Multiple SSIDs on a single BSSID

Ben Greear greearb at
Wed Nov 7 11:16:38 EST 2007

Johannes Berg wrote:
>> I too am interested in virtualizing STAs.  I was hoping that ath5k might 
>> could be modified
>> to work in this manner, since I know that the atheros hardware can do it.
> What is "virtualising STAs" for you?
Basically, I want to have one radio/machine act like at least 32 (and 
preferably 64+)
wifi client machines.  I'd consider each one of these virtual client 
machines a virtual STA.

I should be able to have each STA have independent configuration of it's 
encryption keys & methods (WPA, WEP, etc).  Each STA should also be able to
communicate with different APs, or the same.  Each STA should have it's own
MAC, but does not need to be selectable by the user (ie, for Atheros, it 
seems you can
mask off certain bits of the MAC that it will listen for.)  Basically, 
everything that a normal
STA interface on a radio can do, I want to be able to do for the virtual 
interfaces, and
the APs that the STAs talk to should not know that it's a virtual STA 
versus a normal

I believe some inherent limitations will be that each STA must be on the 
channel as the underlying radio.  There may be other restrictions as well.

I have this mostly working with a hacked up madwifi driver, but it's a 
pain to keep it
up to date with new kernels.  My company uses these virtual STAs as part 
of our traffic-generator products,
and we would love to have these features in standard kernel drivers.  My 
understanding is that at least the newer Intel
chipset and the Atheros chipsets support the necessary ability to 
support multiple MACs.
It may be that other chipsets can do it as well.


> johannes
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Ben Greear <greearb at> 
Candela Technologies Inc

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