MirBSD manpage: wicontrol(8)

WICONTROL(8)             BSD System Manager's Manual              WICONTROL(8)


     wicontrol - configure WaveLAN/IEEE devices


     wicontrol [interface] [-olL] [-e 0|1] [-k key [-v 1|2|3|4]] [-x 0|1]
               [-t tx rate] [-n network name] [-s station name] [-c 0|1]
               [-q SSID] [-p port type] [-a access point density]
               [-m MAC address] [-d max data length] [-r RTS threshold]
               [-f frequency] [-A 1|2|3] [-D 0|1|2] [-E 0|1|2|3] [-F 0|1]
               [-M 0|1] [-P 0|1] [-R 1|3] [-S max sleep duration] [-T 1|2|3|4]


     The wicontrol command controls the operation of WaveLAN/IEEE wireless
     networking devices via the wi(4) and awi(4) drivers. Most of the parame-
     ters that can be changed relate to the IEEE 802.11 protocol which the
     WaveLAN implements. This includes the station name, whether the station
     is operating in ad-hoc (point to point) or BSS (service set) mode, and
     the network name of a service set to join (IBSS) if BSS mode is enabled.
     The wicontrol command can also be used to view the current settings of
     these parameters and to dump out the values of the card's statistics

     The interface argument given to wicontrol should be the logical interface
     name associated with the WaveLAN/IEEE device (wi0, wi1, etc...). If none
     is given, wi0 is assumed.

     The wicontrol command given without any additional flags retrieves the
     current card settings from the driver and prints them out.

     The options are as follows:

     -o      Display the statistics counters for the specified WaveLAN/IEEE
             interface. The statistics are updated about once a minute.

     -l      [Prism2 only] List associated stations if the card is in Host AP

     -L      List all available access points. Only the superuser may use this

     -e 0|1  Enable or disable WEP encryption. Permitted values are 0 (encryp-
             tion disabled) or 1 (encryption enabled). Encryption is off by

     -k key [ -v 1|2|3|4 ]
             Set WEP encryption keys. There are four default encryption keys
             that can be programmed. A specific key can be set using the -v
             flag. If the -v flag is not specified, the first key will be set.
             Encryption keys can either be normal text (i.e., "hello") or a
             series of hexadecimal digits (i.e., "0x1234512345"). For WaveLAN
             Silver cards, the key is restricted to 40 bits, hence the key can
             be either a 5-character text string or 10 hexadecimal digits. For
             WaveLAN Gold cards, the key can be up to 104 bits, which means
             the key can be specified as either a 13-character text string or
             26 hexadecimal digits. Either way, the key will be concatenated
             with a 24-bit IV to generate the seed for RC4. Note that
             wicontrol has no way to determine whether or not a card is capa-
             ble of using 104 bit WEP. Some cards accept a 104 bit key even
             though they only support 40 bit keys, in which case WEP encryp-
             tion will simply fail to work.

     -T 1|2|3|4
             Specify which of the four WEP encryption keys will be used to en-
             crypt transmitted packets.

     -x 0|1  [Prism2/Symbol only] Select between firmware-based (0) and
             software-based (1) WEP. Firmware-based WEP is the default.

     -t tx rate
             Set the transmit rate of the specified interface. The legal
             values for the transmit rate vary depending on the adapter type.
             The standard WaveLAN/IEEE NICs support a maximum transmit rate of
             2Mbps, and the 'Turbo' NICs support a maximum speed of 5.5Mbps.
             The WaveLAN/IEEE 'Turbo 11Mb', Prism-II and Prism-2.5 NICs sup-
             port a maximum speed of 11Mbps. The following table shows the le-
             gal transmit rate settings and the corresponding transmit speeds:

                   TX rate    NIC speed
                   1          Fixed Low (1Mbps)
                   2          Fixed Standard (2Mbps)
                   3          Auto Rate Select (High)
                   4          Fixed Medium (4Mbps)
                   5          Fixed High (5.5Mbps)
                   6          Auto Rate Select (Standard)
                   7          Auto Rate Select (Medium)
                   11         Fixed Turbo (11Mbps)

             The standard NICs support only settings 1 through 3. Turbo NICs
             support all the above listed speed settings. The default driver
             setting is 3 (auto rate select).

     -n network name
             Set the name of the service set (BSS or IBSS) or ad-hoc network
             that this station wishes to join. The network name can be any
             text string up to 30 characters in length. The default name is
             the empty string which should allow the station to connect to the
             first available access point.

