Setting per-frame tx rate for frames injected in raw tx mode

Ben Greear greearb at
Tue May 10 09:28:10 PDT 2016

On 05/09/2016 11:11 PM, Raj Joshi wrote:
> Hi all,
> For a research project, I need to inject frames in monitor mode and
> have them sent out with rate settings as set in the radiotap header -
> basically setting per-frame tx rate. I have tried doing so, but the
> frame is transmitted at a basic rate with 802.11a instead of a VHT
> rate as set in the radiotap. Following are the setup and methodology
> details. Sorry about email length; but wanted to provide as much
> relevant information.
> ---------------
> Setup Info
> ---------------
> * x86-64 board running Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS
> * Chipset: QCA9880 hw2.0 with 3 x 3 antennas
> * Kernel: 3.8.0-29-generic x86_64
> * Firmware: Initially QCA's obtained via
> After experiencing crashes,
> later changed to one from CT ( | Both
> the firmwares support raw-mode.
> * ath10k: (snapshot of commit
> 7de1931eec121045e4e35d0b519ce8bad9b10b51 | Wed Mar 23 14:27:35 2016
> +0200)
>   => backport generated using backports.git
> (
> backports-20160122-0-ga91a3e6. Backporting was not clean; had to fix a
> few compile errors due to missing files by manually copying those
> files.
> -------------------
> Methodology
> -------------------
> * Setup up a hostapd 802.11ac AP on one of the boards with 80 MHz
> channel width and correctly specified center frequencies.
> * Setup monitor mode on another board for sniffing traffic on the same
> 80 MHz channel width.
> * Connect an 802.11ac capable laptop (Windows/Ubuntu) and exchange
> data frames with the AP | Capture them on the sniffer board (with all
> the VHT info in radiotap) so that they could be used as reference to
> construct injection frame.
> * Now shutdown the AP and change the interface on the AP board to
> monitor mode. Re-load ath10k_core with rawmode=1 and then ath10k_pci
> as well. Inject one of the captured frame with radiotap VHT rate info
> into the monitor interface and use the sniffer to check if it was
> transmitted.
> * The firmware (QCA crashed in this case => couldn't
> understand the firmware crash dump. Changed the firmware to CT
> * Now the frame is transmitted and detected by the sniffer. However,
> the radio information via radiotap shows that it was sent with a basic
> rate of 802.11a.
> * Tried for both encrypted (WPA2) and non-encrypted frames. Result is the same.
> --------------------------------
> Other Considerations
> --------------------------------
> * The raw tx patch: As suggested on the CT firmware page, I looked
> into the so called "out-of-tree" raw tx patch
> ( and
> tried to reconcile it with the current ath10k source. Apparently other
> than changes to cmd_tx.len,  the suggested changes in the patch are
> either already in place by use of 'txmode' variable or they are no
> more relevant with the new source code. For my non-encrypted frame, I
> got my custom ASCII string inside the frame correctly transmitted and
> so I 'believe' the changes to cmd_tx.len are no more required due to
> correct msdu->len. Thus, it seems that this patch is no more necessary
> and that this patch has nothing to do with correct tx rate setting.
> * QoS versus non-QoS: Both of my sample injection frames are QoS data
> with radiotap on top of it. I couldn't find a way to disable QoS and
> it seems that it is not required either as there is no length issue
> anymore as was discussed in the raw tx patch discussion; my frame is
> transmitted whole and correct.
> * VHT Parsing in Radiotap: I have double checked that my
> net/mac80211/tx.c has the relevant updated code wrt parsing of VHT
> rate information
> (
> * Disabling A-MSDU: I didn't have to do this as I could resolve my
> firmware crash by switching to the CT firmware.
> * Using the ath10k master development branch: I also tried backporting
> master of,
> but compilation of backported code failed due to lack of some methods
> such as nla_put_net64, nla_put_be64, etc. in include/net/netlink.h of
> my stock kernel headers (I believe). So I am not sure if things have
> changed since the Mar 23 2016 snapshot of ath10k github repo and now
> that rate is correctly set for VHT raw tx injection.

There is no way to specify the TX rate for individual frames with
CT firmware, nor with any other firmware that I am aware of.

This is probably something I could fix, but it would be a fair bit of
work, and would require even more changes to the ath10k driver, so
at best you would have to use my kernel tree...


Ben Greear <greearb at>
Candela Technologies Inc

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