Mwl / Marvell 88W8363 virtual APs not working properly



  • Hi all,

    Firstly, I've found some reference to this issue in the past, but the suggestion is that it was fixed:

    https://redmine.pfsense.org/issues/1104
    https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-bugs/2010-May/039837.html

    However, I'm experiencing the issue where when adding virtual APs, via the web interface, only the latest one created works. Clients are unable to associate to the others. Reading into the above suggests it's an issue with BSSID creation. Indeed, when I run ifconfig, each virtual interface has the same MAC address/BSSID, which may be a clue. Note the below output is from an old version of pfSense. When trying to resolve this, I upgraded the CF card to a larger one (it was 1G previously) and updated to the latest stable pfSense, without any change. I'll try to get updated output later.

    
    mwl0_wlan0: flags=8943 <up,broadcast,running,promisc,simplex,multicast>metric 0 mtu 1500
      ether 00:01:36:1e:1f:e5
      inet6 fe80::201:36ff:fe1e:1fe5%mwl0_wlan0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0xa 
      nd6 options=21 <performnud,auto_linklocal>media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11ng <hostap>status: running
      ssid first_virtual_ap channel 6 (2437 MHz 11g ht/40+) bssid 00:01:36:1e:1f:e5
      regdomain ETSI country GB indoor authmode WPA2/802.11i privacy MIXED
      deftxkey 2 AES-CCM 2:128-bit AES-CCM 3:128-bit txpower 16 scanvalid 60
      protmode OFF -ampdu ampdulimit 64k ampdudensity 4 shortgi smps wme
      burst -apbridge dtimperiod 1
    mwl0_wlan1: flags=8943 <up,broadcast,running,promisc,simplex,multicast>metric 0 mtu 1500
      ether 00:01:36:1e:1f:e6
      inet6 fe80::201:36ff:fe1e:1fe5%mwl0_wlan1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0xb 
      nd6 options=21 <performnud,auto_linklocal>media: IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet autoselect mode 11ng <hostap>status: running
      ssid second_virtual_ap channel 6 (2437 MHz 11g ht/40+) bssid 00:01:36:1e:1f:e5
      regdomain ETSI country GB indoor authmode WPA2/802.11i privacy MIXED
      deftxkey 2 AES-CCM 2:128-bit txpower 16 scanvalid 60 protmode OFF
      -ampdu ampdulimit 64k ampdudensity 4 shortgi smps wme burst -apbridge
      dtimperiod 1</hostap></performnud,auto_linklocal></up,broadcast,running,promisc,simplex,multicast></hostap></performnud,auto_linklocal></up,broadcast,running,promisc,simplex,multicast> 
    

    Any thoughts/suggestions welcome - or perhaps I should open this as an issue.

    Thanks!


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It's unlikely to be fixed at this point. The cards only work in older systems that are falling out of use like ALIX, which won't work on 2.4, and replacing them with an actual AP or a card that does work is more cost-effective and a better use of everyone's time.

    It requires a fix to the driver in FreeBSD and I'm not sure if anyone is still working on that wireless card specifically. I still have one or two of them tucked away in a drawer but once drivers for Atheros cards gained 802.11N and improved VAP support, I haven't touched them. The only reason I picked them up off eBay years ago was because they had 802.11N (but not N-rate) support and VAPs before other cards did.



  • Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

    Yikes… I use ALIX, that's a shame it won't work on 2.4 because it otherwise makes a fine router for my needs and I had no intention of moving away from it.

    Yeah I had a reliable Atheros 802.11g card in there. I guess given the replacement can't support N speeds I should just swap it back. The card was a random punt, it cost near nothing from eBay. I'll abandon the mini PCI idea and go back to using a little TP-Link router w/ OpenWRT as an access point, and use VLANs between pfSense and it for multi network SSIDs. Alas, maybe in the not too distant future I'll be solely using that :(.



  • By the way, when I check on the controller through the menu I can see the firmware version 99. I assume that this is 9.9?