     -s station name
             Sets the station name for the specified interface. The station
             name is used for diagnostic purposes. The Lucent WaveMANAGER
             software can poll the names of remote hosts.

     -c 0|1  Allow the station to create a service set (IBSS). Permitted
             values are 0 (do not create IBSS) and 1 (enable creation of
             IBSS). The default is 0.

             Note: Symbol cards and older Lucent/Prism firmware revisions do
             not support the creation of a service set.

     -q SSID
             Specify the name (SSID) of an IBSS to create on a given inter-
             face. The SSID can be any text string up to 32 characters long.
             If the card is in IBSS creation or hostap mode, the IBSS name is
             automatically set to be the same as the network name.

     -p port type
             Set the port type for a specified interface. The legal values for
             port type are 1 (BSS mode), 3 (ad-hoc mode), 4 (IBSS mode) and 6
             (hostap mode). The symbolic values "bss", "adhoc", "ibss", and
             "hostap" may also be used. The hostap mode is only available on
             Prism-II and Prism-2.5-based NICs. See below for an explanation
             of the various port types.

     -a access_point_density
             Specify the access point density for a given interface. Legal
             values are 1 (low), 2 (medium) and 3 (high). This setting influ-
             ences some of the radio modem threshold settings.

     -m MAC address
             Set the station address for the specified interface. The MAC
             address is specified as a series of six hexadecimal values
             separated by colons, e.g.: 00:60:1d:12:34:56. This programs the
             new address into the card and updates the interface as well.

     -d max_data_length
             Set the maximum receive and transmit frame size for a specified
             interface. The max data length can be any number from 350 to
             2304. The default is 2304.

     -r RTS threshold
             Set the RTS/CTS threshold for a given interface. This controls
             the number of bytes used for the RTS/CTS handshake boundary. The
             RTS threshold can be any value between 0 and 2047. The default is

     -f frequency
             Set the radio frequency of a given interface. The frequency
             should be specified as a channel ID as shown in the table below.
             The list of available frequencies is dependent on radio regula-
             tions specified by regional authorities. Recognized regulatory
             authorities include the FCC (United States), ETSI (Europe),
             France and Japan. Frequencies in the table are specified in MHz.

                   Channel   FCC       ETSI      France    Japan
                   1         2412      2412      -         2412
                   2         2417      2417      -         2417
                   3         2422*     2422*     -         2422
                   4         2427      2427      -         2427
                   5         2432      2432      -         2432
                   6         2437      2437      -         2437
                   7         2442      2442      -         2442
                   8         2447      2447      -         2447
                   9         2452      2452      -         2452
                   10        2457*     2457      2457      2457
                   11        2462*     2462      2462*     2462
                   12        -         2467      2467      2467
                   13        -         2472      2472      2472
                   14        -         -         -         2484*

             If an illegal channel is specified, the NIC will revert to its
             default channel, normally one of those indicated above with a *.
             Note that two stations must be set to the same channel in order
             to communicate. Note also that the channels do overlap; the
             bandwidth required for each channel is about 20MHz. When using
             multiple channels in close proximity it is suggested that chan-
             nels be separated by at least 25MHz. In the US, this means that
             only channels 1, 6, and 11 may be used simultaneously without in-

     -A 1|2|3
             [Prism2/Symbol only] Sets the authentication type for a given in-
             terface. Permitted values are 1 (Open System Authentication), 2
             (Shared Key Authentication) and 3 (104-bit Shared Key Authentica-
             tion). The 104-bit Shared Key Authentication mode is only avail-
             able on Symbol cards.

             When Open System Authentication is used, any station may associ-
             ate with an access point. In effect, no authentication is done.
             Note, however, that if WEP is enabled on the access point, sta-
             tions will be able to associate with the access point but will be
             unable to send and receive data packets unless they have the
             correct WEP key.
             With Shared Key Authentication, on the other hand, only stations
             that have the same WEP key as the access point may associate with
             The default is 1 (Open System Authentication).

             Note: It is not valid to enable Shared Key Authentication when no
             valid WEP keys have been defined.

     -D 0|1|2
             [Symbol only] Select the antenna diversity. Symbol cards have
             both a primary and auxiliary antenna. Either antenna may be used
             or the card can choose the antenna with the best reception.

