Wireless Tools for Linux
|Linux & Wireless LANs||Wavelan driver||Linux Orinoco driver||Papers||Main page|
|Documentation||Latest version||Common Problems||Wireless Extensions||Other Wireless Apps|
The Linux Wireless Extension and the Wireless Tools are an Open Source project sponsored by Hewlett Packard (through my contribution) since 1996, and build with the contribution of many Linux users all over the world.
The Wireless Extension (WE) is a generic API allowing a driver to expose to the user space configuration and statistics specific to common Wireless LANs. The beauty of it is that a single set of tool can support all the variations of Wireless LANs, regardless of their type (as long as the driver support Wireless Extension). Another advantage is these parameters may be changed on the fly without restarting the driver (or Linux).
The Wireless Tools (WT) is a set of tools allowing to manipulate the Wireless Extensions. They use a textual interface and are rather crude, but aim to support the full Wireless Extension. There are many other tools you can use with Wireless Extensions, however Wireless Tools is the reference implementation.
- iwconfig manipulate the basic wireless parameters
- iwlist allow to initiate scanning and list frequencies, bit-rates, encryption keys…
- iwspy allow to get per node link quality
- iwpriv allow to manipulate the Wireless Extensions specific to a driver (private)
- ifrename allow to name interfaces based on various static criteria
Most Linux distributions also have integrated Wireless Extensions support in their networking initialisation scripts, for easier boot-time configuration of wireless interfaces. They also include Wireless Tools as part of their standard packages.
Wireless configuration can also be done using the Hotplug or uDev scripts and distribution specific support, this enable the proper support of any removable wireless interface (Pcmcia, CardBus, USB…).
Any versions of the Pcmcia package offer the possibility to do wireless configuration of Pcmcia and Cardbus card through thefile wireless.opts. This allow to fully integrate wireless settings in the Pcmcia scheme mechansism. However, this method is now deprecated in favor of distribution specific methods.
Please note that the Wireless Tools (starting with version 19) supports fully IEEE 802.11 parameters and devices, support older style of devices and most proprietary protocols, and are prepared to handle HiperLan as well. More recent versions of course adds more 802.11 support.
But, unfortunately not all drivers support all these features…
Documentation & errata
The Wireless Tools package also includes two text documents on the usage of Wireless Tools to configure wireless cards automatically :
- DISTRIBUTIONS.txt describes how various Linux distributions implement Wireless Extensions in their specific configuration scripts. Please read this, as most distributions no longer use wireless.opts. I need your help making this document better.
- HOTPLUG-UDEV.txt describes how to manage wireless interfaces using the HotPlug subsystem and the distribution specific support for wireless, and includes some more advanced material. This is a complement to DISTRIBUTIONS.txt.
- PCMCIA.txt describes the use of Pcmcia schemes and wireless.opts (i.e. configuration with the default Pcmcia scripts). This method is deprecated, but still work and has some advantages.
Some driver documentations (man page, web, README) describe what the driver support in term of Wireless Extension and how the various Wireless Extension parameters map to the capability of the card.
I have also the following errata and comments :
- In the rare cases where your kernel isn’t compiled with Wireless Extensions (/proc/net/wireless non-existent), you need to recompile it with Wireless Extensions (CONFIG_NET_RADIO enabled).
- After recompiling a kernel with Wireless Extension, you have to recompile your driver or the Pcmcia package as well (and restart it).
- All versions of Wireless Tools up to version 26 need to be compiled for the precise version of Wireless Extension present on the system. Starting with Wireless Tools 27, Wireless Tools can handle multiple versions of Wireless Extension without recompile.
- The Wireless Extensions and Wireless Tools version numbers will not match with each other. The Wireless Tools and the Wireless Extensions (the underlying API) evolve independantly of each other. The command iwconfig –version gives you the detail of your setup.
- Compilation of the Wireless Tools used to be tricky, especially in the header area. I believe this has been fixed for good.
- For kernels before 2.2.14/2.3.30, use Wireless Tools version 19.
- For kernel after 2.2.14/2.3.30 use Wireless Tools version 20 or greater.
- For kernel after 2.6.13 use Wireless Tools version 27 or greater.
- The tools and the wireless library are GPL.
- In the old time, you could upgrade Wireless Extensions by just changing wireless.h. Starting with Wireless Extensions v12, this is no longer true, you need to apply the full patch to the kernel. See below for the patches.
- Further down, you will find a FAQ about common problems.
Wireless Tools latest versions
You can download Wireless Tools on this server :
- Download the latest wireless tools package
For historical purpose, you can get earlier version here : version 19, version 20, version 21, version 22, version 23, version 24, version 25, version 26, version 27, version 28 and version 29. There is no point in using an old version, as the latest version can support all versions of Wireless Extensions.
