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WICONTROL (8) | System administration commands and daemons | Unix Manual Pages | :man


wicontrol - "configure Lucent, Intersil, and Atheros wireless devices"


Deprecated And Obsolete Options
See Also


wicontrol [-i] iface [-o] wicontrol [-i] iface-l (dump associated stations) wicontrol [-i] iface-L (list available access points) wicontrol [-i] iface-t tx_rate wicontrol [-i] iface-n network_name wicontrol [-i] iface-s station_name wicontrol [-i] iface-c 0 | 1 wicontrol [-i] iface-q SSID wicontrol [-i] iface-p port_type wicontrol [-i] iface-a access_point_density wicontrol [-i] iface-m mac_address wicontrol [-i] iface-d max_data_length wicontrol [-i] iface-e 0 | 1 wicontrol [-i] iface-k key [-v 1 | 2 | 3 | 4] wicontrol [-i] iface-T 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 wicontrol [-i] iface-r RTS_threshold wicontrol [-i] iface-f frequency wicontrol [-i] iface-P 0 | 1 wicontrol [-i] iface-S max_sleep_duration wicontrol [-i] iface-Z (zero signal cache) wicontrol [-i] iface-C (display signal cache)


The wicontrol utility controls the operation of Lucent, Intersil, and Atheros-based wireless networking devices via wi(4) or ath(4) driver.

You should not use this program to configure IEEE 802.11 parameters. Use ifconfig(8) instead to do those tasks (i.e., set SSID, WEP key, etc.).

The wicontrol utility can also be used to view the current settings of these parameters, dump out the values of the card’s statistics counters, list associated stations (in HostAP mode), and scan for available access points.

The iface argument given to wicontrol should be the logical interface name associated with the Lucent, Intersil, and Atheros device ( wi0, wi1, ath0, etc.). If none is specified then "wi0" is used as default.


The options are as follows:
[-iiface [-o]]
Display the current settings of the specified wireless interface. This retrieves the current card settings from the driver and prints them out. Using the additional -o flag will cause wicontrol to print out the statistics counters instead of the card settings. Encryption keys are only displayed if wicontrol is run as root.
[-iiface-a access_point_density]
Specify the access point density for a given interface. Legal values are 1 (low), 2 (medium) and 3 (high). This setting influences some of the radio modem threshold settings.
[-iiface-m mac_address]
Set the station address for the specified interface. The mac_address is specified as a series of six hexadecimal values separated by colons, e.g., "00:60:1d:12:34:56". This programs the new address into the card and updates the interface as well.
[-iiface-d max_data_length]
Set the maximum receive and transmit frame size for a specified interface. The max_data_length can be any number from 350 to 2304. The default is 2304.
[-iiface-r RTS_threshold]
Set the RTS/CTS threshold for a given interface. This controls the number of bytes used for the RTS/CTS handshake boundary. The RTS_threshold can be any value between 0 and 2347. The default is 2347.
[-iiface-Z ]
Clear the signal strength cache maintained internally by the wi(4) driver.
[-iiface-C ]
Display the cached signal strength information maintained by the wi(4) driver. The driver retains information about signal strength and noise level for packets received from different hosts. The signal strength and noise level values are displayed in units of dBms. The signal quality value is produced by subtracting the noise level from the signal strength (i.e., less noise and better signal yields better signal quality).


The wicontrol utility has a number of options that are now deprecated or obsolete, as they have been overtaken by extensions to ifconfig(8) and changes to the driver. The deprecated and obsolete options are as follows:
[-iiface-t tx_rate]
This flag is deprecated. Use ifconfig(8) mediaopt instead.

Set the transmit rate of the specified interface. The legal values for the transmit rate vary depending on whether the interface is a standard WaveLAN/IEEE or a WaveLAN/IEEE Turbo adapter. The standard NICs support a maximum transmit rate of 2Mbps while the turbo NICs support a maximum speed of 6Mbps. The following table shows the legal transmit rate settings and the corresponding transmit speeds: "TX rate NIC speed"

1 "Fixed Low (1Mbps)"
2 "Fixed Standard (2Mbps)"
3 "Auto Rate Select (High)"
4 "Fixed Medium (4Mbps)"
5 "Fixed High (6Mbps)"
6 "Auto Rate Select (Standard)"
7 "Auto Rate Select (Medium)"

The default driver setting is 3 (auto rate select). The numbers vary from card to card.

[-iiface-n network_name] This flag is deprecated. Use ifconfig(8) ssid or nwid instead.

Set the name of the service set (IBSS) that this station wishes to join. The network_name can be any text string up to 30 characters in length. The default name is the string "ANY" which should allow the station to connect to the first available access point. The interface should be set for BSS mode using the -p flag in order for this to work.

Note: the WaveLAN manual indicates that an empty string will allow the host to connect to any access point, however I have also seen a reference in another driver which indicates that the "ANY" string works as well.

[-iiface-s station_name] This flag is deprecated. Use ifconfig(8) stationname or station instead.

Sets the station name for the specified interface. The station_name is used for diagnostic purposes. The "Lucent WaveMANAGER" software can poll the names of remote hosts.