                   Value    Diversity
                   0        Autoselect
                   1        Primary
                   2        Auxiliary

             The default is 0 (Autoselect).

     -E 0|1|2|3
             [Prism only] Sets the enhanced security mode. A value of 0 dis-
             ables enhanced security mode. A value of 1 hides the SSID name in
             beacon frames (defeats passive AP scanning). A value of 2
             prevents responses to probe packets with an unspecified SSID. A
             value of 3 enables both enhanced security modes. This option is
             only available on Prism cards with station firmware >= 1.6.3 and
             is really only useful in HostAP mode. The default is 0.

     -F 0|1  [Prism2 only] Enable or disable processing of 802.11b frames.
             When enabled, the wi(4) driver will process entire frames instead
             of stripping off the 802.11b header that is provided by the card.
             Only the superuser may use this option.

     -M 0|1  Enable or disable "microwave oven robustness" on a given inter-
             face. When enabled, smaller packets are used to reduce the impact
             of consumer microwave ovens that operate in the 2.4Ghz frequency
             range. This option may also be useful when there are 2.4Ghz cord-
             less telephones in the area. Only works in BSS mode and requires
             access point support. Requires Lucent firmware version >= 7.28.

     -P 0|1  Enable or disable power management on a given interface. Enabling
             power management uses an alternating sleep/wake protocol to help
             conserve power on mobile stations, at the cost of some increased
             receive latency. Power management is off by default. Note that
             power management requires the cooperation of an access point in
             order to function; it is not functional in ad-hoc mode. Also,
             power management is only implemented in Lucent WavePOINT firmware
             version 2.03 or later, and in WaveLAN PCMCIA adapter firmware
             2.00 or later. Older revisions will silently ignore the power
             management setting. Legal values for this parameter are 0 (off)
             and 1 (on).

     -R 1|3  Enable or disable roaming function on a given interface. The le-
             gal values are 1 (Roaming handled by firmware) and 3 (Roaming
             Disabled). The default is 1. This option is not available on Sym-
             bol cards.

     -S max sleep interval
             Specify the sleep interval to use when power management is en-
             abled. The max sleep interval is specified in milliseconds. The
             default is 100.

Explanation of port types

     There are five modes the NIC can operate in:

           BSS mode
                   Also known as infrastructure mode, this is used when asso-
                   ciating with an access point, through which all traffic
                   passes. If no service set is specified via the -n flag, the
                   NIC will associate with whichever access point has the
                   strongest signal. In general, it is a good idea to specify
                   a service set to prevent possible hijacking of the associa-

           ad-hoc mode
                   More accurately known as "ad-hoc demo mode". This mode does
                   not require an access point; the NIC communicates with oth-
                   er ad-hoc stations within range on a peer-to-peer basis.
                   This mode is not specified by the IEEE 802.11 standard and
                   there may be problems interoperating with NICs manufactured
                   by different vendors.

           IBSS mode
                   Also known as IEEE ad-hoc mode or peer-to-peer mode. This
                   is the standardized method of operating without an access
                   point. Stations associate with a service set created by an
                   IBSS master (see below). However, actual connections
                   between stations are peer-to-peer as in ad-hoc mode. Lucent
                   firmware version 6.06 or higher, Prism2 firmware 0.8.0 or
                   higher, or Symbol firmware version 2.0.0 or higher is re-
                   quired for IBSS mode.

           IBSS master
                   Also know as Host IBSS mode. In this mode, the station
                   takes on part of the role of an access point, however
                   traffic does not pass through it to reach the other sta-
                   tions. When a group of stations are operating in IBSS mode,
                   one of them must be the master, specifying the network name
                   of the service set. Symbol cards do not support operating
                   as an IBSS master.

           Host AP
                   In this mode, which is only available on Prism2 cards, the
                   NIC acts as an access point (base station). Some tasks,
                   such as beaconing and frame acknowledgement, are handled
                   automatically by the card firmware. Authentication and gen-
                   eral management of the associated stations, however, is
                   performed by the wi(4) driver itself. Note that there are
                   bugs in Host AP mode in Prism firmware revisions prior to


     an(4), awi(4), wi(4), hostname.if(5), ancontrol(8), ifconfig(8)


     The wicontrol command first appeared in OpenBSD 2.6.


     The wicontrol command was written by Bill Paul <wpaul@ctr.columbia.edu>.

MirBSD #10-current               June 7, 2001                                4

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