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Ubuntu really lacks of a tidy wireless framework to link all the acpi utilities, such as laptop hotkeys, leds, power management status and card power. Furthermore this framework must not forget these settings at the following boots. If a good implementation is reached, GUIs (such as network manager) can be patched to work in top of this framework to support additional features.


Linux offers a good wireless framework via the sysfs interface and wireless-tools. Unfortunately they are both incomplete for our needs and furthermore some wireless drivers are pretty incomplete.

Led support is treated in very different ways, depending of the laptop brand and models.

acpi-support, which aims to [...] now is a messy agglomerate of small and untidy pieces of code. This is bad to be maintained! and not very useful for userspace applications like GUIs

Use cases

  • Mike doesn't use wireless and doesn't want to switch it off at every boot
  • Laura is a developer and wants to write the support for her laptop led, but she can't stand the mess in acpi functions
  • Paul wants to use a GUI to configure wireless and he's chosen network-manager. But he wants the led and card off when he de-select "Use wireless"
  • Maria uses very frequently the hotkey to switch on/off the device and she wants a reactive software that understands whether the card status is on/off to display it correctly in the GUI





Data preservation and migration

Unresolved issues

BoF agenda and discussion

  • treat ACPI hotkeys as standard buttons

  • uniform the way drivers expose functionality to sysfs (e.g. the file rf_kill to control the radio power is only present in some drivers)
  • fix the wireless device drivers which are incomplete/wrong to properly expose the right extensions for wireless-tools

  • add a way to control leds from userspace (look at the new kernel class)

  • complete wireless-tools to add missing features (e.g. iwconfig eth1 rafio {on|off|switch}, iwconfig led {on|off|switch|auto})

  • update GUIs that use wireless (network-manager) to these new features
  • find a way to store configuration files to remember the latest radio status


WirelessFramework (last edited 2008-08-06 16:32:55 by localhost)