[pkg-wpa-devel] Removal of madwifi driver backend support

Reinhard Tartler siretart at tauware.de
Sat Jun 7 18:40:58 BST 2008

Dear fellow ubuntu developers.

We, the wpasupplicant maintainers, are currently considering dropping the
support of the madwifi backend for wpasupplicant. Please read the
following post from Kel to pkg-wpa-devel for details:

Kel Modderman <kel at otaku42.de> writes:

> Hi,
> I would like to propose the removal of madwifi specific backend from
> wpasupplicant package for the following reasons:
> 1) The use of -Dmadwifi is actively warned against by upstream Madwifi
>    developers. wext should be used instead.
> 2) If there are bugs in wext driver backend in conjunction with madwifi, they
>    should be reported, and they will be more likely to be fixed since wext is
>    the preferred standard of operation for both Madwifi and
>    hostap/wpa_supplicant upstream support and development personell.
> 3) The use of a snapshot of madwifi include files to enable private interface
>    introduces ABI incompatibility when upstream Madwifi changes. There is no
>    facility to ensure a stable wpa_supplicant/madwifi backend interface with
>    various different versions of madwifi driver. The fact that this has not
>    changed in a while is pure luck; the Madwfi project's delivery of new binary
>    HAL + glue has stagnated for a long time now.
> 4) The madwifi include files constitute a huge part of the debian difference to
>    upstream, making the package slightly more difficult to maintain.
> 5) NetworkManager uses "wext" as backend for, as far as I can see after
>     inspecting source code, all wireless devices.
> 6) Compatibility code could be put into ifupdown integration to display a
>    message when "wpa-driver madwifi" line was used in a /e/n/i stanza, and
>    the operation could continue with wext backend.

This issue is related to https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/235463.
Alexander, could you perhaps update the bug with your thoughts on this?

Could perhaps the kernel team share their thoughts on the status of the
madwifi driver? Is it scheduled to be removed from the intrepid kernel?

Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4

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