The short and curlies of vista networking

Mel Flynn mel.flynn+fbsd.questions at
Thu Jun 18 17:41:07 UTC 2009

Does anyone have a how-to or pitfall summary on how to get a vista computer 
- accept DHCP offers from isc-dhcp30-server-3.0.7_4
- connect to WPA-PSK using *any* scheme supported by FreeBSD's hostapd
- give debugging information that makes sense to someone not speaking "if 
!not_working throw generic_catch_all_error" lingo

Of course, all of the above works for 3 FreeBSD machines and one Kubuntu 
laptop and DHCP used to work for an XP machine that died.

As for the DHCP issue, I've read about the broadcast flag, but all of the 
answers seem to indicate it's a routing/firewall issue on the gateway that 
prevents the broadcast packet to reach the vista machine, yet I see no blocked 
traffic to that effect in pflog. Only igmpv3 packets, which I'm passing now 
regardless, just in case MS uses this VPN protocol to verify the connection is 

There are "programs unavailable on linux/freebsd using vendor lock-in data 
formats" issues that prevent us from upgrading my future mother-in-law to a 
sensible OS, or we would.

Related info:
Vista, WPA-PSK: "The settings saved on this computer for the network do not 
match the requirements of the network."
Jun 18 08:56:24 gate dhcpd: DHCPDISCOVER from 00:c0:a8:f1:e8:c3 (Tyler-PC) via 
Jun 18 08:56:24 gate dhcpd: DHCPOFFER on to 00:c0:a8:f1:e8:c3 
(Tyler-PC) via bridge0
<repeat till vista gives up>

$ ifconfig bridge0
bridge0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
        ether 5a:34:0d:23:3f:71
        inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast << main
        inet netmask 0xffffffff broadcast   << route
        inet netmask 0xffffffff broadcast << proxy
        inet netmask 0xffffffff broadcast << mailhub
        inet netmask 0xffffffff broadcast << dns
        id 00:00:00:00:00:00 priority 32768 hellotime 2 fwddelay 15
        maxage 20 holdcnt 6 proto rstp maxaddr 100 timeout 1200
        root id 00:00:00:00:00:00 priority 32768 ifcost 0 port 0
        member: ral0 flags=143<LEARNING,DISCOVER,AUTOEDGE,AUTOPTP>
                ifmaxaddr 0 port 1 priority 128 path cost 370370
        member: rl0 flags=143<LEARNING,DISCOVER,AUTOEDGE,AUTOPTP>
                ifmaxaddr 0 port 3 priority 128 path cost 55


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