortunately the Ubuntu kernel is that much optimized for fast booting so the default cpufreq kernel modules like acpi-cpufreq (used for Intel processors) and powernow-k8 (used for AMD processors) are compiled-in and can't be replaced by other kernel modules like Linux PHC ones. To workaround this problem I started to build special -phc kernels, which are prepared for use with Linux PHC. Strictly speaking they contain cpufreq modules like acpi-cpufreq and powernow-k8 in module form instead of compiled-in. Moreover to make it easier to install and receive updates for -phc kernels we provide a PPA on Launchpad.

If you want to know more about Linux PHC take a look at the Linux PHC forum and the PHC wiki. The installation notes for the PHC kernel are in this thread.

Updated monitor mode patch for N900

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I have updated my monitor mode patch for the wl1251 chip to fix some bugs.

First it is now possible to capture encrypted packets. I want to thank hardkorek for reporting this bug.

Second I have fixed the data rate reported for received packets. Previously all packets showed up as 1Mb/s regardless of which data rate they were really sent. Additionally this should also fix the reported channel type.

All in all it should now be a little bit closer to "fully functional" ;)

Version 2 of my monitor mode patch can be downloaded here.

It will also be included in the upcoming 2.6.28-maemo35 release of Titan's power kernel.

Kismet + Fully functional monitor mode for the N900

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Many of you may already have noticed that I have ported Kismet to the N900 with support for internal GPS through liblocation. Now also a fully functional WLAN monitor mode is available for the N900! You might know the channel 6 problem, it's gone now! :)

So here you can download my monitor mode patch for the wl1251 chip used in the N900.

If you don't want to compile your own kernel, you can also use the latest version of titan's power kernel, which includes my monitor mode patch. You need at least the version 2.6.28-maemo26. At this point I want to thank Tanner for his great kernel.

Moreover make sure you also upgrade to at least Kismet 2010.01.R1-r3028-1. It now includes integration for the network manager, so you don't need to stop/start it yourself.

So here is what you exactly need to do for installing Kismet:

  • Activate extras-devel repository (required at least for now, be careful with it!)
  • Install "Enhanced Linux kernel for power users" from the system category
  • Reboot your phone
  • Install "Kismet" from the network category
  • Deactivate extras-devel repository (Recommended by me. However you won't receive updates for extras-devel packages automatically, so make sure to sometimes check for updates through the Maemo package interface)

Now to run Kismet do the following:

  • Open a X Terminal
  • Optionally change to root through "sudo gainroot" (This isn't recommended by me because running Kismet as root can be dangerous. Nevertheless I have to note that I had some server startup problems from time to time when running as normal user. So it may be needed to start Kismet again if startup failed. Running Kismet as root will circumvent this problem, but once again I really do NOT recommend it.)
  • Start Kismet by entering "kismet" (without quotes)
  • Answer Yes and press Start to start the Kismet server
  • Now you may get asked for an Internet connection if you have enabled assisted GPS. Select data connection or ignore it. (WLAN connections aren't available because your WLAN card is in monitor mode for scanning.)
  • Press tab and return to hide the server console window
  • Now Kismet is running :P You have to press ESC once to reach the menu. Then use the cursor buttons to navigate through the menu. (Note: You have to press at least once a cursor button to show up the menu.)
  • To close Kismet use the Quit menu entry or press Ctrl+C. (Don't use the X button as it wouldn't restore the network managers function)

Some further tips:

  • To switch between Metric and English display mode go to Kismet > Preferences > GPS...
  • Logfiles are located in /home/user/MyDocs (path can be configured in the Kismet server configuration located in /opt/kismet/etc/kismet.conf)
  • UI/Client configuration files are located in /home/user/.kismet or /root/.kismet (if running as root)
  • Server configuration files are located in /opt/kismet/etc
  • Note that running Kismet draws battery because GPS is enabled and the WLAN power management can not be applied in monitor mode
  • You can also start the Kismet server and client separately with the commands kismet_server and kismet_client in different X Terminals

Edit:

  • Bluetooth should be disabled, as it influences scanning results very badly. (This may be solve in future monitor mode patches)

N900 antenna locations

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Maybe you also wanted to know where the antennas are located in the N900. I have done a little research on this and now share my results.

As you can see on the picture the GSM and UMTS antenna is located on the left side of the battery. Therefore it is on the bottom when holding the N900 in portrait mode. The GPS, WLAN and Bluetooth antenna is located above the camera.

Kismet for the N900

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As some may have already noticed I have published my Kismet package in the extras-devel Repository a few days.

Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system.

If you had already tried using Kismet on your N900 you will have noticed that Maemo Fremantle isn't using gpsd anymore. As a result the internal GPS is not available within Kismet. My package fixes that issue with experimental support for liblocation, the GPS library provided by Nokia for accessing the internal GPS unit.

Although the Kismet package is already available I have to note that the default kernel driver (wl12xx) available on the N900 has a broken monitor mode. It is working in general, so it may look like it is working. As already 406 Not Accceptable has posted, the reality is that in monitor mode the card always stays on channel 6. This also applies to PR1.1.1. So if you only want to scan channel 6 you may already be happy ;)

For all others I am currently working on a patched driver. I have already finished a workaround for channel switching, as there is a firmware bug for channel switching. Some tests showed the workaround is working and wardriving is really possible with the N900. Moreover I have to say it is working quite well for such a device, however it is not working as well as on Atheros cards.

So stay tuned, I am going to release this driver soon.

PS: For all awaiting package injection support for the N900 I have to say it may be possible sometime, but as the firmware doesn't like it very well I have decided to use the safer workaround for my patched driver.

For all German readers, Jake has already posted something on his blog about Kismet on the N900.

Linux PHC for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

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Today I have officially published the PHC kernel for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The Linux PHC project provides cpufreq kernel modules for undervolting Intel and AMD processors on a Linux platforms. This gives you the ability to save energy, lower the CPU temperature and expand battery time.

If you want to know more about Linux PHC take a look at the Linux PHC forum and the PHC wiki. The installation notes for the PHC kernel are in this thread.

Welcome

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Welcome to my IT blog.

Every once a while I will post some IT related stuff I am currently working on. Especially in the next time you can expect some posts about my new gadget, the Nokia N900.

Somebody may wonder why this blog is in English. Although you're right my native language is German, I have decided to not write my posts in German. I thought it would be better to write in English, because English is the "universal language", which is understood by most people. Moreover it gives me the ability to practice some English.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog and please excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes. ;)