Use wpa_cli as NetworkManager replacement

Dan Williams dcbw
Mon May 17 21:13:09 PDT 2010

On Sat, 2010-05-15 at 16:49 -0600, Curtis Larsen wrote:
> Dan Williams wrote:
> > On Wed, 2010-05-12 at 01:03 -0600, Curtis Larsen wrote:
> >> Hello,
> >>
> >> I am not a developer, just a user that has several reasons to replace
> >> ubuntu's network manager with something like wpa_supplicant with wpa_cli:
> >
> > As an NM developer I'm interested in why it doesn't work well for you.
> >
> >> - It connects faster (In general I would say 2-3x faster than ubuntu NM)
> >
> > This part is interesting, but recently we've made some improvements here
> > if you're carrying the patch that doesn't trigger a rescan if a scan has
> > been done in the last 5 seconds.
> Where do I get this patch?  I am willing to try.  I am using ubuntu 
> 10.0.4 LTS.

I carry it in the Fedora wpa_supplicant packages right now, but the
tradeoff of the quicker connections the patch provides is that if you're
using wifi on a forklift that moves quickly between access points, the
scan list may not have the most up-to-date APs.  I think that's a fair
tradeoff for Fedora, but it's not for some other users.

This patch may only apply to wpa_supplicant 0.6.x though.  Not sure
which version you're using.  0.7.x has different logic to optimize
roaming which may make this patch obsolete.

> >> - It lets me specify 5Ghz band = double throughput at work.
> >
> > Hmm; I actually wasn't aware that we could do this in the supplicant yet
> > (I've been waiting for it actually) and so if it's now there, I'd love
> > to add this capability to NetworkManager.
> Please add it.  It works great for me.  Jounie recently added it to 
> wpa_supplicant.  I think I am using version 0.7.1. or 0.7.2? with this 
> command:
> freq_list=5180 5200 5220 5240 5260 5280 5300 5320 5745 5765 5785 5805 5825

Yeah, I looked through the sources and since that's there now, we should
use this to lock a band.

> I have done detailed throughput testing and in my environment at work 
> this gives me consistently 2x better throughput besides allowing me to 
> troubleshoot either a 2.4ghz or 5ghz issue at my choosing.
> >> - It gives me text/debug output for troubleshooting.
> >
> > Have you tried --log-level=debug in recent versions of NM (which Ubuntu
> > may not ship yet unfortunately)?  What kind of output are you looking
> > for here?  There's also this:
> No ...haven't tried, and won't bother until it allows forcing 5Ghz.  If 
> you do add this feature to NM I would love to know when it is available.
> Win Vista, and Win7 do this now on a per SSID basis.  Mac OS still lacks 
> this ability.

You mean forcing the band on a per-SSID basis?  That's what I'd add, in
fact we've had the UI sitting around for a long time, just waiting for
the functionality to be added to wpa_supplicant.  Now that the
functionality is in the supplicant we can make NM use it.


> >
> >
> > especially the section on "Debugging WiFi Connections".
> Very nice.  Thanks for the info.
> Thanks,
> Curtis

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