NOTE: this page is for archival only, see the note at the end of the page.

News Archive

July 22, 2011

With a little delay, Linus released 3.0. Besides numbering change, this version contains some interesting wireless changes :)

  • ar9170usb: remove driver (replaced by carl9170)
  • ath6kl: add support for AR6003 v2.1.1
  • ath9k_htc: add AP and P2P modes
  • ath9k_hw: support for AR9340
  • b43: fix DMA problems on some LP-PHY cards
  • iwlagn: fix performance regression since 2.6.35 (use cts-to-self protection)
  • iwlagn: support for new 105 series devices
  • rt2860sta: remove driver (replaced by mainline rt2800pci)
  • rt2870sta: remove driver (replaced by mainline rt2800usb)
  • rt2x00: Initial support for RT5370 USB devices
  • rt2x00: Enable support for RT53xx PCI devices by default
  • rt2x00: RT33xx device support is no longer experimental
  • rtlwifi: support for RTL8192SE chips added

May 19, 2011

Kernel 2.6.39 has been released with following important wireless changes:

  • b43: support for OFDM rates on N-PHYs (11M is not a limit anymore)
  • iwlagn: support for 2000 series devices
  • iwlwifi: fix "Received BA when not expected" regression
  • iwlwifi: fix injection on HT channels
  • rt2x00: very experimental support for RT5390 devices
  • rt2x00: fix hw crypto for WPA TKIP (Michael MIC failures)
  • rtl8192cu: new driver
  • zd1211rw: support for AP mode

March 15, 2011

2.6.38 has been released on March 15.

Worth noting changes:

  • ath5k: AHB bus support (AR231X?)
  • ath9k: fix power problems of certain 3 stream chipsets
  • b43: experimental support for N-PHY devices
  • b43legacy: fix false positive rfkill check
  • iwlagn: use both TX chains on some 6250 with faulty EEPROM
  • iwlwifi: use second RX chain when possible (devices with one TX were affected)
  • iwlwifi: advance power management for 6000g2b and up
  • rt2x00: fix hw crypto for WPA TKIP (Michael MIC failures)
  • rt2x00: support for RT3370/RT3390 devices
  • rt2x00: fix hw crypto in AP mode for older devices (e.g. rt73usb)
  • rtl8192ce: add new driver

December 3, 2009

2.6.32 has been released with 1020 patches touching wireless code.

Among the changes a few worth noting:

  • lots of wl1251 fixes, support for the 1271 chip
  • orinoco begins conversion to cfg80211
  • b43 LP PHY support (BCM4312 devices)
  • almost all mac80211 callbacks can now sleep (configure_filter was made able to)
  • rndis_wlan uses cfg80211
  • rtl8187 got rfkill switch support
  • ath9k gets AR9287 support and a large number of enhancements
  • wireless is now network namespace aware
  • nl80211 testmode command for factory testing/calibration
  • nl80211 reports BSS status
  • cfg80211 gains the ability to connect to APs
  • cfg80211 finally verifies that changing channel won't interfere with operation
  • cfg80211 drivers now can also parse country IEs
  • mac80211 no longer depends on wireless extensions
  • mac80211 scanning is much improved
  • mac80211 has a tracer now for driver interaction
  • mac80211 no longer creates the master netdev wmaster0
  • mac80211 dynamic power save default set to 100ms
  • mac80211 Mesh enhancements and config IE updated to match 802.11s draft 3.02
  • improvements and fixes for mac80211 resume
  • improvements to mac80211's connection loss detection

Quite a number of changes, and not small changes either – for example the ability for cfg80211 to emulate wireless extensions fully now or the LP PHY support in b43.

September 9, 2009

With again almost 600 patches related to wireless, the new 2.6.31 kernel comes with many wireless changes:

  • iwlwifi continues unification between 3945 and AGN hardware
  • the often-discussed rfkill rewrite, along with rfkill integration into cfg80211

  • rndis_wlan starts using cfg80211 as the first full-MAC driver

  • iwlwifi support for 3x3 802.11n hardware
  • cfg80211 now handles connecting to an ad-hoc network (including wext support)
  • initial support for rt2800usb, but still experimental
  • a new wl12xx driver for the TI 1251 B/G chip
  • ath5k has enabled AP mode
  • the hwsim driver can now separate its virtual radios into groups to allow testing mesh topologies
  • there's a new driver for new Intel integrated full-MAC hardware, also using cfg80211

