Desired behaviour of 'ifconfig -alias' [ath and ifconfig parameter order]

Freddie Cash fcash at
Tue Feb 13 06:08:54 UTC 2007

On Mon, February 12, 2007 8:01 pm, Sam Leffler wrote:
> Freddie Cash wrote:
>> On Monday 12 February 2007 11:06 am, John Hay wrote:
>>> Also with the atheros driver I had problems in the past with some
>>>  parameters that did not like to be on a single commandline.
>> At least with the ath(4) driver, it all comes down to the order the
>>  options are written on the commandline.  Some options reset the
>> device, wiping out previous options, so you have to make sure those
>> are set first.  Took me awhile to figure that out, but it is
>> mentioned in the man page.
> So can someone actually provide an example?  I'm not aware of any
> interactions within the os.  There might be some corner cases in
> ifconfig due to the way it processes cmdn line parameters.

I remember back in the 5.3 days when I first got my Toshiba laptop
with an Atheros SuperG chipset onboard and was trying to get WEP
connection working, I had to specify the channel as the first option
on the ifconfig line.  Putting it anywhere else, especially after the
wepmode and wepkey options would cause the link to fail -- and none of
the wep options would be set, just the channel.  Using the exact same
options, but in a different order, would work.

Since switching to WPA, though, and configuring everything via
wpa_supplicant.conf, I haven't had any issues with this.  In fact, I
don't use ifconfig at all anymore.  A simple ifconfig_ath0="WPA DHCP"
is all I ever need ... along with a nice long wpa_supplicant.conf with
an entry for each of the wireless network I connect to.  (The FreeBSD
method of using WPA is soooooo much nicer than the Debian way.)

I'll play around with my laptop this week and see if I can reproduce
this on 6.2.

Freddie Cash
fcash at

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