Intermittent communication between LAN machines

Philip M. White pmw
Sun Oct 29 18:04:23 PST 2006

Hello, all;

I recently set up WPA encryption with the madwifi driver using hostapd.
Before this, I used 128-bit WEP.  Previously, all LAN machines could
communicate with each other as well as with the router at all times.
Now, it is very intermittent.

I have two machines: my laptop and my desktop.  Once associated and
authenticated (by EAP-PEAP), both can always communicate with the router
and with the Internet.  However, I have a very hard time getting them to
communicate with each other.  Sometimes it spontaneously works, but
usually it doesn't.  My desktop gets the error "Destination Host
Unreachable" for each ping to my laptop, while my laptop gets no errors
but no success either.  Whereas after some magic -- I still don't know
what, and I cannot reproduce it -- both can communicate with each other
for a while, unimpeded.

My router's wireless interface is bridged with an Ethernet interface, so
that might have something to do with it, but everything used to work
fine with plain WEP on the same bridged interface.  I do have the bridge
interface specified in hostapd.conf.

On the router, I checked iptables, and no DROP rule is invoked.  Also, I
checked `dmesg` to see if maybe the bridge is spending a lot of time in
'learning' state, and no.  Everything looks up and running.

Any suggestions?

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