Configuring Mac laptops for our new 802.1x network is proving more difficult than expected. It appears that only OS 10.6 is compatible with WPA2 Enterprise networks, and even then, they don’t always connect all of the time. At the moment, we are looking at the following:
10.6 clients: 802.1x system profile with saved user credentials
10.5 and below: WEP with pre-shared key
On startup, the process that authenticates a user via 802.1x does not always launch at the right time, leaving the user in no man’s land. The user than has to turn wireless off and on to get it to try again. If the user brings the computer from home to school and wakes it from sleep, then the process is not running and then cannot auth to 802.1x. Fortunately, once connected, the system seems able to reconnect reliably when waking from sleep. We have provided a small, custom app for users to easily reset the wireless card.
Too bad that Apple has not yet got this right. It feels so 2001 to run WEP for some of our users, especially on our brand new wireless network. Our Windows client setup has been flawless.