After sys/net80211 changes in r198931 laptop is no longer associating with AP

Sam Leffler sam at
Sat Nov 7 03:49:36 UTC 2009

Kevin Oberman wrote:
>> Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2009 15:24:59 +0100
>> From: Paul B Mahol <onemda at>
>> Sender: owner-freebsd-current at
>> On 11/5/09, Alexandre "Sunny" Kovalenko <gaijin.k at> wrote:
>>> It seems that 8.0 discussion is still going on on @current... if I
>>> should have posted this on @stable, please, feel free to chastise me as
>>> appropriate.
>>> After updating to r198831 my laptop no longer associates with either of
>>> two APs I have. Rolling back just 'sys/net80211' to r198443 fixes the
>>> problem.
>>> Working system:
>>> FreeBSD 8.0-RC1 FreeBSD 8.0-RC1 #0
>>> r198443M: Sat Oct 24 14:03:30 EDT 2009
>>> root at  i386
>>> Non-working system:
>>> FreeBSD 8.0-RC2 FreeBSD 8.0-RC2 #0
>>> r198931: Wed Nov  4 20:56:16 EST 2009
>>> root at  i386
>>> APs are is:
>>> SSID/MESH ID    BSSID              CHAN RATE   S:N     INT CAPS
>>> AP_SSID         00:1f:33:3b:xx:xx    3   54M -68:-96  100 EP   RSN WPS
>>> WME
>>> AP_SSID         00:1f:90:cb:xx:xx    8   54M -73:-96  100 EPS  RSN WPA
>>> ATH
>>> Relevant piece of wpa_supplicant.conf is:
>>> ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
>>> ctrl_interface_group=wheel
>>> eapol_version=2
>>> network={
>>>   ssid="AP_SSID"
>>>   scan_ssid=1
>>>   priority=1
>>>   proto=WPA
>>>   key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
>>>   psk="Really secure something"
>>> }
>>> APs are set not to broadcast SSID, but enabling broadcast does not
>>> change much.
>>> Running wpa_supplicant with -d shows that it could not match AP_SSID.
>>> If there is anything else I can provide, please, let me know.
>> What driver are you using?
>> Looking into net80211 svn log for that time period I only see mesh hacks ...
> I am seeing exactly the same issue. Atheros 5212 with a non-broadcast
> SSID. Similar wpa_supplicant.conf including 'scan_ssid=1'. 'ifconfig
> wlan0' shows no ssid. Every time I boot my laptop at home, I need to
> enter 'ifconfig wlan0 ssid MySSID'. As soon as I do this, it immediately
> associates correctly.
> This was never a problem when I was running V7.0. Again, it only is an
> issue when I am associating with my non-broadcast SSID at home. When at
> work or traveling where the SSID is broadcast, wpa_supplicant works just
> fine.
> If I ever get more time, I'll try to run wpa_supplicant with gdb and see
> what is happenning, but I may  not get a chance any time soon.

I believe your problem is unrelated.  I traced it to wpa_supplicant not
doing the right thing--it doesn't pass the ssid's of ap into the code
that issues scan requests so it's not possible for the 802.11 stack to
send directed probe request frames (to elicit a response from the ap
hiding it's ssid).  You can verify this by sniffing packets during a
scan.  I have no idea why it works for you on 7.x as that code is
woefully less capable than what's in 8.x.

Fixing wpa_supplicant request architectural changes to the code.  I
can't recall if Jouni did this is in his devel branch.


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