The main features of the latest beta is support for non-ASCII ESSIDs (such as localised ESSID), support for displaying Scanning Capabilities, slightly bigger scan buffer, fixing minor bug iwconfig parser and minor enhancement to ifrename :
- Wireless Tools version 30-pre9 (beta)
Experimental version of Wireless Tools (at your own risk) :
- Wireless Tools 28 with Wireless-RtNetlink support (WE-20) (alpha)
The detailed changelog of the Wireless Tools is in the package, what follows is a human readable version of it ;-).
Version 29 adds :
- Support for long/short retry (WE-21).
- Support power saving level, modulation (WE-21 – not in kernel).
- Scanning options.
- Better WPA support.
- Enhanced command line parser in iwconfig.
- sysfs symlinks and udev integration in ifrename.
- More footprint reduction tricks.
- Support for 32 bit Wireless Tools on 64 bits kernels.
- Change dBm range to support positive dBm.
Version 28 adds :
- Add preliminary display-only WPA support (WE-18).
- Display AP-Address as ‘Not-Associated’ instead of a number.
- Add sysfs selector to ifrename.
- Make mac selector of ifrename accept any length MAC addresses, such as Firewire addresses.
- Longer scanning timeout for driver having slow scanning, such as MadWifi.
- Add iwmulticall and stripping option to reduce footprint of the tools for memory starved systems.
- Use glibc header instead of kernel header to ease iwlib use.
- Better integrity check of scan results.
- Forward compatibility to WE-21 (essid length)
Version 27 adds :
- Ability to run with multiple version of Wireless Extensions. It means that all WE version mismatch are gone, and you don’t need to recompile when changing between kernels with different WE version. The tool redirector is obsolete and removed.
- Make libiw really usable by third party tools. This include the removal of the WE version dependancy, the stabilisation of the API and the addition of the easy Scanning API.
- Add ifrename, to rename network interfaces based on various static criteria, and associated documentation
- Add advanced documentation about network Hotplug and related stuff in HOTPLUG.txt
- Support auto/fixed frequencies and relative tx-power (WE-17)
- Support very large scan results and private definition lists (WE-17)
- Optionally disable individual quality statistics (WE-17)
- Support event capability in iwlist event (WE-17)
- Display channel alongside frequencies in iwlist and iwevent
- Display updated quality statistics with ‘=’ instead of ‘(updated)’
- Implement iwconfig XXX txpower on and fixed
- Fix redirection of iwevent output to file/pipe
- Add raw display and channel support in iwgetid
- Various bugfixes, optimisations and cleanup
Version 26 adds :
- Fix bugs in parsing encryption keys and setting encryption on in iwconfig.
- Update distribitions specific documentation in DISTRIBUTIONS.txt
- Really allow compile without maths library for embeeded platforms
- Support new iwspy features (setthr and related event) (WE-16)
- Add tool redirector for people having multiple kernels with different Wireless Extension versions (WE-16)
- Various trivial bugfixes and cleanup
- Various Makefile and and iwlib improvements
Version 25 adds :
- Start document distribitions specific wireless configuration scripts in DISTRIBUTIONS.txt
- Enumerate *all* network interfaces (fix problem with NWN drivers)
- Improve private extension support : new types, sub-ioctls, iwpriv -a, handle more than 16 extensions… (WE-15)
- Fix infinite loop with unknown Wireless Events (bad bug)
- Add new Wireless Events : IWEVCUSTOM, IWEVREGISTERED and IWEVEXPIRED (WE-15)
- Show current settings in iwlist for freq, rate and txpower
- New iwgetid options : mode, freq, protocol
- Implement –version to show tools and WE versions
- Improve version warning messages to be hopefully less confusing
- Allow compile without maths library for embeeded platforms
- Makefile fixes, various other cleanups
Version 24 adds :
- Fix a bug that prevents disabling encryption and setting authentication (introduced in version 23)
- Change the way tools enumerate wireless interfaces. Tools no longer lists interfaces not supporting /proc/net/wireless, but lists interfaces which are down.
