wpa_supplicant claims AP doesn't do WPA

Dan Williams dcbw
Thu Dec 28 14:00:29 PST 2006

On Thu, 2006-12-28 at 17:01 +0000, Paul LeoNerd Evans wrote:
> [repost for the list]
> On Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 10:01:27PM -0500, Dan Williams wrote:
> > If your driver doesn't support returning the WPA IE in the scan results,
> > it's certainly not going to work with WPA and wpa_supplicant.  Smells
> > like a driver problem.
> > 
> > What driver are you using?  Does that driver really support WPA?  What
> > hardware version is your card?    
> Oh? I thought that was the point of wpa_supplicant? To do things in
> software that the hardware can't do..? So it wouldn't matter what the
> hardware driver natively supports. Or, do I have the wrong end of the
> stick here?

No, you've got it a bit confused.  WPA requires a combination of
hardware support, firmware support, and software support.  If you don't
have the right combination of all of those, you can't do WPA.  Some
cards will _never_ do WPA at all, because the manufacturer just hasn't
updated the firmware, but the hardware can support it.  Others will
never do WPA because the _hardware_ itself cannot support WPA.

Sometimes the hardware just can't do WPA even if the software can.
Other times, the hardware can if you have the right software and

> > Is it prism or prism2 based?  What
> > firmware version are you using?  Linksys has a long history of calling
> > something the same product name but switching out chipsets; you may not
> > have the card you think you do.    
> OK, how might I find out these details? I presume some poking in proc?
> I note it doesn't appear in lspci, though I understand that's normal for
> PCMCIA cards.

No, you'll need to use:

pccardctl info

or 'lshal' to get the PCCard/PCMCIA vendor and product ID out of the
card.  PCMCIA is not PCI-based.

> > Do an lsmod and lets see what driver the kernel is binding to your card.    
> The following I guess:
> orinoco_cs             15556  1 
> orinoco                34388  1 orinoco_cs
> hermes                  7200  2 orinoco_cs,orinoco
> pcmcia                 33788  1 orinoco_cs
> > If you're using 'orinoco' drivers, they don't do WPA.  You might try
> > blacklisting the orinoco ones and using the 'hostap' driver instead.    
> OK.. I'll build myself another kernel with hostap in there as well, and
> try that out. Thanks for the suggestion

Before you do this, lets make sure your card is supported by the hostap
driver.  Which requires getting the PCMCIA vendor and product IDs out of
the card.


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