After shutdown/restart, ath10k sometimes stops receiving packets

Avery Pennarun apenwarr at
Fri Jun 13 02:37:03 PDT 2014

On Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 5:14 AM, Michal Kazior <michal.kazior at> wrote:
> On 13 June 2014 01:37, Avery Pennarun <apenwarr at> wrote:
>> We are experiencing a relatively-rare-but-not-rare-enough case which
>> has approximately these steps:
>> - run a wifi AP for a while with a station or two connected
>> - shut down hostapd (stations all get disconnected of course)
> Did you make sure you had no interface up and running? Did the
> hardware go through warm/cold reset?

No, I didn't see any logs about that.  The firmware seemed happy.

>> - restart hostapd (perhaps on another channel or with different settings)
>> After that, an external wifi sniffer can see beacons being transmitted
>> by the AP as expected, but all packets from stations trying to connect
>> are ignored.  In particular, Probe requests are not answered, and Auth
>> requests do not even receive a wifi ACK.
> This means WMI is working (each beacon is submitted via WMI). This
> also implies CE works.
> But if there are no ACKs this suggest HW must've been instructed to
> ignore frames somehow.
> (..) After taking a look I think wmi_vdev_start_request_cmd isn't
> really handled properly for 10.x firmware. I'm guessing this ABI issue
> might be the problem.
> 10.x firmware has:
>   struct wmi_channel chan;
>   __le32 vdev_id;
>   __le32 requestor_id;
>   __le32 num_noa_descriptors;
>   __le32 disable_hw_ack;
>   struct wmi_p2p_noa_descriptor noa_descriptors[2];
> disable_hw_ack overlaps with dtim_period. Perhaps that's the problem.
> It's intriguing how this hasn't manifested itself until now..

I'm not sure what you mean by overlapping...

>> Restarting hostapd doesn't fix it.  However, rmmoding and modprobing
>> the ath10k_pci module does fix it.
> Did the hardware go through warm or cold reset?

Reloading the driver, I believe it does a warm reset.  I know it's not
doing a cold reset because that tends to crash my machine :)

>> This is with a mindspeed c2k host processor, 3.2 kernel, and modules
>> backported by backports from kvalo's ath-next as of
>> v3.15-rc1-237-gd9bc4b9 (roughly 2014-04-29).  Firmware is
>> 10.1.467.2-1.
>> Has anyone else seen this?  Any suggestions where to look to narrow
>> down the problem?
> I haven't seen anything like this.
> For one reloading the driver may tickle cfg80211 and regulatory
> updates but I just can't imagine how that could cripple ACKing.

Just to clarify, reloading the driver fixes it, it doesn't cripple it.
It's restarting hostapd that seems to cripple it.

>> I can't exactly produce it on demand yet, but if someone suggests
>> things to look for when it happens, it occurs often enough that I
>> should be able tor run those things.
> You might want to print out the vdev_start command's dtim_period
> (which overlaps with 10.x's disable_hw_ack) before it is sent to fw
> and compare the value for when ACKing works and when it doesn't.

Do you mean printing the dtim_period we are sending to the firmware,
from inside vdev_start(), and watching to see if it is ever different
than expected?



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