OpenBSD Journal

WDS support in OpenBSD

Contributed by jose on from the wireless dept.

Juanjo writes: "I've been 'googling' about WDS (Wireless Distribution System) support in OpenBSD and I've found almost nothing (well, just a 'define' in obsd sources that says wicontrol with -p 2 should make an intersil prism based card enter WDS mode, but zero docs).

WDS is a nice way to join different access points in wireless networks 802.11b, just because is cheap (even the performance it's not great). With just one card (or AP) you can both get client stations and connect to other(s) AP. WDS it's also used as repeater for wifi networks.

I'm using OpenBSD as OS for my old-PC-based APs for some time in my local wireless community, but with the opportunity to get connectivity between 2 AP seems I'm should switch to Linux (we're currently using some SMC with LinuxAP flashed) because I cannot find info about WDS stuff on OpenBSD.

Since we cannot afford two network cards per node, by now WDS is a must for our wireless community.

Someone can help before I swich off my obsd node for last time? :(

Thank you."

Anyone have any suggestions?

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Anonymous Coward () on

    If you just want seamless roaming between the two access points, you can do this with an ethernet bridge by bridging both of the wireless access points to the same physical wired lan. Just make sure to use a ridiculously small timeout for arp caching things will get funky.

    1. By mra () on

      but I want to take my cable modem line and hook it up to an access point, and have it work seemlessly with my neighbor's access point hooked up to their cable modem.

      I think I should be able to do this with OpenBSD on a soerkis connected to the cable modem, and using a prism 2.5 card to act as an AP on the wireless network. If I use the same SSID as my neighbor it should look to the wireless client systems as though it is the same network.

      1. By Juanjo () on

        But both are APs? AP means it's an Access Point, so it can get clients...

        The idea is the same AP can use WDS to share its clients with other AP, so you have connectivity between hosts even they're not in the same AP.

        The info I miss in obsd is... how can I set the MAC of the other remote AP I want to connect with WDS? or just using wicontrol with the (undocumented) -p 2 switch OpenBSD will do WDS authomatically with any AP requesting it with the same SSID?

        The other point is the some cards have bugs in the firmware, so WDS doesn't work in the right way. Linux hostAP driver fixes that and makes non standard WDS. At least I hope obsd can handle standard WDS if the firmware it's ok (sta >= 1.5.0).

    2. By Juanjo () on

      The idea is to join different APs using wireless. Why we don't wanna use an eth bridge? Because APs are not close enough! Let's say we've conected two LinuxAP with 400 meters between them.

      I know eth bridging or inet tunnels are a choice, but it's expensive or not possible. WDS is the solution: wifi connectivity for wifi networks.

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