- Wireless Event support (WE-14)
- Scanning support (WE-14 – replaces now obsolete iwlist aplist)
- Support iwconfig ethX ap auto/any/off
- Man pages for iwevent and iwgetid
- Improved system header definitions, more complete libiw, cleanups…
Version 23 adds :
- Fix a problem when trying to use iwspy before the interface is configured
- Add missing commands in the iwlist man page
- Fix “make install” and install man pages
- Automatic glibc/kernel header configuration
- Nicer iwconfig error messages
- Add iwconfig ethX commit (WE-13)
Version 22 adds :
- Fix minor bugs in parsing command line
- Most basic functions of the tools available as a library (libiw)
- Add a few extra wireless statistics (WE-12)
Version 21 adds :
- Improved power management support (WE-10)
- Transmit Power parameter (WE-10)
- Document wireless.opts and Pcmcia scheme usage (multi cards, multi setups)
- Better Makefile, header options can be set there
- Support for GLibc2.2
- Check Wireless Extension version mismatch (WE-11)
- Retry settings (WE-11)
- Split iwspy into iwspy and iwlist
Version 20 was already adding :
- Operation mode support (managed/ad-hoc) (WE-9)
- Power saving support (WE-9)
- New encryption support (WE-9)
However, the version 20 and later don’t work for older kernels (prior to 2.2.14 and 2.3.30), for those kernel I recommend to use version 19, which is also very stable (but with less features). Note that most 802.11b drivers require Wireless Extension v9 or later, so won’t work with those ancient kernels.
Debugging Wireless Extensions (common problems)
- iwconfig doesn’t list my card
- Make sure your card is plugged in the PC, and check its led.
- Make sure the system can identify your card.
- Make sure the proper driver for your card is loaded using lsmod.
- Check if the driver did recognise the card using dmesg.
- iwconfig says “no wireless extensions.” for my card
- Enable the config option CONFIG_NET_RADIO in your kernel setup.
- Recompile and reinstall this kernel.
- Recompile and reinstall the kernel modules.
- Do cat /proc/net/wireless. If the command returns an error, you are using the wrong kernel. Try again.
- If you are using driver from the external Pcmcia package (kernel 2.2 and earlier), go into the Pcmcia package, do a make config
- Check that the following line appears : “Radio network interface support is enabled.“.
- Recompile and install the Pcmcia package.
- iwconfig still says “no wireless extensions.”, displays garbage or crashes before displaying anything.
- Make sure you have fully checked all the steps of the second question.
- The driver or driver version you are using probably does not support Wireless Extension.
- Check status of Wireless Extension support for your driver in the Wireless LAN Howto.
- If your driver is listed, try a more recent version.
- If your hardware is listed, try the driver mentionned (there may be multiple of them).
- Make sure that Pcmcia is loading the driver you think it is loading. Hack the various files in /etc/pcmcia/ until it loads the correct driver (grep is your friend).
- If you still can’t get it, or if you find no suitable driver, complain to the driver maintainer.
- I try to change a specific parameter with iwconfig, it just returns an error message
- Check reading parameters and setting other parameters.
- If setting all parameters fail, see first two questions.
- No card support the full range of Wireless Extension, so your hardware or firmware may not have this feature.
- Check the Windows driver and card documentation to see if the feature exist.
- Then, your driver or your driver version may not export this particular feature. Try the latest version.
- For driver with otherwise rich support, it’s more likely a hardware limitation. For driver with limited support, it might be a driver limitation.
- Check the driver documentation to see if the feature is supported.
- Lastly, ask the maintainer if it is a hardware, software or documentation limitation and what to do about it.
- iwconfig crashes after displaying valid info…
- Use Wireless Tools version 27 or later, which fixes this issue.
- iwlist scan crashes while iwconfig and other iwlist commands work fine
- Use Wireless Tools version 27 or later, which fixes this issue.
- iwconfig says : “Warning: Driver for device XXXX has been compiled with version XX, while this program is using version XX”
- Use Wireless Tools version 27 or later, which fixes this issue.
- iwconfig says : “Warning: Driver for device XXXX has been compiled with version XX, while this program supports up to version XX”
- Upgrade to the latest stable version of Wireless Tools.
- If this doesn’t fix that issue, you may
- If nothing bad happens, just ignore the message.
- Install a pre-release version of the Wireless Tools (see above).
- iwconfig says : “Warning: Driver for device XXXX recommend version XX of Wireless Extension”
- Ignore, unless you can’t configure your card.
- Upgrade your kernel, and recompile/reinstall kernel/modules/tools.
- When compiling the Wireless Tools, it says “Wireless Extension earlier than XX detected”
- Ignore, unless you find a bug.
- When compiling the Wireless Tools, it says “Wireless Extension later than XX detected”
- This is not problematic, but think of getting a newer version of the tools.
- When compiling the Wireless Tools, it complains that IFLA_WIRELESS is undeclared
- Use Wireless Tools version 27 or later, which fixes this issue.
- In the kernel log, it says “wlan0 (WE) : Buffer for request XXXX too small (0<XX)”
- Find the wireless application that generates it
- Upgrade this application it to the latest version
- If the problem persist, file a bug on the application
- In the kernel log, it says “wlan0 (WE) : Invalid/Unknown Wireless Event”
- Your kernel and your driver are out of sync
- Recompile/reinstall your kernel, kernel modules, pcmcia modules and external driver modules
- I change stuff in wireless.opts, nothing happens
- Check that the MAC address prefix of the definition matches the MAC address of your card (with ifconfig).
