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WI(4)                  FreeBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual                  WI(4)

     wi -- WaveLAN/IEEE, PRISM-II and Spectrum24 802.11DS wireless network

     device wi

     The wi driver provides support for wireless network adapters based around
     the Lucent Hermes, Intersil PRISM-II, Intersil PRISM-2.5, and Symbol
     Spectrum24 chipsets.  All four chipsets provide a similar interface to
     the driver.

     All host/device interaction is via programmed I/O.  Supported features
     include 802.11 and 802.3 frames, power management, BSS, IBSS, WDS and
     old-style Lucent ad-hoc operation modes.  Cards based on the Intersil
     PRISM-II and PRISM-2.5 chips also support a host-based access point mode
     which allows a card to act as a normal access point (with some assistance
     from the wi driver).  The Lucent Hermes and Symbol Spectrum24 chipsets do
     not contain this functionality.  PRISM-II and PRISM-2.5 chips do not sup-
     port the WDS functionality.

     The wi driver encapsulates all IP and ARP traffic as 802.11 frames, how-
     ever it can receive either 802.11 or 802.3 frames.  Transmit speed is
     selectable between 1Mbps fixed, 2Mbps fixed, 2Mbps with auto fallback,
     5.5Mbps, 8Mbps, or 11Mbps depending on your hardware.  The Lucent Wave-
     LAN/IEEE Silver and Gold cards as well as the Intersil and Symbol cards
     have support for WEP encryption.  The WaveLAN Gold as well as newer
     Intersil and Symbol cards support 104bit keys, the others only accept
     40bit keys.  The Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE Bronze cards do not support WEP at
     all.  To enable encryption, use the wicontrol(8) utility to set your
     keys, or use ifconfig(8) as shown below.

     By default, the wi driver configures the card for BSS operation (aka in-
     frastructure mode).  This mode requires the use of an access point (base

     The wi driver also supports a point-to-point mode where the ssid is
     ignored and stations can communicate amongst themselves without the aid
     of an access point.  Note that there are two possible point-to-point
     modes.  One mode, referred to as ``ad-hoc demo mode'', or ``legacy Lucent
     ad-hoc mode'', predates the IEEE 802.11 specification and so may not
     interoperate with cards from different vendors.  The standardized point-
     to-point mode is called IBSS (or confusingly just ad-hoc mode), but is
     not supported by cards with very old firmware revisions.  If your cards
     supports IBSS mode, it is recommended that you use it in preference to
     the ``ad-hoc demo mode'' in new installations.

     Cards based on the Intersil PRISM-II and PRISM-2.5 chips also have a
     host-based access point mode which allows the card to act as an access
     point (base station).  Access points are different than operating in IBSS
     mode.  They operate in BSS mode.  They allow for easier roaming and
     bridge all ethernet traffic such that machines connected via an access
     point appear to be on the local ethernet segment.

     For more information on configuring this device, see ifconfig(8).

     Cards supported by the wi driver come in a variety of packages, though
     the most common are of the PCMCIA type.  In many cases, the PCI version
     of a wireless card is simply a PCMCIA card bundled with a PCI adapter.
     The PCI adapters come in two flavors: true PCMCIA bridges and dumb PCMCIA
     bridges.  A true PCMCIA bridge (such as those sold by Lucent) will attach
     as a real PCMCIA controller.  The wireless card will then attach to the
     PCMCIA bus.  Wireless cards in PCMCIA slots may be inserted and ejected
     on the fly.

     A dumb bridge, on the other hand, does not show up as a true PCMCIA bus.
     The wireless card will simply appear to the host as a normal PCI device
     and will not require any PCMCIA support.  Cards in this type of adapter
     should only be removed when the machine is powered down.

