the linksys bug

August 28th, 2007


So on the whole, I’ve been pretty damn pleased with the iPhone. It’s kind of amazing to have full-on email and web everywhere I go. But I’ve noticed one annoying bug that’s been driving me crazy, and I’ve come to call it ‘the Linksys bug’. You contract the Linksys bug like this:

  1. Get tired of the iPhone asking to join wifi networks, and turn that ‘feature’ off.
  2. Now, go into public and try and find an open wifi network.
  3. Without fail, you’ll eventually find an open one with the default name of ‘Linksys’.
  4. Go ahead and hop on the open Linksys network, and perform whatever nefarious wifi task you wanted to do.
  5. Eventually you’ll walk by another ‘Linksys’ network. This one, however, will be locked down with a WEP password and will confuse the heck out of your iPhone, because hey! it thought that the ‘Linksys’ network was open, man. You will not know the password, nor will you be able to tell your iPhone to forget about the damn ‘Linksys’ network. If you walk around a lot, you will be prompted to not know the password five or six times per day.
  6. OPTIONAL: Be amazed at the number of people who use the default, out-of-the-box wifi network name of ‘Linksys’. Have these people no creativity?

You can fix this, though:

  1. Install the iPhone installer.
  2. Use the newly installed Installer.app to install “Term-vt100”.
  3. (OPTIONAL: Install the BSD subsystem and OpenSSH while you’re there).
  4. Run “Term-vt100” from the main iPhone ‘Springboard’ screen. Input this line and hit return:
    rm ~/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.wifi.plist
  5. Restart your iPhone by holding down the top button. After it reboots, it will have forgetten about all your wireless networks, including the annoying stuck Linksys one.

~Jeff

4 Responses to “the linksys bug”

  1. Evan says:

    I find it strange that you call it “the linkysys bug,” when it has very little do with anything linksys did.

  2. Jeff Dyck says:

    OK, how about a much easier solution than installing hacks and typing in Terminal commands… Although I haven’t had the problem you describe yet so haven’t been able to test this…

    Go into Settings -> General -> Network and choose the Linksys network and click the little blue arrow on the right to go into the network settings. Then right at the top of the page is a big “Forget this Network” button. I would guess that would do the trick.

  3. Jeff says:

    I would *hope* that would work, but my recollection of that screen is that it only appears once you’ve *logged into* the network. If you don’t know the password, no dice.

    But it could be that my recollection is fuzzy. All I know is that this worked like a charm for me, with no more “WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONNECT TO LINKSYS?” prompts.

  4. […] Settings needs a “Clear all known networks” function in the Wi-fi panel to avoid the odd issue where you hook up to a open wifi network without a password and then encounter the same network […]