Jouni Malinen jkmaline at
Thu Jan 5 00:07:00 EST 2006

On Fri, Dec 30, 2005 at 05:25:18PM -0500, Pavel Roskin wrote:

> I posted a patch to the hostap mailing list that would allow flash
> download in the kernel driver:
> I expected that somebody (most likely Jouni) would forward it further to
> the netdev mailing list.  Since it didn't happen, I'm going to send the
> patch directly.

Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to test firmware flashing with new
kernel versions and this has left the patch waiting for quite a while.

> I can tell with all certainty that instability of the flash download
> code is a myth.  Since that code was fixed in October 2003 in version
> v0.1.0, I flashed dozens of cards, such as true PCI, miniPCI and PCMCIA
> using hostap_pci, hostap_plx and hostap_cs drivers.  I've never had any
> problems with flashing.

I'm not that worried about instability of the implementation. However,
it is still possible to break HFA3841-based cards in a way that is very
difficult to recover from (requires hardware modifications). Because of
this, I have not been pushing to make it easier to enable firmware
upgrades. RAM download is suitable for most cases and the only real need
I see for non-volatile download would be a device with very limited root
file system (i.e., no room to store the firmware image). All other cases
should be able to handle volatile downloads that are very unlikely to
get the card in a state where recovery would not be an easy operation.

> Please be advised that the CVS version of the hostap driver is broken
> and crashes the kernel, as it was reported many times.  I think it
> should be removed from CVS if it cannot be fixed.

I haven't looked into the details of these reports yet. Are they for
2.6.14 or also for older versions? CVS version (i.e., 0.4.x) is not
expected to support newer kernel versions (i.e., versions that include
Host AP driver in the main kernel distribution). However, it is supposed
to work with older versions.

I don't think the driver would be removed from CVS, but adding an #if
block for case of kernel version being > 2.6.14 and #error to prevent
building the CVS version would certainly be acceptable modification..

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

More information about the HostAP mailing list