Virtual WiFi on Linux?

Jouni Malinen jkmaline
Wed Oct 19 14:26:51 PDT 2005

On Wed, Oct 19, 2005 at 10:17:36AM -1000, Jim Thompson wrote:

> the people who maintain linux seem to have chosen the 'hostap' stack,  
> and this is fine.
> They're free to do so.
> I think they made a mistake, but Free Software means that I can put  
> the madwifi 802.11 stack back in.

If you think that Linux kernel development works by putting a design in
and never modifying it, getting a bit better understanding on how this
works might help. If you (or anyone else) wants to use time on getting
their favorite design in, please do participate in discussions on netdev
mailing list and prepare patch submissions to add new functionality or
modify existing code.

> The Devicescape code uses the Atheros "vxworks" style HAL and a stub  
> driver.   There is essentially ZERO
> chance that Devicescape will be able to "open source" the rest of the  
> solution for Atheros chipsets.

I would assume we are talking about the same chance as the hal code in
madwifi being open sourced.

> The Devicescape code uses proprietary firmware (from Neesus) in  
> Prism2/2.5 chipsets in order to implement mBSSID.

I don't know where you got this idea, but it has nothing to do with real

> Does Devicescape have plans to implement support for another chipset  
> and release that?
> Or did we get a gift of code that will be very difficult to use in a  
> real-world situation?
> Perhaps Devicescape hopes that someone will make their released VAP  
> code work over the madwifi HAL, but this is
> essentially duplication of effort, since madwifi has it already (tho  
> its not released).

I would expect that there will be low-level drivers for whatever code
ends up being in IEEE 802.11. I don't think there were any claims of the
Devicescape IEEE 802.11 stack being usable as-is in a "real-world
situation". If you just want to use something now, you probably should
be looking somewhere else. If you are looking into participating in
development of the Linux networking code, I would suggest discussing
that topic on the netdev mailing list and taking a look at all the
currently available 802.11 implementations. Just complaining about
various things is not going to help Linux 802.11 development.

The goal here is to get a good IEEE 802.11 implementation into Linux
kernel tree and to provide input for discussion on what kind of
interfaces could be used and to provide code that can be merged into
implementation if that is seen useful. In some way, I think the main
contribution is in actually being willing to use time on working on the
merge of existing implementations and finally getting something useful
available in the Linux 2.6 tree.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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