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HOWTO: Workaround "fixed channel mon0: -1" in airodump-ng and aireplay-ng from Aircrack-ng

posted Feb 17, 2011, 10:01 AM by Nicolay Doytchev   [ updated Mar 29, 2012, 7:55 PM ]
There seems to be a problem with using airodump-ng and aireplay-ng from the Aircrack-ng package when trying to dump from a specific channel or inject over it. I have observed the problem using an Intel 3945ABG Mini PCI-E adapter and Linux 2.6.35 on Ubuntu 10.04. Initially airodump-ng seems to work but just display the message - "fixed channel mon0: -1" in its status. However if a replay is attempted over the channel using aireplay-ng it fails with an error that it can't switch to the proper channel. Some investigation with a BCM43xx card showed that the problem is not specific to Aircrack-ng but to the Intel driver. For now I have found and tested two workarounds to the problem:
  • Use Linux 2.6.32 (The default in the case of Ubuntu 10.04 and Debian 6.0)
  • Use Backtrack 4r2 Live CD
Another user reports that using the wlan0 device directly rather than starting mon0 through airmon-ng works as well but I have not tested it.