June 9, 2009

This time around for the 2.6.30 kernel release more than 900 patches related to wireless went into the next version of Linux. Besides lots of internal cleanups, notable new features are:

  • rt2x00 now supports powersave (use iwconfig wlan0 power timeout 500ms to enable)

  • rt2x00 now supports mesh (point/portal) and WDS operation
  • ath9k now supports mesh point operation
  • mac80211 IBSS can be fixed to channel/BSSID for those who can't use 802.11s mesh but need layer 3 mesh
  • mac80211 now re-aligns frames where necessary to avoid unaligned IP payload for platforms that are not capable of processing such frames
  • mac80211 can support 802.11w (protected management frames), however the only driver currently supporting it is ath9k (other drivers just need testing)
  • mac80211 now deconfigures/reconfigures the device during suspend/resume
  • iwlwifi now supports 1000/6000 hw series
  • cfg80211/nl80211 support scanning (iw dev wlan0 scan)

  • mac80211 now supports aggregation with iwlwifi again (broken since 2.6.27)

For further wireless related details you can check the 2.6.30 wireless log.

March 23, 2009

Linux 2.6.29 is released. With almost 600 commits, wireless keeps moving. New features:

  • We now support access point functionality with selected drivers

  • minstrel is the default rate control algorithm

  • dynamic powersave support for some drivers
  • HT capabilities of the local hardware are now visible in iw

  • mesh parameters can now be configured

And a number of fixes, notably:

  • short slot handling is now working properly
  • HT/11n code revamped
  • new, much cleaner, rate control API
  • when auth/assoc times out, notify userspace to allow it to react faster

As always, a large number of driver changes were made too.

December 23, 2008

The 2.6.28 kernel is released. About 400 patches related to wireless have been merged and once again this release brings a slew of new wireless features to the kernel:

  • regulatory support – the kernel will now attempt to obey local wireless spectrum regulations

  • libertas_tf – a thin firmware driver for the XO-1's wireless

  • ath5k gains mesh networking

  • the full-mac orinoco driver gains WPA support

  • p54 gains 5 GHz support

  • mac80211 got mesh portal functionality (bridging a mesh mode interface)
  • the minstrel rate control algorithm was added along with rate control API improvements

  • nl80211 userspace API improvements for various things

As usual, some drivers and mac80211 received cleanups and API changes:

  • Some mac80211 driver operations are no longer required to be atomic which makes drivers simpler
  • mac80211 code was restructured to be easier to read
  • more station information is shared with the driver
  • the rate control API was rewritten and made available to outside mac80211 (due to be updated again in 2.6.29 for better HT control etc.)

October 10, 2008

Linux 2.6.27 is out. Our patch rate is increasing, there were about 700 patches in wireless code. The feature rate seems to be slightly decreasing, entirely new features are:

  • the ath9k driver

  • Intel wireless 5000 series support
  • some RTL8187B support
  • mac80211_hwsim - virtual 802.11 hardware
  • some of the rt2x00 drivers can do hardware crypto now
  • b43 got mesh networking support

Important internal improvements were made:

  • mac80211 is entirely multi-queue aware now, with the new multi-queue netdev features
  • mac80211 now requires many fewer kmalloc calls – control information was moved to skb->cb

  • mac80211 now creates correct QoS sequence numbers

Unfortunately, as of now, aggregation had to be disabled due needing more than just fixups after the multiqueue work.

July 14, 2008

Linux 2.6.26 is released. With almost 600 changesets related to wireless, this release brings you lots more wireless goodies:

  • mac80211 now supports draft mesh networking (802.11s; thanks to the open80211s project)

  • zd1211rw supports mesh networking (b43 will follow in 2.6.27, hopefully more drivers later)

  • mac80211 now supports more optional HT (802.11n) features
  • mac80211's monitor interfaces can now be configured more precisely, "cooked" monitors were added
  • mac80211's IBSS implementation now supports IBSS merging and received various bugfixes
  • mac80211 now has an in-kernel documentation book, help welcome!

  • b43 now has support for PCMCIA devices and QoS/WME

Also, lots of removals this time:

  • the bcm43xx driver
  • the old ieee80211softmac code

Access point mode has received a lot of attention in the stack and drivers, but is not ready yet.

Finally, lots of internal API updates and fixes.