     The following cards are among those supported by the wi driver:

     Card                                  Chip          Bus
     3Com AirConnect 3CRWE737A             Spectrum24    PCMCIA
     3Com AirConnect 3CRWE777A             Prism-II      PCI
     ACTIONTEC HWC01170                    Prism-2.5     PCMCIA
     Addtron AWP-100                       Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Adtec Adlink/340C                     Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Agere Orinoco                         Hermes        PCMCIA
     Avaya Wireless                        Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Blue Concentric Circle WL-379F        PRISM-II      CF
     BreezeNet Wireless                    Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Buffalo WLI-PCM-S11                   Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Buffalo WLI-PCM-L11G                  Hermes        PCMCIA
     Buffalo WLI-CF-S11G                   Prism-II      CF
     Cabletron RoamAbout                   Hermes        PCMCIA
     Compaq Agency NC5004                  Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Compaq WL100                          Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Compaq WL110                          Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Compaq WL200                          Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Contec FLEXLAN/FX-DS110-PCC           Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Corega PCC-11                         Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Corega PCCA-11                        Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Corega PCCB-11                        Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Corega CGWLPCIA11                     Prism-II      PCI
     Dell TrueMobile 1150                  Hermes        PCMCIA
     Dlink DWL520                          Prism-2.5     PCI
     Dlink DWL650                          Prism-2.5     PCMCIA
     ELSA XI300                            Prism-II      PCMCIA
     ELSA XI800                            Prism-II      CF
     EMTAC A2424i                          Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Ericsson Wireless LAN CARD C11        Spectrum24    PCMCIA
     Farallon Skyline                      Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Gemtek WL-311                         Prism-2.5     PCMCIA
     Hawking Technology WE110P             Prism-2.5     PCMCIA
     Home Wireless Networks                Prism-II      PCMCIA
     IBM High Rate Wireless                Hermes        PCMCIA
     ICOM SL-1100                          Prism-II      PCMCIA
     I-O DATA WN-B11/PCM                   Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Intel PRO/Wireless 2011               Spectrum24    PCMCIA
     Intersil Prism II                     Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Intersil Mini-PCI                     Prism-2.5     PCI
     Linksys Instant Wireless WPC11        Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Linksys Instant Wireless WPC11 2.5    Prism-2.5     PCMCIA
     Linksys Instant Wireless WPC11 3.0    Prism-3       PCMCIA
     Lucent WaveLAN                        Hermes        PCMCIA
     Melco Airconnect                      Prism-II      PCMCIA
     NANOSPEED ROOT-RZ2000                 Prism-II      PCMCIA
     NDC/Sohoware NCP130                   Prism-II      PCI
     NEC CMZ-RT-WP                         Prism-II      PCMCIA
     NEC PK-WL001                          Prism-II      PCMCIA
     NEC PC-WL/11C                         PRISM-II      PCMCIA
     Netgear MA401                         Prism-II/2.5  PCMCIA
     NTT-ME 11Mbps Wireless LAN            Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Planex GeoWave/GW-NS110               Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Planex GW-NS11H                       Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Proxim Harmony                        Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Proxim RangeLAN-DS                    Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Samsung MagicLAN SWL-2000N            Prism-II      PCMCIA
     SMC 2602 EZ Connect (3.3V)            Prism-II      PCI or PCMCIA
     SMC 2632 EZ Connect                   Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Socket Low Power WLAN-CF              Prism-II      CF
     Sony PCWA-C100                        Lucent        PCMCIA
     Symbol Spectrum24                     Spectrum24    PCMCIA
     Symbol LA-4100                        Spectrum24    CF
     TDK LAK-CD011WL                       Prism-II      PCMCIA
     Toshiba Wireless LAN Card             Prism-II      PCMCIA
     U.S. Robotics Wireless Card 2410      Prism-II      PCMCIA

     Several vendors sell PCI adapters built around the PLX Technology 9050 or
     9052 chip.  The following such adapters are supported or expected to

     3Com AirConnect 3CRWE777A (3.3V)
     Belkin F5D6000 (a rebadged WL11000P)
     Eumitcom WL11000P
     Global Sun Technology GL24110P (untested)
     Global Sun Technology GL24110P02
     LinkSys WDT11 (a rebadged GL24110P02)
     Netgear MA301
     US Robotics 2415 (rebadged WL11000P)

     The following examples utilize ifconfig(8) for simplicity, however,
     wicontrol(8) can also be used to set wireless parameters.

