On Aug 30, 2014 9:39 AM, "Dirk E" <cipher...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hello guys,
> I wrote to the freebsd-wireless@ list on 12 August, looking for a working
USB wireless adapter that can work on HOSTAP mode. There was no reply on my
message and so far i have been unsuccessful in finding any device that
works without some kind of limitation.
> The problems are:
> 1) FreeBSD supports only a limited range of wireless adapters, mostly
older products that are not sold anymore or are hard to come by
> 2) FreeBSD has limitations on supported products, such as no working
HOSTAP or no working 11n (only 11a/b/g) or no proper power-save features
> 3) FreeBSD lacks up-to-date information about actual supported products;
many products have newer revisions which use different chipsets
> 4) Documentation is not complete; for example the urtwn manpage does not
specify that HOSTAP is not supported under the CAVEATS section
> 5) Products are sold with different chipsets under the same name,
products sold in the USA may work while the same product sold in the EU
does not work
> 6) It is generally very hard to find out what chipset a product uses
> I've been trying for weeks to find a working solution. I have given up on
11n support, i just want things to work. I got fed up after trying two
devices which should be supported but didn't work in the end, so i bought a
bunch of devices and hoped that one would work:
> Asus WL-167 (supported by rum driver; because of missing power-save in
HOSTAP mode it only works with some clients; andriod phones for example
don't seem to work; they can connect but not perform any IP traffic)
> TP-LINK TL-WN822N (supported by urtwn, but despite manpage not mentioning
this, HOSTAP mode is not supported; 11n not supported but documented)
> TP-LINK TL-WN725N (should be supported by urtwn, but only the USA
versions; the EU version appears not to be supported by this driver at all;
not documented)
> EnGenius EUB9707 (only device that actually works in HOSTAP mode; but
without 11n support)
> Dlink GO-USB-N150
> Eminent EM4579 (no info about this device)
> It appears the lack of HOSTAP-mode in the urtwn-driver was known by
OpenBSD, from which the driver was imported. So then, why is this
information not shared with us by including it in the urtwn manpage? There
is a patch for the OpenBSD driver to add HOSTAP mode for this driver; i am
not sure whether it can be applied to FreeBSD.
Thanks for doing this detailed analysis of various issues. Whenever
possible, please submit manpage update fixes via bugzilla. And I'll work
with you to get them reviewed/committed.

> Long story short; FreeBSD's wireless support is lacking. It's almost a
complete mess. It takes many time and frustration for a user to get a
working product that works decently with FreeBSD. And even then, it often
works without features like 11n and proper power save features. It's one of
the areas that FreeBSD is much behind in terms of hardware support compared
to virtually every other operating system out there. That's a shame;
FreeBSD would be an excellent wireless access point when paired with

Yes. It needs a lot of love (work).

> I propose the following: create a wiki with a list of known working
wireless products. Each product should note which chipset it uses, what
driver it connects to, what features are suported (i.e. HOSTAP), what
FreeBSD versions are supported, whether it is open source / binary blob,
any license requirements (like Realtek) and a dmesg snippet where the
driver is detected. It can be managed by a maintainer that accepts email
reports from users who provide the required information. That way, we get a
list of hardware that is known to work with FreeBSD that people can
actually buy. Even a NewEgg-link or something to that effect can be
> This website was a lot of help to me in figuring out what chipset a
wireless product uses: https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Main_Page
> I propose something simpler for FreeBSD; just a single wiki page that
lists products that either work or do not work.
> With very limited hardware support for wireless devices, such a list is
needed very badly, to prevent other people from going through the same
hellhound that i've gone through. If even just a handful of wireless
devices that are still being sold are known to be working with FreeBSD,
this list would be very helpful i would presume.
> Anyone who likes this idea?

Yes. I like this idea. But more important thing is who is willing to drive
this? If you are, I'll have you setup with a wiki account :)

Thanks again for your interest and such diligence.

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