kernel subsystems

Paresh Sawant paresh.sawant
Wed Jun 3 11:36:19 PDT 2009

Thanks for the information !

So the mac80211 subsystems could be utilized as a (driver) API to develop a
driver for a given chipset?

And what kind of details one would need to develop the driver using

- Paresh

On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 6:15 PM, Dan Williams <dcbw at> wrote:

> On Wed, 2009-06-03 at 10:58 +0530, Paresh Sawant wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > What is the difference in mac80211 and ieee80211 subsystems?
> mac80211 is a softmac stack, it performs all 802.11 management and data
> functions in software.
> ieee80211 is more of a helper library and doesn't implement much of the
> management function in software, leaving stuff like auth/assoc,
> beaconing, etc to the firmware.  As such, it's kind of "halfmac".
> > In future, nl80211 is going to replace the wext, then what is going to
> > be the  underneath subsystem?
> nl80211/cfg80211 will replace wext, yes.  They are independent of the
> underlying 802.11 stack, but are simply a mechanism to *configure* the
> parameters of that stack.  As such, nl80211/cfg80211 can be used with
> any driver.  There are proof-of-concept cfg80211 patches for orinoco
> cards (really popular old FullMAC cards) already, and it's expected that
> most of the drivers in the kernel will be ported over to cfg80211
> eventually.
> This will provide a consistent configuration interface, which is the
> huge problem with WEXT.  Every driver implements WEXT a little
> differently, leading to tons of workarounds in wifi control programs
> like wpa_supplicant and NetworkManager.  cfg80211 will fix all that by
> providing a WEXT compatbility layer, so all drivers that use cfg80211
> will work pretty much the same.
> Dan
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