     Join an existing BSS network (ie: connect to an access point):

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00

     Join a specific BSS network with network name ``my_net'':

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_net

     Join a specific BSS network with WEP encryption:

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_net \
                   wepmode on wepkey 0x8736639624

     Join a Lucent legacy demo ad-hoc network with network name ``my_net'':

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_net \
                   mediaopt adhoc

     Create an IBSS network with network name ``my_net'':

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_net \
                   mediaopt ibss-master

     Note: The infrastructure for mediaopt ibss-master has not been committed

     Join an IBSS network with network name ``my_net'':

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_net \
                   mediaopt ibss

     Note: The infrastructure for mediaopt ibss has not been committed yet.

     Create a host-based access point (Prism only):

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_ap \
                   mediaopt hostap

     Create a host-based access point with WEP enabled (Prism only):

           ifconfig wi0 inet netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_ap \
                   wepmode on wepkey 0x1234567890 mediaopt hostap

     Create a host-based wireless bridge to fxp0 (Prism only):

           Add BRIDGE to the kernel config.
           ifconfig wi0 inet up ssid my_ap mediaopt hostap
           sysctl"wi0 fxp0"
           sysctl net.inet.ip.check_interface=0

     This will give you approximately the same functionality as an access

     wi%d: init failed  The WaveLAN card failed to become ready after an ini-
     tialization command was issued.

     wi%d: failed to allocate %d bytes on NIC  The driver was unable to allo-
     cate memory for transmit frames in the NIC's on-board RAM.

     wi%d: device timeout  The WaveLAN card failed to generate an interrupt to
     acknowledge a transmit command.

     an(4), arp(4), netintro(4), ifconfig(8), wicontrol(8)

     HCF Light programming specification,

     The wi device driver first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.

     The wi driver was written by Bill Paul <>.  This
     man page comes from OpenBSD.

     Different regulatory domains have different default channels for adhoc
     mode.  See ifconfig(8) for information on how to change the channel.  See
     wicontrol(8) for information on different regulatory domains.

     The Intersil Prism family of chips' host-based access point mode has bugs
     for station firmware versions prior to 0.8.3.  The driver currently pre-
     cludes hostap functionality older station firmware.  The best version of
     the station firmware for the Prism family of chips seems to be 1.4.9.
     Some users of Prism-II and 2.5 based cards report that station firmware
     version 1.3.4 works better for them in hostap than 1.4.9.  Older versions
     of the Prism station firmware have a number of issues with hostap mode.
     The IBSS/adhoc mode appears to work well on station firmware 1.3.1 and
     later.  The IBSS/adhoc mode appears to have problems for some people with
     older versions of station firmware.

     Lucent cards prior to firmware version 6.0.4 do not support IBSS mode.
     These cards support only the pre-802.11 mode known as ``demo ad-hoc
     mode'' which does not interoperate with stations in IBSS mode.

     Not all the new messages are documented here, and many of them are indi-
     cations of transient errors that are not indications of serious problems.

     WL200 PCI wireless cards are based on a Cirrus Logic CL-PD6729 bridge
     chips glued to an intersil prism-II pcmcia chipset w/o the PC Card form
     factor being present.  These chips are special and require special care
     to use properly.  One must set hw.pcic.pd6729_intr_path="2" in
     /boot/loader.conf.  This tells the pccard system to use PCI interrupts
     for this odd beast.  It is not possible to know automatically which kind
     of interrupts to use.  OLDCARD devices (pcic and card) support this

FreeBSD 4.10                      May 2, 2002                     FreeBSD 4.10


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