vif with hostap but need to start/stop vif independent

Jouni Malinen j at
Sat Aug 11 10:30:03 EDT 2012

On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 03:10:40PM -0300, Beat Meier wrote:
> I know hostap can create vif in the same config file but I really need 2 
> config files
> to start the interfaces individually, of course master interface is 
> always on but
> the second one I need to start and stop individually.
> With madwifi this was no problem with mac80211 I don't have found the 
> solution :-(
> Is there no way to do that anymore?

Well, there kind of is, but it got a bit more difficult recently if you
really want to run two different hostapd processed. With a single
process, but two configuration files, this seems to works:

iw dev wlan0 interface add wlan0vif2 type __ap
hostapd h.conf h2.conf

(where h.conf uses wlan0 and h2.conf wlan0vif2)

After the Beacon frame receive mechanism was changed to use netlink,
driver_nl80211.c cannot apparently register two copies of Beacon
receiving sockets for the same wiphy which is apparently breaking the
case of two separate hostapd processes.

> If not how you can enable disable an virtual interface is hostap is 
> running??

This is not currently supported in hostapd (but you can do it with
wpa_supplicant AP mode support since wpa_supplicant supports dynamic
interface addition and removal). It shouldn't be that difficult to make
hostapd support similar mechanism for adding/removing interfaces, but it
is not there now. That said, it may be more worthwhile to focus on
merging hostapd and wpa_supplicant into a single program rather while
maintaining the more dynamic capabilities on wpa_supplicant in the

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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