ath device appears broken

Sam Leffler sam at
Thu Jun 14 05:05:12 UTC 2007

Steve Kargl wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 13, 2007 at 09:41:21PM -0700, Sam Leffler wrote:
>> Steve Kargl wrote:
>>> I updated a 23 May 07 kernel and world to today sources,
>>> and ath0 no longer works.  The first problem is that I
>>> do not use modules and modules are not built.  When I
>>> boot up, the console shows
>>> ieee80211_load_module: load the wlan_scan_sta module by hand for now.
>>> Great, I don't have a wlan_scan_sta module.  So, I can't get ath0
>>> to associate.
> I can't find anything relevent at the moment.  The 20070610 entry
> states:
>    Users must also, for the moment, kldload the wlan_scan_sta and/or
>    wlan_scan_ap modules if they use modules for wireless support.
> I don't use modules nor compile them.  Perhaps, a sentence is 
> missing that should direct people that don't use module to update
> their kernel config file?

Thanks, I'll add more explanation.  Short answer is the scanning support 
is now broken out into separate modules that you must either load or 
specify in your kernel config file.  wlan_scan_sta for sta mode 
operation.  wlan_sta_ap for ap mode operation.  This is comparable to 
how ciphers are split out into modules.

>>> The second problem is ifconfig appears to have lost channel
>>> setting capabilities.  I use this script to init my ath0 
>>> connect
>>> #! /bin/sh
>>> ifconfig ath0 inet
>>> ifconfig ath0 ssid "MySSID" mode 11g wepmode on
>>> #ifconfig ath0 ssid "MySIDD" mode 11g channel 11 wepmode on
>>> ifconfig ath0 wepkey 0xa_long_hex_number_goes_here deftxkey 1
>>> Note I have to comment out the line with "channel 11" in it.
>>> Furthermore, I see
>>> mobile:root[203] ifconfig ath0
>>> ath0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
>>>         ether 00:13:46:c4:5a:c1
>>>         inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
>>>         media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11g (OFDM/12Mbps)
>>>         status: associated
>>> ifconfig: unknown/undefined channel number 11
>> What does ifconfig ath0 list chan show?  What happens if you remove
>> "mode 11g"?  How did you get this far if you don't have wlan_scan_sta?
> I booted the old kernel so I could report the problem.

ifconfig is incompatible w/ the old kernel.  It now queries the kernel 
to get the channel list to figure out how to map between frequency and 
IEEE channel #.  Previously ifconfig had builtin rules that had to stay 
in sync w/ the kernel.  That was impractical.

I though I made ifconfig fall back to the old scheme if the ioctl failed 
but perhaps not.  This means, unfortunately, you cannot manipulate 
channels w/ the same ifconfig binary on RELENG_6 and HEAD kernels.


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