Help with wireless disassociation

Phil Black Phil.Black
Fri Jun 12 13:22:07 PDT 2009

The system I'm running on periodically gets Disassociated from the AP it
is connected to.  I've traced this into the driver code and discovered
it's due to a 'timeout' (ie, getting a DISASSOCIATE message from the AP
with reason code 4).  This is understandable since it happens after
about 5 minutes of inactivity.  I'm fine with this.

I've also trudged through the 802.11 and the source code wpa_supplicant,
as well as the driver code from my wireless card (ralink 2860).  If I'm
reading the spec right, everything is happening as it should.  I get a
disassociate event from the AP, propagate it up to wpa_supplicant, who
disassociates from the AP and drops keys, and then attempts to associate
again.  As part of this, wpa_supplicant sends a disconnect event to a
client program that controls DHCP.  When it get's the disconnect, it
brings down DHCP, and (when wpa_supplicant associates again) it brings
DHCP back up.

I would like to avoid this behavior altogether.  It seems like the
simplest solution is to just put some traffic over the link as soon as I
have an IP address (via pinging the router or something), but this seems
a bit overkill.  I've read a couple postings that seem to hint that it's
possible to just send some small/empty packages over the link to keep
the connection alive at the PHY layer.  Or is there some way to get
wpa_supplicant to provide a keep alive?

Hoping for some directional guidance,
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