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I'm not able to use wpa_supplicant to set the essid and other parameters on the wireless interface.

Using -Dwext throws ioctl[SIOCSIWENCODEEXT]

 $ sudo wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -Dwext -c universitywpa 
Successfully initialized wpa_supplicant
ioctl[SIOCSIWENCODEEXT]: Invalid argument
ioctl[SIOCSIWENCODEEXT]: Invalid argument

and also fails to set the ESSID:

 $ iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated   
          Tx-Power=15 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off

If I use -Dnl80211, no IOCTL error is thrown:

$ sudo wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -Dnl80211 -c universitywpa 
Successfully initialized wpa_supplicant

But the ESSID is still off/any:

$ iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated   
          Tx-Power=15 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off

I run the same command with -d (verbose) to see what might be going on:

 $ sudo wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -Dnl80211 -c universitywpa -d
wpa_supplicant v2.3
random: Trying to read entropy from /dev/random
Successfully initialized wpa_supplicant
Initializing interface 'wlan0' conf 'universitywpa' driver 'nl80211' ctrl_interface 'N/A' bridge 'N/A'
Configuration file 'universitywpa' -> '/home/my-user/repos/university_connect/universitywpa'
Reading configuration file '/home/my-user/repos/university_connect/universitywpa'
Priority group 0
   id=0 ssid='UNIVERSITY-SECURE'
rfkill: initial event: idx=0 type=2 op=0 soft=0 hard=0
rfkill: initial event: idx=1 type=1 op=0 soft=0 hard=0
rfkill: initial event: idx=43 type=2 op=0 soft=0 hard=0
nl80211: Supported cipher 00-0f-ac:1
nl80211: Supported cipher 00-0f-ac:5
nl80211: Supported cipher 00-0f-ac:2
nl80211: Supported cipher 00-0f-ac:4
nl80211: Using driver-based off-channel TX
nl80211: interface wlan0 in phy phy0
nl80211: Set mode ifindex 3 iftype 2 (STATION)
nl80211: Subscribe to mgmt frames with non-AP handle 0x7ff6aa428fc0
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=040a
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 04 0a
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=040b
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 04 0b
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=040c
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 04 0c
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=040d
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 04 0d
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=090a
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 09 0a
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=090b
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 09 0b
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=090c
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 09 0c
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=090d
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 09 0d
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=0409506f9a09
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=6): 04 09 50 6f 9a 09
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=7f506f9a09
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=5): 7f 50 6f 9a 09
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=0801
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 08 01
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=06
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=1): 06
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=0a07
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 0a 07
nl80211: Register frame type=0xd0 (WLAN_FC_STYPE_ACTION) nl_handle=0x7ff6aa428fc0 match=0a11
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame match - hexdump(len=2): 0a 11
nl80211: Failed to register Action frame processing - ignore for now
netlink: Operstate: ifindex=3 linkmode=1 (userspace-control), operstate=5 (IF_OPER_DORMANT)
nl80211: driver param='(null)'
Add interface wlan0 to a new radio phy0
nl80211: Regulatory information - country=00
nl80211: 2402-2472 @ 40 MHz 20 mBm
nl80211: 2457-2482 @ 40 MHz 20 mBm (no IR)
nl80211: 2474-2494 @ 20 MHz 20 mBm (no OFDM) (no IR)
nl80211: 5170-5250 @ 80 MHz 20 mBm (no IR)
nl80211: 5250-5330 @ 80 MHz 20 mBm (DFS) (no IR)
nl80211: 5490-5730 @ 160 MHz 20 mBm (DFS) (no IR)
nl80211: 5735-5835 @ 80 MHz 20 mBm (no IR)
nl80211: 57240-63720 @ 2160 MHz 0 mBm
nl80211: Added 802.11b mode based on 802.11g information
wlan0: Own MAC address: a0:88:b4:98:95:d4
wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=3 (wlan0) alg=0 addr=(nil) key_idx=0 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=3 (wlan0) alg=0 addr=(nil) key_idx=1 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=3 (wlan0) alg=0 addr=(nil) key_idx=2 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=3 (wlan0) alg=0 addr=(nil) key_idx=3 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=3 (wlan0) alg=0 addr=(nil) key_idx=4 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wpa_driver_nl80211_set_key: ifindex=3 (wlan0) alg=0 addr=(nil) key_idx=5 set_tx=0 seq_len=0 key_len=0
wlan0: RSN: flushing PMKID list in the driver
nl80211: Flush PMKIDs
wlan0: Setting scan request: 0.100000 sec
TDLS: TDLS operation not supported by driver
TDLS: Driver uses internal link setup
wlan0: WPS: UUID based on MAC address: 886beebd-10cf-544f-bba7-5c23f8ceb3b3
EAPOL: SUPP_PAE entering state DISCONNECTED
EAPOL: Supplicant port status: Unauthorized
nl80211: Skip set_supp_port(unauthorized) while not associated
EAPOL: KEY_RX entering state NO_KEY_RECEIVE
EAPOL: SUPP_BE entering state INITIALIZE
EAP: EAP entering state DISABLED
wlan0: Added interface wlan0
wlan0: State: DISCONNECTED -> DISCONNECTED
nl80211: Set wlan0 operstate 0->0 (DORMANT)
netlink: Operstate: ifindex=3 linkmode=-1 (no change), operstate=5 (IF_OPER_DORMANT)
Daemonize..
 $ 

I notice these:

nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Register frame command failed (type=208): ret=-114 (Operation already in progress)
nl80211: Failed to register Action frame processing - ignore for now

But I'm not sure how to interpret this.

Why is the ESSID not being set?

If I run iwconfig manually, I can set the ESSID:

sudo iwconfig wlan0 essid UNIVERSITY-SECURE
 $ iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:"UNIVERSITY-SECURE"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated   
          Tx-Power=15 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off

 $ 

But obviously there's more than the ESSID needed to get the connection to work.

contents of universitywpa:

network={
    ssid="UNIVERSITY-SECURE"
    scan_ssid=1
    key_mgmt=WPA-EAP
    pairwise=CCMP TKIP
    group=CCMP TKIP
    eap=PEAP
    identity="my-user"
    password="mypass"
    ca_cert="university_comodo_cert.pem"
    phase1="peapver=0"
    phase2="MSCHAPV2"
}

I've used these settings to connect on other machines without problems. But I've always used -Dwext, never -Dnl80211.

lshw wireless interface:

*-network
                description: Wireless interface
                product: Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak]
                vendor: Intel Corporation
                physical id: 0
                bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
                logical name: wlan0
                version: 34
                serial: 
                width: 64 bits
                clock: 33MHz
                capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
                configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwlwifi driverversion=3.16.0-4-amd64 firmware=18.168.6.1  latency=0 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11abgn

the driver is iwlwifi.

Is this a problem between iwlwifi and -Dnl80211? How do I further diagnose this issue?

1 Answer 1

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I ended up removing the -B (run daemon in background)

sudo wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c wpaconfig -D nl80211,wext

and realize that my script wasn't waiting for the connection to complete:

wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED - Connection to 00:11:22:33:44:55 completed [id=0 id_str=]

and was aborting early due to not seeing the essid. There seems to be no option to programmatically ask wpa_supplicant to daemonize itself only upon CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED, so I might have to use a expect script for this.

1
  • Believe it or not, on a fresh install of Debian Bullseye, I'm grappling with the same thing. How did you solve it eventually? Apr 18, 2023 at 13:26

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