- Check that no other previous definition would match your card (the first matching section is used, “*” matches everything).
- In particular, make sure that you have either commented or removed the “*,*,*,*)” at the top of wireless.opts.
- Check the scheme matching and the scheme you are currently using (with cardctl scheme).
- Restart the Pcmcia card manager.
- Check you system logs for error messages.
- See next question
- My config in wireless.opts is still ignored, and I have no error message in the system log
- If your card is not a Pcmcia card, it’s normal, because wireless.opts is part of the Pcmcia specific configuration. The workaround is to use a distribution with integrated support for Wireless Extensions.
- Most distributions don’t use standard Pcmcia configuration but their own network configuration scripts. In this case, they will ignore wireless.opts.
- Most modern distributions have integrated support for Wireless Extensions. When this is available, this is the easiest option, as you just need to add your settings the network configuration file of the distribution. Sometime you can even do wireless configuration in the graphical tools.
- For distributions that don’t have integrated support for Wireless Extensions, file a bug report with the distribution and reinstall standard Pcmcia scripts, especially /etc/pcmcia/network.
- When I set my configuration in wireless.opts, it complains in the system log that it can’t find iwconfig
- Install Wireless Tools somewhere on the system, like in /usr/local/sbin
- When I set my configuration in wireless.opts, I’ve got weird errors in the system logs
- Run iwconfig. See first two questions.
- Try to set the equivalent parameters directly using iwconfig to make sure that you get the syntax right and that the card support those.
Wireless Tools oldest version
The oldest version of wireless tools that was made is v10, its release date is 08 december 1996. Obviously it does not have Copyright notice, Makefile, README or any kind of instructions.
Prior to that date, iwconfig was bundled with my version of the wavelan driver. The oldest version on my hard drive is v6, from 05 september 1996, and was not publically distributed (it is clearly not finished).
ifscheme for Debian users
Users of the Debian distribution may want to use the ifscheme scripts to manually manage multiple configuration per wireless interface. Note that a Debian package exist, and is usually up to date, so you probably don’t have much reason to pick the version here…
- ifscheme scripts for Debian (version 1.7)
For automatic management, please check for various tools in the later section.
Wireless Extensions patches (for kernel and drivers)
The Wireless Extensions support come as 3 parts :
- The Wireless Extension (the core API), part of the Linux kernel (mostly defined in wireless.h).
- Driver support, implementing some of those extensions for the specific hardware.
- Wireless Tools and other wireless applications, that the users manipulate.
Wireless Extension versions :
|WE-9||2.2.14, 2.3.30||Basic 802.11b support|
|WE-10||2.2.19, 2.4.0||Add TxPower setting|
|WE-11||2.4.4||Driver version check, retry setting|
|WE-13||2.4.19, 2.5.3||New driver API|
|WE-14||2.4.20, 2.5.7||Wireless Scanning, Wireless Events|
|WE-15||2.4.21, 2.5.37||Enhanced iwpriv support|
|WE-16||2.4.23, 2.5.70||802.11a/802.11g fixes, Enhanced iwspy support|
|WE-17||2.6.10||Event capability, large scan results|
|WE-19||2.6.14||Improved dBm reporting|
|WE-20||2.6.17||RtNetlink Wireless Extensions (dropped in 2.6.20)|
|WE-21||2.6.19||(partial WE-21) Full ESSID support, not just string|
|WE-22||2.6.21||Fix information leak on 64 bits|
One common issue is that Wireless Extensions offers only source level backward/forward compatibility, not binary compatibility. Therefore, every time the core API is updated or changed on the system (kernel upgrade), both drivers and tools need to be recompiled. Version 27 and later of Wireless Tools can support multiple versions of Wireless Extensions without the need of a recompile.
Some wireless drivers require a minimum level of Wireless Extensions, and most often newer version of Wireless Extensions enable additional features in the driver. Usually, the simplest way to upgrade the Wireless Extensions is to upgrade your kernel (see table above). Most driver support the newer Wireless Extension only in their most recent version, so most often to get the benefit of the additional features you might need to upgrade your driver.
Alternatively, you can use the patches below. Those patches may not always apply properly to your kernel, they may crash or eat your hard drive, use at your own risks and don’t expect much help, because I would rather have you upgrading your kernel. When upgrading from over version of Wireless Extensions to another, you need to apply all the patches for the versions in between in the proper order, otherwise the patches will reject. After patching the kernel, don’t forget to recompile and reinstall the kernel itself, the kernel modules, the Pcmcia package modules and the various external driver modules.
- Kernel 2.2.X patches
- Wireless Extensions v15 for kernel 2.2.25 : cummulative patch to upgrade directly from WE-10 to WE-15. Wireless Event is not available, the rest seems to work.
