Network-Manager Repeatedly Asks for Authorization (WPA2 Password)

Bug #1084364 reported by Leo H on 2012-11-29
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
network-manager (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

– Fresh clean installation of xubuntu 12.10 using the xubuntu .iso from the official xubuntu web site, fully updated using the xubuntu Software Updater.
– network-manager fully set up for an internet connection using WiFi with WPA2-Personal, including SSID and WPA2 password. Boxes "automatically connect" and "available to all users" ticked. In Settings > Start-Up Applications, the network-manager box is ticked.
– The internet connection through this access point is routinely used by other PCs (including ubuntu 11.04 and xubuntu 11.10, all using the same settings for network-manager) without any connectivity or stability problems. Access point signal strength is over 80%.

– On system start-up, network-manager attempts to connect.
– After a significant delay, a panel pops up requesting authorization. The WPA2 password is already filled in in this panel and it is correct.
– Press the authorization panel's connect button. The panel disappears. The network indicator icon rotates.
– After a significant delay, the authorization panel pops up again.
– Press the authorization panel's connect button again.
– This cycle may repeat itself several more times, until network-manager finally makes a successful connection.

What should happen:
On start-up, network-manager should establish the internet connection without any user interaction and without delay.

Thomas Hood (jdthood) wrote :

Please reboot and reconnect. After the malfunction occurs, run "apport-collect 1084364" to submit additional information about the affected system.

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Thomas Hood (jdthood) wrote :

The behavior described is similar to that described in bug #1077523.

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) wrote :

Hi Thomas, bug 1077523 is indeed quite similar.

However, there is one difference: That bug 1077523 describes the same behaviour of the network-manager authorization panel repeatedly popping up (with the correct password already filled in) when a system -- presumably connected via WiFi to the internet when going into suspend mode -- is woken up from suspend.

This bug 1084364, on the other hand, concerns a laptop which is freshly started up (and with network-manager itself set to connect automatically and available for all users). Leo

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) wrote :

Thomas, as regards #1, I somehow do not seem to be able to get into launchpad when running "apport-collect 1084364". It has probably got something to do with the browser (Opera) settings, but I have not yet been able to figure out exactly what. However, the reporter of bug 1077523 has managed to use apport successfully and has uploaded full system info, and there it also concerns quantal / 12.10 (albeit ubuntu rather than xubuntu). Leo

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) wrote :

An issue with wicd (an alternative to network manager) which is possibly related to the issue reported here has been reported at:

In the case of wicd it was found that wpa_supplicant routinely timed out before a WiFi connection has been completed successfully. This triggered endlessly repeated wicd connection attempts, each time resulting in an erroneous and misleading "BAD PASSWORD" error message. Increasing the value of the time-out parameter governing wpa_supplicant appears to have resolved this issue in wicd.

In the case of network manager, quite possibly a similar time-out for wpa_supplicant triggers the repeated popping up of the panel requesting the WPA2 authorization password even though this password is already known to network manager.

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) wrote :

Notes to #5:

— Increasing the value of the time-out parameter for wpa_supplicant in itself does, of course, not in any way explain why wpa_supplicant takes so much time to complete its job with a box-standard access point which has never given rise to any such problems in the past, nor on earlier versions of Xubuntu.

— A change-log of network manager versions and of wpa_supplicant versions between Xubuntu 11.10 and 12.10 might shed useful light on the matter. The issue with network manager only appeared with the (fresh and clean) installation of Xubuntu 12.10. In Xubuntu 11.10, network manager did not display the bug described.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for network-manager (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
Changed in network-manager (Ubuntu):
status: Expired → Confirmed
Thomas Sisson (thomas-sisson-1) wrote :

This is a well-known bug. If you search for it on the Internet, it shows up everywhere.

The actual behavior varies according to what desktop one has installed. For instance, KDE uses Kwallet instead of gnome-keyring. The KDE daemon wipes the password field so that it must be reentered, but the behavior is otherwise identical.

I believe that network-manager back-ends make incorrect system calls when it cannot immediately connect with the current password. It does not know whether the password is missing or incorrect, if the connection is unavailable, if the connection was stopped due to a suspend, lock, or shutdown, or if the connection was temporarily lost.

Frequently suggested work-arounds include deleting the connection, rebooting the computer, or deleting the connection and rebooting the computer. These are stopgap measures and hacks at best.

It is also suggested that this is a driver issue, but for many the system is using the best or only network driver available. The obvious alternative is Wicd, but it has yet been updated to the long awaited version 2.0. The current version is simply not capable of making all types of modern wireless connections.

Marcos Jr (junalmeida) wrote :

For me it popus up the password box very often if I turn off my router. As long as my router is off, NM popup the password in a timely basis . After one hour with the router off, i have more then 30 password prompts at screen.

I guess that NM doesn't know the difference between weak signal and wrong password.

Leo H (leo-h-hildebrandt) wrote :

We have switched most systems to wicd since filing this bug. It first had a time-out issue which prevented a successful connection. Once that had been nailed down to a configurable parameter setting whose pre-defined default value proved too low, wicd has performed flawlessly ever since – never a hitch.

However, changing to wicd doesn't, of course, resolve the above issue with network manager. And the current version of wicd cannot yet connect via the 3G and 4G mobile networks.

Any suggestions?

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