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The wicked world of wireless woes

Categories: — josef @ 11:24

I want to operate my new notebook in master mode. With my old notebook, the MadWifi driver supported this for the Atheros-based internal adapter on its own. With my new notebook, I have several choices, none of which seem to be particularly supported:

  • The internal Intel-based adapter runs with iwl4965 which doesn’t support master mode. In such cases, one can use the HostAP daemon which among other chipsets supports the generic mac80211 layer (named devicescape) on top of which the iwl4965 is built. Unfortunately, the Debian package ships hostapd with devicescape disabled, and trying to build it on my own also failed due to incompatibilities with a new kernel (2.6.22).
  • The external Prism2-based adapter works with Linux-WLAN-ng, which doesn’t support WPA but otherwise works well. Unfortunately, the linux-wlan-ng driver isn’t supported by hostapd. There’s also the hostap driver (without the -d) which supports Prism2 chips, is naturally supported by hostapd and even became part of the kernel sources recently, EXCEPT that it doesn’t support USB-connected Prism2 devices, and mine is one of those.
  • The external Ralink-based adapter is not supported with its native driver (rt61). The new driver version (rx200) is based on mac80211 and will likely lead to the same issues that the iwl4965 has.

Oh well. Of course WLAN adapters are cheap nowadays, but I still would like to see the existing hardware supported :-)


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