Periodic re-authentication with wpa_supplicant

Julien Herzen j.herzen
Wed Nov 24 09:27:59 PST 2010

Hi all,

We are using wpa_supplicant in order to connect the nodes of a large
wireless testbed to the wired infrastructure of our university.
The connection works well. However, we are having troubles with the IT
department of the university because our nodes keep re-authenticating
themselves, which seems to consume a large amount of resources of the
We were using the Roboswitch driver for Broadcom chips, and for some reason
we thought that it was likely to be the cause of the problem. However, we
recently made some tests using Via chipsets ("wired" driver), and the
problem is still there.

The logs between two successive authentications look like that :

EAPOL authentication completed successfully

EAPOL: authWhile --> 0

RX EAPOL from 00:1d:a2:76:3a:67
EAPOL: Received EAP-Packet frame
EAPOL: SUPP_PAE entering state RESTART

The whole re-authentication process seems to be triggered by the "RX EAPOL"
event. Does anybody knows whether this means that it's actually triggered by
the infrastructure?
What is the role of "authWhile"? Can it be the event that triggers the

Apparently, this behavior does not happen with "regular" PCs. We are using
OpenWRT on embedded wireless boxes... might that make any difference?

Any help would be greatly appreciated !


Julien Herzen
Research Assistant
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