April 17, 2008

Linux 2.6.25 is released. There are a number of important changes:

  • mac80211 now supports HT (802.11n) operation
  • a new rate control algorithm for mac80211 (using a PID controller) was added

In drivers, there were a number of changes as well:

  • New drivers added: ath5k, rndis_wlan and rtl8180

  • rt2x00 drivers now support software antenna diversity
  • zd1211rw is now a mac80211 driver
  • b43 supports new devices (BCM94311MCG rev 02)

As always, of course, lots of code improvements (notably libertas), bugfixes and device IDs for new (or just found to be working) devices.

March 10th, 2008

On February 14, 2008 John Linville announced a new git tree, the wireless-testing.git tree, "created to replace the usage of the former 'everything' branch". As it stands, there is no more #everything branch in wireless-2.6.git tree. Users and developers should rely on wireless-testing.git for the bleeding edge Linux wireless developments. The wireless-testing.git tree should be used as the primary development target. New git URL:


To learn how check this tree out, and a general overview of git please see our Linux wireless git-guide. To see the latest changes made on this tree check out the wireless-testing.git ChangeLog

February 4th, 2008

Linux 2.6.24 was released on January 28th. It includes a horde of new wireless drivers:

  • Intel Wireless Link (iwlwifi) drivers for iwl3945 and iwl4965

  • SDIO driver for Marvell's Libertas 8385 and 8686 hardware
  • Ralink drivers for RT2400/RT2500/RT61 (PCI/PCMCIA), RT2500/RT73 (USB)

  • b43 and b43legacy Broadcom drivers which replace the older bcm43xx driver. bcm43xx is now deprecated and will be removed in future kernel releases.

Various other drivers received bug fixes and increased hardware support.

mac80211 received a huge amount of internal rework and fixes, some resulting in optimisations and better IEEE 802.11 spec compliance. Additionally, it now supports the SIOCGIWTXPOWER ioctl ("iwconfig dev power ..."), reports better link statistics, no longer sends invalid QoS frames, better supports dynamic WEP and has improved radiotap injection.

For users looking to help test the bleeding edge but stuck on older kernels we now have available a wireless compatibility package. This lets you get the latest drivers and bug fixes on kernels >= 2.6.22, this includes the new Atheros ath5k driver, which is scheduled for inclusion for 2.6.25.

October 10, 2007

Linux 2.6.23 was released today. On the wireless front, a variety of fixes and improvements were contributed all over the place. The biggest news items are the inclusion of the rtl8187 driver, which supports USB devices based on the RTL8187 chipset, and zd1211rw enhancements to support devices based on the Atheros AR5007UG USB chipset.

September 27, 2007

The Software Freedom Law Center has published a new statement which as per MadWifi's press release:

  • "... this should once and for all clear up any doubts about licensing practices we have used and details of provenance of code since the project's start all the way down to our current ath5k driver code.".

Additionally, the press release states that

  • "The audit confirms that fixes and improvements to work derived from OpenBSD's ar5k - specifically what is in the wireless-legacy repository now - can safely be contributed back."

As per the advice from SFLC new guidelines have been posted about about sending patches for Linux-wireless. To help keep track of changes under permissive licenses a new ''Changes-licensed-under'' tag is being introduced. Additionally we would like to request developers to subscribe to the guidelines page for submitting patches to receive diffs of changes to this guide so we're all on the same page.

July 31, 2007

The Software Freedom Law Center has published a statement clearing legal uncertainty of the reverse-engineered OpenHAL code used to drive Atheros PCI hardware. This is a significant step in the journey to support Atheros PCI wireless hardware in mainline Linux. Read the full statement here.

July 8, 2007

Linux 2.6.22, released today, features the initial inclusion of mac80211, the upcoming unified Linux wireless stack which will be shared between a number of drivers. No drivers in this kernel release use mac80211, but existing drivers will be ported and new drivers will be added later.

Alongside the usual rounds of driver updates and fixes, the Marvell Libertas 8388 USB-wireless driver was added, which drives the hardware in the OLPC laptop.

July 6, 2007

The Software Freedom Law Center has released a white paper detailing the implications of the FCC's new Software Defined Radio (SDR) classification on free/open source wireless drivers. This is certainly a step in the right direction, although the FCC's position regarding free/open code remains "more conservative than is necessary". Read the full white paper.

April 17, 2007

We're featured on enterprise networking planet:

February 9, 2007

Intel launches a new site dedicated to their Linux wireless projects – From their site, "Here you can learn about and download the latest development versions of the Linux-based wireless drivers for Intel adapters."

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