Classes of problems with wireless

  • RF/adapter specific (diversity, TX power, noise floor, suspend/resume)
  • Bit rate selection (ACK feedback, minstrel, driver local bit rate choices, incorrect rules of thumb)
  • Regulatory restrictions
  • Encryption (WPA/WPA2)
  • Network Manager issues
  • Background scan (is crackful)
  • rf-kill

Release Note

This section should include a paragraph describing the end-user impact of this change. It is meant to be included in the release notes of the first release in which it is implemented. (Not all of these will actually be included in the release notes, at the release manager's discretion; but writing them is a useful exercise.)

It is mandatory.


This should cover the _why_: why is this change being proposed, what justifies it, where we see this justified.

User stories



You can have subsections that better describe specific parts of the issue.


This section should describe a plan of action (the "how") to implement the changes discussed. Could include subsections like:

UI Changes

Should cover changes required to the UI, or specific UI that is required to implement this

Code Changes

Code changes should include an overview of what needs to change, and in some cases even the specific details.



  • data migration, if any
  • redirects from old URLs to new ones, if any
  • how users will be pointed to the new way of doing things, if necessary.

Test/Demo Plan

It's important that we are able to test new features, and demonstrate them to users. Use this section to describe a short plan that anybody can follow that demonstrates the feature is working. This can then be used during testing, and to show off after release. Please add an entry to for tracking test coverage.

This need not be added or completed until the specification is nearing beta.

Unresolved issues

This should highlight any issues that should be addressed in further specifications, and not problems with the specification itself; since any specification with problems cannot be approved.

BoF agenda and discussion

How can we make wifi better/debug it better

"how can we get the users to produce better bug reports"

classes of problems

  • environment
  • driver
  • stack
  • network manager

Best practices

  • dmesg -- info on the driver
  • daemon.log -- has info from network manager
  • syslog ?? -- wpa suplicant logs may be here
    • wpa_supplicant -u -s
  • iwevent -t -- prints everything that is going on
    • even tells you association failure codes in _human_ form

Other information to obtain/consider:

  • security mode -- how we obtain that information/do we have it
    • potential for exposure of private information including mac addresses, access point ssid's
  • should we be asking for the remote router information
  • drivers with firmware loading record that in dmesg

make sure we are packaging iw (tick) make sure we have crda (tick)

handling crda country code:

  • we should consider using the one in rawhide from timezone stuff
  • changing the timezone is a problem need to track that

Older drivers are a problem as they use their own stacks this triggers a number of the issues we see. Use new drivers.

Intermittent connectivity was an issue, triggered by background scanning. Channel switching is an issue also. We should now be doing this sychronously. Scanning should now be much quicker.

We want to improve scanning. We want to skip channels for scanning for much fewer channels, ie. drop primary channel then scan a very few channels, then hop back to our primary channel to make sure we are there. LP#291760 has a patch for this.

rfkill sucks. there are plans to prevent 'up'ing an interface which has said its rfkill'd. sounds like there is a complete re-write of rfkill in the pipe, after the current rfkill block has gone through.


  • ask pitti to add this or give a patch for apport -- collecting data for 'wifi'
    • we are missing daemon.log right now
  • we need to look at the rawhide timezone handling for crda for karmic
  • look at the background scanning, consider disabling it on a blacklist


specs/KernelKarmicImprovingWifi (last edited 2009-07-06 12:41:22 by apw)