open 80211s on XO 1.5

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at
Mon Nov 2 13:00:31 EST 2009

On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 6:26 PM, Sameer Verma <sverma at> wrote:
> A) The Sugar business and gabble/salut collaboration happens in the


> B) We could choose to use 802.3 (Ethernet) or 802.11a/b/g/n (...)

Correct again.

There are 2 things at work

 - We are trying to make the "under a tree" user experience "just
work" by using ad hoc instead of 802.11s, which has given us more pain
than useful outcomes. Not entirely trivial, but doable.

 - We are trying to separate the concept of "mesh" (802.11s) from
"collaboration" (telepathy, etc). Both concepts are mixed up in our
communications, docs, etc.

> If all this is correct, then my interest, which was in seeing if the
> Marvell chip will do open80211s, was only to see if open80211s could
> be enabled some time in the future (even if it is only to showcase
> something cool).

Yes. As you describe, we're sidestepping 802.11s, preferring a simpler
approach based on ad-hoc networking for "under a tree", and
traditional 802.11a/b/g in spots where an AP is available. And we're
encouraging people to tinker with alternative implementations -- such
as open80211s -- but it's not in our roadmap.

In terms of making it work, I see open80211s needs devices that have a
'mac80211' driver. I don't fully understand the
"softmac/hardmac/fullmac" nomenclature, but we do have a "softmac"
driver for our old libertas device.

It was written against an older kernel -- may need a bit of TLC -- see .

For the Libertas device on the XO-1.5, I do lobby for a similar
softmac driver (to run it as a hostap device). But my influence is
limited there -- the hot thing is the XO itself, not the XS ;-)


 martin.langhoff at
 martin at -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first

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