- Kernel 2.4.X patches
- Wireless Extensions v11 for kernel 2.4.2, including various wireless drivers. Adds driver version check, retry setting. [Already in 2.4.3]
- Wireless Extensions v12 for kernel 2.4.12. Adds more statistics, move iwpriv ioctls to a private space. [Already in 2.4.13]
- Wireless Extensions v13 for kernel 2.4.18. Add the new driver API based on iw-handlers (to replace ioctl handler). [Already in 2.4.19-pre5]
- Wireless Extensions v14 + WE-13 ESSID bug fix for kernel 2.4.19. Add a Wireless Event dispatcher through rtnetlink (driver and set events) and support for Wireless Scanning (iwlist ethX scan). Also fix a stupid bug in WE-13 patch above (of by one). [Already in 2.4.20-pre2]
- Wireless Extensions v15 for kernel 2.4.20. Fix and enhance private extensions support, mostly for HostAP driver. Define additional Wireless Events. Get strict on buffer size for GET requests (this may break old applications using Wireless Extensions). [Already in 2.4.21-pre2]
- Wireless Extensions v16 for kernel 2.4.21. Rework iwspy support : simplify driver side iwspy support and add iwspy Wireless Event. Also increase the number of bit-rates in iwrange for complete 802.11a/802.11g support. [Already in 2.4.23]
- Wireless Extensions v16 for kernel 2.4.19 and earlier. Same as patch above, but apply to kernel 2.4.19 and earlier. Not a cumulative patch, you will need to apply after the v15 patch (and previous patches as needed). [Already in 2.4.23]
- Wireless Extensions v17 for kernel 2.4.29. Export driver event capacities, allow large scan requests and various minor fixes.
- Wireless Extensions v18 for kernel 2.4.30. WPA support, from Jouni Malinen. You will need WT-27-pre25 or later.
- Kernel 2.5.X patches
- Wireless Extensions v13 for kernel 2.5.2. Add the new driver API based on iw-handlers (to replace ioctl handler). [Already in 2.5.3-pre3]
- Wireless Extensions v14 for kernel 2.5.6. Add a Wireless Event dispatcher through rtnetlink (driver and set events) and support for Wireless Scanning (iwlist ethX scan). [Already in 2.5.7-pre1]
- WE-13 ESSID bug fix for 2.5.15, fix a stupid bug in WE-13 patch above (of by one). [Already in 2.5.16]
- Wireless Extensions v15 for kernel 2.5.32. Fix and enhance private extensions support, mostly for HostAP driver. Define additional Wireless Events. Get strict on buffer size for GET requests (this may break old applications using Wireless Extensions). [Already in 2.5.37]
- Wireless Extensions v16 for kernel 2.5.64. Rework iwspy support : simplify driver side iwspy support and add iwspy Wireless Event. Also increase the number of bit-rates in iwrange for complete 802.11a/802.11g support. [Already in 2.5.70]
- Kernel 2.6.X patches
- Wireless Extensions v17 for kernel 2.6.9. Export driver event capacities, allow large scan requests and various minor fixes. [Already in 2.6.10-rc2]
- Wireless Extensions v18 for kernel 2.6.11. WPA support, from Jouni Malinen. You will need WT-27-pre25 or later. [Already in 2.6.13-rc1]
- Wireless Extensions v19 for kernel 2.6.13. Misc updates and cleanups. You will need WT-27-pre25 or later. [Already in 2.6.14-rc1]
- Wireless Extensions v20 for kernel 2.6.16. Wireless-RtNetlink support : Allow to Set/Get Wireless Extensions through the RtNetlink socket. Final version, feature tested and complete.
- Wireless Extensions v21 for kernel 2.6.17-rc1. Add modulation, generic power saving, short/long retries. This is experimental and require both drivers and userspace modification (WT-28-pre14), especially around ESSID.
- Aironet driver patches
- The Aironet driver has already been converted to the new driver API (WE-13) and has scanning and event support (WE-14). [Already in 2.5.20 ; 2.4.20-pre1 and CVS]
- Use new iwspy support (WE-16) in the Aironet driver. [Already in 2.6.0-test2 and CVS]
- WE-17 support for the Aironet and old Wavelan drivers. For kernel 2.6.8. [Already in 2.6.10-rc1]
- iwstats cleanups (WE-19) in the Aironet driver.