[-iiface-c 0 | 1] This flag is deprecated. IBSS networks are automatically created on those cards whose firmware supports it while in IBSS mode.

Allow the station to create a service set (IBSS). Permitted values are 0 (do not create IBSS) and 1 (enable creation of IBSS). The default is 0.

Only newer versions of the Lucent firmware support this.

[-iiface-q SSID] This flag is deprecated. The ssid setting from ifconfig(8) is the current preferred way of setting this parameter.

Specify the name of an IBSS (SSID) to create on a given interface. The SSID can be any text string up to 30 characters long.

Note: this option is provided for experimental purposes only: enabling the creation of an IBSS on a host system does not appear to actually work.

[-iiface-p port_type] This flag is deprecated. It should never be used. Do not use this flag. Its meaning depends on the type of card you are using, as well as the firmware you have installed in the card in some cases. Beware. Danger. Do not use. Instead, use the ifconfig(8) media and mediaopt commands.

Set the port type for a specified interface. The legal values for port_type are 1 (BSS mode) and 3 (ad-hoc) mode. In ad-hoc mode, the station can communicate directly with any other stations within direct radio range (provided that they are also operating in ad-hoc mode). In BSS mode, hosts must associate with a service set controlled by an access point, which relays traffic between end stations. The default setting is 1 (BSS mode). Lucent cards have one set of meanings. Prism cards have another. Symbol cards have a third. Do not use this flag.

[-iiface-e 0 | 1] This flag is deprecated. It has been replaced by the ifconfig(8) wepmode option.

Enable or disable WEP encryption. Permitted values are 0 (encryption disabled) or 1 (encryption enabled). Encryption is off by default.

Both 128-bit and 64-bit WEP have been broken. See the BUGS section for details.

[-iiface-k key [-v 1 | 2 | 3 | 4]] This flag is obsolete. The ifconfig(8) wepkey should be used instead.

Set WEP encryption keys. There are four default encryption keys that can be programmed. A specific key can be set using the -v flag. If the -v flag is not specified, the first key will be set. Encryption keys can either be normal text (i.e., "hello") or a series of hexadecimal digits (i.e., "0x1234512345"). For WaveLAN Turbo Silver cards, the key is restricted to 40 bits, hence the key can be either a 5 character text string or 10 hex digits. For WaveLAN Turbo Gold cards, the key can also be 104 bits, which means the key can be specified as either a 13 character text string or 26 hex digits in addition to the formats supported by the Silver cards.

For maximum portability, hex keys are recommended; the mapping of text keys to WEP encryption is usually driver-specific. In particular, the Windows drivers do this mapping differently to
.Fx .

Note: Both 128-bit and 64-bit WEP encryption have been broken. See the BUGS section for details.

[-iiface-T 1 | 2 | 3 | 4] This flag is obsolete. The ifconfig(8) weptxkey should be used instead.

Specify which of the four WEP encryption keys will be used to encrypt transmitted packets.

Note: Both 128-bit and 64-bit WEP have been broken. See the BUGS section for details.

[-iiface-f frequency] This flag is deprecated. Use ifconfig(8) channel instead.

Set the radio frequency of a given interface. The frequency should be specified as a channel ID as shown in the table below. The list of available frequencies is dependent on radio regulations specified by regional authorities. Recognized regulatory authorities include the FCC (United States), ETSI (Europe), France and Japan. Frequencies in the table are specified in MHz. "Channel ID FCCETSI France Japan"

1 "2412 2412 - 2412"
2 "2417 2417 - 2417"
3 "2422 2422 - 2422"
4 "2427 2427 - 2427"
5 "2432 2432 - 2432"
6 "2437 2437 - 2437"
7 "2442 2442 - 2442"
8 "2447 2447 - 2447"
9 "2452 2452 - 2452"
10 "2457 2457 2457 2457"
11 "2462 2462 2462 2462"
12 "- 2467 2467 2467"
13 "- 2472 2472 2472"
14 "- - - 2484"

If an illegal channel is specified, the NIC will revert to its default channel. For NICs sold in the United States and Europe, the default channel is 3. For NICs sold in France, the default channel is 11. For NICs sold in Japan, the default channel is 14, and it is the only available channel for pre-11Mbps NICs. Note that two stations must be set to the same channel in order to communicate.

[-iiface-P 0 | 1] This flag is obsolete. The ifconfig(8) powersave should be used instead.

Enable or disable power management on a given interface. Enabling power management uses an alternating sleep/wake protocol to help conserve power on mobile stations, at the cost of some increased receive latency. Power management is off by default. Note that power management requires the cooperation of an access point in order to function; it is not functional in ad-hoc mode. Also, power management is only implemented in Lucent WavePOINT firmware version 2.03 or later, and in WaveLAN PCMCIA adapter firmware 2.00 or later. Older revisions will silently ignore the power management setting. Legal values for this parameter are 0 (off) and 1 (on).

[-iiface-S max_sleep_interval] This flag is obsolete. The ifconfig(8) powersleep should be used instead.

Specify the sleep interval to use when power management is enabled. The max_sleep_interval is specified in milliseconds. The default is 100.


ath(4), awi(4), ipsec(4), wi(4), ifconfig(8)





Created by Blin Media, 2008-2013