Using wpa_supplicant with non-802.11 networks

Jouni Malinen jkmaline at
Mon Sep 11 22:13:15 EDT 2006

On Mon, Sep 11, 2006 at 05:52:57PM -0500, Chhaya, Harshal wrote:

> I am curious to know if anyone is using (or planning
> to use) the 'wpa_supplicant' package on non-802.11
> networks. 

I've heard of couple of cases where code from wpa_supplicant has
been used with WiMAX and at least one project which used the EAP code in
a custom authentication process.

> However, there are also differences regards to network 
> scanning and security association management. I assume that
> code for this new functionality would have to be written.

> c) if I have to do this, is it possible for me to keep certain
> modules of the current code-base but replace the scanning
> related parts with new code?

Yes, for example with WiMAX, one could use the EAP peer state machine
and EAP methods and replace the radio management part and EAPOL/IEEE
802.1X state machines with similar functionality from WiMAX.

> Another thing I am curious about is the embedebility of the
> package. Is it possible to port the package (or at least major 
> parts of it) to an embedded processor that doesn't run 
> Linux/Windows/etc.? What portions of the package absolutely
> need a high-level OS?

Yes, this has already been done with number of different embedded OSes
and target processors. One of the design goals for wpa_supplicant was to
allow more or less all the core code to be used as-is on all target
systems, including both full desktop OSes and embedded systems. When
porting to a new OS, there are couple of OS/driver specific interface
wrappers that needs to be implemented based on what kind of
functionality is available on the target system. None of the core code
should really require a "high-level OS".

If you need more support on either the non-802.11 area or use on
embedded systems, I can point you to a company that has worked with
similar projects. Feel free to ask more questions on this mailing list,
too, if you want to get into more details on what exactly is involved in
this kind of project.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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