- WE-19 support for the Aironet driver. For kernel 2.6.13. [Already in 2.6.14-rc1]
- Aironet WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size, use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- HostAP driver patches
- The Prism2 HostAP driver has already been converted to the new driver API (WE-13), has scanning and event support (WE-14) and take advantage of the improved iwpriv support (WE-15). [Already in 2002-09-12]
- Add support for “iwlist scan” in master mode in the HostAP driver. [Already in v0.0.1]
- Add new iwspy support (WE-16) in the HostAP driver. [Already in v0.0.2]
- HostAP WE-17 support : allow large scan requests, export event capability. For hostap-driver-0.2.3. [Already in v0.3.0]
- HostAP WE-19 support : better statistics. For hostap-driver-0.3.9. [Already in v0.4.5]
- HostAP WE-21 support : use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- Orinoco driver patches
- Conversion of the Orinoco driver version 0.9b to the new driver API (WE-13).
- Add some Wireless Events and Scanning (WE-14) to the Orinoco driver version 0.9b.
- Moustafa A. Youssef has updated my patches to the Orinoco driver v0.11b (both WE-13 and WE-14 support : convert to new API and add Wireless Events and Scanning).
- Orinoco v0.13a patch : convert the Orinoco to the new API (WE-13), and add Wireless Events and Scanning (WE-14). Contributed by Jim Carter, based on the patch from Moustafa (see above). I didn’t yet test that patch.
- Orinoco v0.13d patch : convert the Orinoco to the new API (WE-13), and add Wireless Events and Scanning (WE-14). Contributed by Pavel Roskin, based on the patch from Moustafa (see above). Also include scanning support for Symbol firmwares (from Jesus Molina). [Already in v0.15rc1 and kernel 2.6.13-rc1]
- Orinoco WE-16 & WE-17 support : use the new iwspy support, export event capability. For orinoco-0.15rc1.
- Orinoco WE-16 & WE-17 support : use the new iwspy support, export event capability. For kernel 2.6.13.
- Orinoco WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size, use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- Other current driver patches (Prism54, IPW…)
- Prism54 WE-17 support : allow large scan requests, export event capability. For kernel 2.6.8. [Already in 2.6.10-rc1]
- Prism54 WE-17 support (missing bit from above). For kernel 2.6.13. [Already in 2.6.14-rc1]
- WE-17 support for the Atmel driver. For kernel 2.6.13. [Already in 2.6.14-rc1]
- WE-17 support for the wl3501 driver. For kernel 2.6.13. [Already in 2.6.14-rc1]
- Prism54 Bitrate in Scan support. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- Prism54 WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size, use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- Atmel WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size, use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- wl3501 WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size, use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- ipw2100 WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size, use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- ipw2200 WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size, use short/long retry. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- ipw2200 WE-21 additional support : modulation, generic power saving. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
- Obsolete wireless driver patches (wavelan, wavelan_cs, netwave_cs, ray_cs…)
- Update wavelan_cs to v23 : backport Pcmcia package fixes in the kernel. [Already in 2.5.3-pre2]
- Shell script and Patch to move old wireless drivers : move wavelan.c, wavelan_cs.c and netwave_cs.c to driver/net/wireless. [Already in 2.5.3-pre3]
- Additional fixed for wavelan_cs : fix trigraph warnings. [Already in 2.5.3-pre6]
- Update wavelan_cs to v23 + extra : backport Pcmcia package fixes in the kernel, fix trigraph warnings and fix watchdog message. [Already in 2.4.20-pre2]
- Conversion of the old Wavelan driver version 23 to the new driver API (WE-13). [Already in 2.5.6-pre1]
- Conversion of the old Wavelan_cs driver version 23 to the new driver API (WE-13). [Already in 2.5.6-pre1]
- Conversion of the Netwave_cs to the new driver API (WE-13). [Already in 2.5.6-pre1]
- The No Wires Needed driver has already been converted to the new driver API (WE-13) and has scanning support (WE-14).
- Trivial fix in wavelan : fix the watchdog message in the wavelan (ISA) driver. [Already in 2.4.20-pre2 and 2.5.37]
- Use new iwspy support (WE-16) in the old Wavelan ISA driver. [Already in 2.5.70]
- Use new iwspy support (WE-16) in the old Wavelan Pcmcia driver, plus cleanup backward compatibility stuff (which didn’t work anyway). [Already in 2.5.70]
- WE-17 support for the Netwave driver. For kernel 2.6.13. [Already in 2.6.14-rc1]
- WE-13/WE-17 support for the Raylink driver. For kernel 2.6.13. [Already in 2.6.14-rc1]
- Raylink WE-21 minimal support : fix ESSID size. For kernel 2.6.17-rc1.
All the drivers for Wireless LANs are listed in the Linux Wireless LAN Howto, and each section detail the level of Wireless Extension support.
If you are developping Wireless Extension support in your wireless driver, those few drivers are worth a look at :
- The Wavelan driver is the reference implementation of Wireless Extensions for pre-802.11 devices. It supports NWID, Channel, Sensitivity, Encryption key, stats and spy.
- The HostAP driver is the reference implementation of Wireless Extensions for 802.11b devices, and is the reference implementation for iwpriv functionality.
