Speeding up wireless internet on Crunchbang 11

On a recent new install of Crunchbang 11 I was having major problems connecting to my router with a Ralink RT3370 wireless USB dongle from my main tower. After investigating and playing around, this is my list of changes which got me sorted:

1. AES vs TKIP Encryption:
Connect to the router and change the WPA2 encryption from AES to TKIP. My first suspicon about the lack of connection was the encryption method and maybe the latest RT3370 drivers and wpasupplicant. After changing to TKIP I could connect, allbeit with a slow connection due to packet loss.

2. Move Adapter from USB2 to USB3:
Moved the Dongle from the front USB2 connector to a blue USB3 connector at the back, and I noticed a slight speed increase. After these hardware changes, it was time to go for some terminal-fu and edit a few files to get some extra internet speed.

3. Firstly I edited /etc/nsswitch.conf:
sudo vim /etc/nsswitch.conf
I commented out the original line:
#hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
And changed it to:
hosts: files dns

4. Next I disabled ipV6 in Iceweasel:
In the address bar I typed “about:config” and changed “network.dns.disableIPv6” to “true” with a double-click.

5. Next up was to disable ipV6 system wide:
echo "#disable ipv6" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
echo "net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
echo "net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf

6. Adaptor Power Management:
Another thing I had heard is that sometimes powercontrol can interfere with wireless speed as well so I disabled it for the USB dongle:
sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off

7. Swap nm-applet and network-manager for a Manual Static Wireless Connection:
First I disabled nm-applet from autostarting:
sudo mv /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/BKPnm-applet
Then I stopped Network Manager:
sudo /etc/init.d/network-manager stop
And completely Disabled it:
sudo echo "manual" | sudo tee /etc/init/network-manager.override

8. Just needed to add my manual network config:
sudo vim /etc/network/interfaces
Added my wifi info:
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet static
address 192.168.1.136
netmask 255.255.255.0
gateway 192.168.1.1
wpa-ssid ROUTER_ESSID
wpa-psk MYPASSWORD

Then manually added the Google dns addresses:
sudo vim /etc/resolv.conf
And add these:
nameserver 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4

Rebooted into a system with awesome internet cow-power-fu speeds!!

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Installing Crunchbang 11 on a Netbook with external monitor

Back on Linux at Home and Blogging again
It’s been a while since i’ve posted as a new business project has had me using Windows a lot, yeah I know, but hey, life’s like that sometimes.
I moved my main computer tower into the lounge and it now serves as our main media center, with xbmc, spotify, games etc.

Crunchbang 11 on the Netbook
This left me with a monitor, keyboard and mouse in our bedroom…. and an Asus Netbook, so I thought what the hell and set about removing Ubuntu (slow as a snail, painfully slow) and installing my trusty old friend Crunchbang (which i’m typing from now).

I downloaded the 32bit version from HERE, made a Crunchbang pendrive via Unetbootin, installed and set about configuring it to be used as a desktop.

External Monitor Resolution
The first thing I noticed was that when I changed the resolution of the monitors, the settings would be lost after reboot, so I added these xrandr commands to my autostart.sh and both get set when I login:

## Set both external monitor and netbook resolutions
xrandr –output VGA1 –mode 1920×1080
xrandr –output LVDS1 –mode 800×600

All looking nice. next up to install XBMC…..