bgscan not selecting best BSS

Matt Brown matt at
Mon Nov 23 17:12:01 EST 2020

I am trying to configure a device to connect to the best BSS where there are multiple BSS with the same SSID. I added the following configuration to my wpa_supplicant.conf file:

The following is a debug log snipit:
bgscan simple: scan result notification
wlan0: Radio work 'scan'@0x1f091680 done in 4.125345 seconds
wlan0: radio_work_free('scan'@0x1f091680): num_active_works --> 0
wlan0: Scan results matching the currently selected network
wlan0: 0: 11:11:11:11:11:11 freq=5785 level=-70 snr=22 est_throughput=390001
wlan0: 1: 22:22:22:22:22:22 freq=2437 level=-42 snr=47 est_throughput=65000
wlan0: Selecting BSS from priority group 5
wlan0: 0: 11:11:11:11:11:11 ssid='test1' wpa_ie_len=0 rsn_ie_len=20 caps=0x1531 level=-70 freq=5785
wlan0:    selected based on RSN IE
wlan0:    selected BSS 11:11:11:11:11:11 ssid='test1'

Digging into the code I noticed that the bgscan_simple_notify_scan() function in bgscan_simple.c returns 0 which leaves the BSS selection to the "existing BSS/ESS selection routine." The normal BSS selection that takes place in the wpa_supplicant_pick_network() function in events.c just picks the first BSS in the scan list that matches the correct SSID, encryption type, etc. This single BSS gets passed to wpa_supplicant_need_to_roam() to determine if roaming should occur. This means that if there are two BSS with the same SSID it will not make an intelligent selection between the two which is what I assumed would be happening with the bgscan configuration.

In my specific circumstance, this results in the 5GHz network being chosen as the "selected" BSS and then no roaming occurs even when the signal strength on the 2.4GHz network is far better.
Is this a bug or expected behavior? If this is expected I will probably move forward with implementing a new bgscan module that chooses the BSS based off signal strength, throughput, etc.

Matt Brown

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