[PATCH] Disable high bitrates for WPA negotiations

Jouni Malinen j
Sat Feb 9 02:27:26 PST 2013

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:56:12AM -0800, Christopher Wiley wrote:
> Temporarily disable "high" bitrates during association with a BSS.
> Users of wpa_supplicant can set disable_high_bitrates=1 in their
> interface config, which causes the driver to disable high bitrates on
> the interface during associations.  The user can then call over DBus via
> EnableHighBitrates() to re-enable high bitrates at their discretion.
> This is intended to facilitate staying at low bitrates all the way
> through DHCP negotiations and other one time initial connection setup
> steps.  Some setup processes, like WPA negotiation, can time out before
> the system rate control algorithm has a chance to wind down to sane
> rates.

I do have to agree with Felix on this one. It is difficult to see how
this would be the best approach for handling the issue. In general, I
have no problems in making sure the driver has all the information
available to it on the current state of the connection (and to large
extend, this should already be available to Linux kernel with the oper
state; DHCP could be handled separately if need be but even that could
be available based on current IP configuration).

Selecting actual TX rates (including filtering out some that may not be
expected to work for whatever reason) would fit better in the TX rate
control code or in the driver/802.11 stack (e.g., mac80211 could
potentially do this if for some reason we cannot change the rate control
algorithm easily).

I'm inclined not to apply this patch to wpa_supplicant. Instead, I would
recommend taking a look at improving the kernel side rate control
algorithms (e.g., net/mac80211/rc80211* and net/mac80211/rate.c in case
of mac80211-based drivers).

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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