- The Aironet driver (version 1.4 and later from Ben) is an alternate reference implementation of Wireless Extensions for 802.11b devices. It implements fully WE-14 (Wireless Scanning and Wireless Events), and is different than HostAP.
- The Orinoco MPL/GPL driver version v0.14 or later is also an alternate reference implementation of Wireless Extensions for 802.11b devices. On the other hand, version v0.13 and earlier found in most places only support WE-12 (so no scanning and no events). The Orinoco driver tend to be easier to study than both the HostAP and the Aironet drivers.
Wireless Applications for Linux
The folowoing sections are applications that make use of Wireless Extensions :
Wireless Tools I personally maintain
- Download my wireless tools package (iwconfig, iwspy, iwpriv).
- The Pcmcia package uses wireless tools for integrated wireless setting in wireless.opts.
Security and Association daemons
- Jouni Malinen has developped wpa_supplicant, a complete implementation of the WPA protocol, providing enhanced privacy and security. This tools also provide complete management to the wireless interface, with automatic association to Access Points.
- Open1x is an Open Source implementation of the 802.1x protocol, providing enhanced privacy and security. Recent version add support for the WPA and WPA2 protocols.
- Lennart Poettering has written IfPlugd/WapRoamd, a pair of deamons that automatically roam between Access Points. It can use wireless event support to detect AP handoff and can then automatically select an new AP and configure the link.
- Joshua D. Abraham has written Getwifi, a bash script that automatically connect to the best network, including WEP.
GUI configuration and management tools
- Dan Williams has developped NetworkManager, a complete network configuration and autodiscovery package used in RedHat and Fedora, which fully support Wireless Extensions including Scanning.
- Stefan Winter has developped KWiFiManager, a very complete set of KDE tools using Wireless Extensions (configurator, link monitor) and compatible with many drivers/cards. It is the successor to the famous KOrinoco. The latest version has scanning support.
- Olivier Blin has written netapplet, the network manager and configurator for the Mandrake distribution.
- Robert Love & Joe Shaw have written netapplet, a network switcher application integrated in the SuSE distribution.
- Ahmad Baitalmal is writting Wifi Radar, an Python/PyGTK2 application that scan for network, edit wireless configuration and allow you to connect to one network.
- Olivier Rossiny is developping NetSwitch, a set of tools (command line, GTK) that allow you to manage wireless profiles and scan for networks.
- Don Park is writting ApRadar, a GTK application that use scanning support to show a graphical list of reachable Access Point and to allow the user to easily connect to one wireless network at the click of a button.
- Christopher TenHarmsel and his friends have developped Kifi, another KDE wireless configuration tool, that use scanning support to show a graphical list of reachable Access Point and to allow the user to easily connect to one wireless network at the click of a button.
- Helge Oyvind wrote WaveSelect, a KDE wrapper around iwlist and iwconfig.
- Eugene Berta wrote Netchoose, a GUI (QT based) wrapper for helping users who need to connect to multiple wireless network.
- Edward A. Falk has developped a new version of Netcfg, which main features are the support of wireless configuration and network profiles (implemented through Pcmcia schemes). Very nice !
- Sujal Shah has developped GWireless, a Gnome link monitor and configurator for 802.11b cards using Wireless Extensions.
- Tom Waters has written xwconfig, a GTK version of iwconfig.
- Paolo Cavone has written Mobydik.tk, a TCL wrapper around Wireless Tools.
- Luis Peralta has written a web based Wireless Configurator and a Link Quality Checker, which are perl wrappers around my Wireless Tools.
Wireless monitor tools
- Werner Schulte has developped QWireless, a program for the X86 and ipaq allowing to analyse wireless lans.
- Jan Morgenstern has written wavemon, a very nice curses application to monitor your card using Wireless Extensions.
- Green Bay Professional Packet Radio has a modified version of my Wireless Tools for the Symphony, with nice colors and bar graphs, to allow better setup of Wireless Links.
- Jim Carter has written a APHunter, a Perl wrapper around my Wireless Tools using curses to shows the result of Wireless Scans.
- Matthias Reif has written KWaveControl, a KDE application that display current setting and statistics of Wireless cards.
- Tobias Rundström did wvlanmon, a link monitor for Gnome using Wireless Extensions.
- Mark C. Langston has developed a very nice Enlightenment epplet, E-Wireless, that monitor link quality, of course using Wireless Extensions…
- Carsten Schuermann has developed a very nice Window Maker dockapp, WMWave, that monitor link quality, signal strength and noise level.
- Gtnx Sjoerd has developped a signal strength plug-in that fits into the GKrellM monitoring system.
- Trent Trautman has developped a signal strength plug-in that fits into the Entity XML framework.
