RELENG_7 and atheros ....

Kevin Oberman oberman at
Wed Nov 28 12:01:45 PST 2007

> Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 09:24:29 -0600
> From: Eric Schuele <e.schuele at>
> Sender: owner-freebsd-current at
> On 11/15/2007 22:08, Eric Schuele wrote:
> > Hello,
> > 
> > I'm having some strangeness with respect to my atheros based card on
> > releng_7.  This may not sound like much... but together they concern me.
> >  I'm wondering if anyone has seen similar things.
> > 
> >   1) I've seen two panics while trying to bring the interface up over
> > the last few weeks.
> >   2) I get disconnected every night from my wireless router at home.
> > 99% of the time it happens after I've gone to bed.  Once or twice...
> > while I was sitting in front of it.  It just disassociates?
> >   3) When I am at the office,  my card will *never* obtain an ip address
> > from our DHCP server upon first booting.  I must *always* down the
> > interface, kill dhclient, bring the interface up and start dhclient.
> > 
> As a follow up for the list...
> I rebuilt world and kernel on Nov 22nd.  Since this time I have not
> noticed the above mentioned issue #3.  I did not dig through any commit
> logs... but appears as though something changed to fix it.
> Fwiw...
> Note that I did make a change to fix item #2 on the advice of another
> FreeBSD'er.  That change did not affect item #3.  I did still see item
> #3 occurring until I rebuilt on the 22nd.
> Thanks to all.

I will also confirm the exact same experience. With more recent kernels I
no longer see problem #3. I just associate on boot.

I still need to disable background scanning to maintain stable

If there is only a single AP available, I lose association on occasion,
usually about 10-15 times a day and re-establish the association in
under 10 seconds. It's only slightly annoying.

If there are multiple APs with the same SSID, things are much worse. The
network seems to die every 5 minutes and take long intervals to
re-associate, making the network pretty useless.

In either case, 'ifconfig ath0 -bgscan' makes things work, again, at
some cost to stability if I move around while online, but I don't tend
to do this.

Some day, when I have a bit of time, I will collect debug information on
this so that Sam or someone else who understands the code might be able
to track it down.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751
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