FreeBSD 10 iwn problems

Apologies to my regular readers: This post will probably not interest you; rather than an item of general interest, I'm writing here for the benefit of anyone who is running into a very specific bug I encountered on FreeBSD. Hint for Googlebot: If someone is looking for FreeBSD 10 iwn dies or iwn stops working on FreeBSD 10, this is the right place.

A few weeks ago I updated an old laptop from FreeBSD 9.3 to FreeBSD 10.1, and I soon found that the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 wifi (using the iwn0 driver) would stop working after a few hours. Or to be more precise: After being connected to my wifi network for a while, it would drop the connection and attempt to reconnect; but wpa_supplicant would not be able to rejoin the network. Restarting the device via ifconfig iwn0 down; ifconfig iwn0 up would make it work again — until the next time it died, that is.

It turns out that there are some bugs in 802.11n support in the FreeBSD 10.1 iwn0 driver and/or 802.11 infrastructure. These are fixed in HEAD, but for 10.1 they can be worked around via disabling 802.11n by adding -ht to the ifconfig line for the interface. In my /etc/rc.conf I now have:

ifconfig_wlan0="-ht WPA"
and everything is working perfectly.

Thanks to Adrian Chadd for helping me track down the problem and suggesting the workaround.

Posted at 2015-01-13 05:00 | Permanent link | Comments

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