- Tim Ehlers has modified xosview to monitor the wireless link.
- Jim Binkley has developped a wireless signal strength monitor. The Linux version uses the Wireless Extensions and has been designed for the iPaq.
- David Koski has written a Java Applet to monitor the Wireless Link.
- Gabriel Cain made a compact X11 wireless monitor.
- Rob Flickenger made a Perl script that display link quality in color on your teminal.
- Ico Doornekamp has written a simple applet that show basic network info and also wireless signal strength.
- Ico Doornekamp has written a simple applet that show basic network info and also wireless signal strength.
- Jerome Kerdreux has written Gtk-Womitor, an applet that show graphs of signal strength.
- P. Lutus has written NetworkControl, an utility to monitor network interfaces statistics and signal strenght.
- Jess Mahan wrote WM WiFi, a small Window Maker dockapp that monitor link quality, bit rate and current access point.
- Steven Hanley has developed a small package using Wireless Extensions to get the statistics at the other end of the wireless link (remote stats), with a nice graphical user interface, and which can be docked in your window manager.
This section is far from exhaustive, as most stumber application directly use monitor mode (some are listed later on…).
- Eric Maland and friends have developped a package to log discovered ESSID (and related info) of wireless networks in range.
- Jeffrey Strube has written AP Hopper, a program that automatically hops between access point, check DHCP and log the result.
- Paul Fox has developped a shtumble, tiny shell script stumbler.
- Iván Forcada Atienza has developped a graphical stumbling package which generates files compatible with NetStumbler.
Other packages using Wireless Extensions
- Petr Baudis has modified the Hotplug scripts to better integrate ifrename with ifplugd.
- Moustafa Youssef has developped a general API for interfacing with Wireless Extensions.
- Jim Binkley has developed a version of Mobile IP which is wireless aware. His Linux implementation uses the Wireless Extensions…
- AvantCom has created a 802.11 SNMP MIB which expose Wireless Extension information through SNMP.
Application specific to a driver
Those applications are partially using Wireless Extension, but also require specific driver APIs, making them only useful if you use the specific wireless driver (HostAP in this case) :
- WeWimo monitor the HostAP driver and clients associated to it in a web interface.
- wifimon monitor the HostAP driver and clients associated to it in a text terminal.
- Thanos Panousis and Thimios Dimopoulos have developped WiFiAdmin, a web front end to configure the HostAP driver and some other drivers.
Useful applications not using Wireless Extensions
Now, a few other applications that don’t use Wireless Extensions but are useful anyway :
- Jon Sevy has developped a Java-based AirPort/RG1000 Base Station configurator, that should please some people not owning a Mac… He has also done Wireless Link Test Utility and a Wireless Host Monitoring Utility for the Airport/RG1000.
- Johan Almqvist has developed a perl script to configure a D-Link DWL-1000AP Access Point via SNMP.
- Sujal Shah is writting a Gnome application to configure a Linksys WAP11 Access Point via SNMP.
- Ori Pessach has done a Gnome application to configure a Linksys WAP11 Access Point via SNMP, which really works.
- Roman Festchook has writen a set of ncurses based utilities to configure via SNMP protocol Access Points based on Atmel chipset (the case for most Intersil clone vendors), and also Access Points based on NWN chipset.
- Mark C. Langston has written some Perl script to check the status of the Airport Base Station.
- Tom Z. Meinlschmidt has developped an impressive package allowing to monitor a Wavelan Access Point using SNMP.
- Greg Hankins has done a similar monitor for the RoamAbout Access Points.
- V.Melnik has developped a package to monitor a Wavelan Access Point using SNMP and store the result in a mySQL database.
- Dominic Kilbride has developped a package to monitor various Access Points using SNMP and store the result in a mySQL database and show graphical results.
- Kirby Kuehl has developped a package discovering Wireless Access points from their wired side. It basically check MAC address that match known Access Point manufacturers.
- Jan.B.Fernquist has developped PrismStumbler, discovering networks in ranges with PrismII cards.
- AirSnort is the very famous tools that allow you to crack WEP encryption and snoop 802.11 traffic. Use only on your own network…
- Bruce Barnett has some tool to decode 802.11 frames.
- Mike Kershaw and friends have developped Kismet, a complete package for finding 802.11 cells and their characteristics and 802.11 traffic analysis (using the “monitor” mode of various cards).
- The iproute2 package, which allow to configure part of the Linux TCP/IP stack that ifconfig just can’t reach (original archive).
- The NetPerf benchmark. That’s the one I use, and I love it !
- MRTG seems an interesting tool to monitor the quality of TCP links (I need to try it…).
Wavelan, Orinoco and Wireless LANs – email@example.com
Updated 29 August 08
Copyright © 1996-2008 Jean Tourrilhes
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