Need clarification on WPS IE support

Bryan Kadzban bryan at
Wed Apr 12 20:56:51 EDT 2006

CHui wrote:
> When I configure the access point (Cisco 1200 series 1232AG) to
> support two SSIDs on the same radio, wpa_supplicant started to fail
> to connect to the second SSID which is not broadcast in the 802.11
> beacon management frame.

How does it fail?  Debug logs would be good.  What ap_scan mode are you
using in the config file?

What happens if you configure the AP to have multiple BSSIDs instead of
using the WPS IE?  That should work with *any* client; the WPS IE only
works with clients that understand it.  (That's how we have our Cisco
1121s and 1231s set up at work, and wpa_supplicant on Windows, using the
NDIS backend, works fine.)  Though perhaps it's not an option for you...

> Did I miss a configuration option for WPS IE support?  I am running 
> wpa_supplicant v0.5.2 on FreeBSD 6.0.

Depending on your configuration, and the log that you post, it may not
have anything to do with wpa_supplicant.  It may be the wireless driver
that you're using.

I don't think wpa_supplicant handles any of the management frames at
all.  I believe it does ask the driver what APs are in range, though, so
the driver would have to add to its internal list of APs based on a WPS
IE that it gets.  If it doesn't do that, then I don't see any obvious
way to get wpa_supplicant to work.  (It can't request that the card
associate to an SSID that it doesn't see in the results.  And the card
likely won't associate to an SSID that *it* doesn't know about, either,
so just handling the WPS IE in wpa_supplicant probably won't work.)

That's why multi-BSSID mode is better IMO; you don't have to require
support for a new IE in the driver or firmware; they just see one beacon
for each ESSID, each with a different BSSID.  ;-)
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