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Is i3status compatible with wpa_supplicant?

asked 2012-07-05 20:49:32 +0000

lkraav gravatar image

updated 2012-07-05 20:50:32 +0000

i3status can't detect my wireless status. Status is always "W: down".

leho@s9 ~ $ [git:master+?] sudo iwconfig wlan1
wlan1     no wireless extensions.

Looking at I'm guessing that might be related. But wpa_supplicant works without any issues so I have no idea why I would even need these wireless extensions?

How to get i3status to recognize my wireless status?

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answered 2012-07-11 23:20:38 +0000

loblik gravatar image

updated 2012-07-11 23:22:06 +0000

I had similar problem after compiling my own kernel. So i will try to describe what i think can be the problem.

i3status and iwconfig both use libiw to talk to the kernel. The part of the kernel which was used to configure wireless devices is called wireless extension (Wext). But wext is now considered obsolote and is being replaced by newer subsystem in the kernel (cfg80211, nl80211). Also new mechanism for interacting with userspace was introduced. So if you use newer driver based on cfg80211 you should use iw (which uses libnl) instead of iwconfig to configure your card and get its status.

If you want i3status to get status of your card you can enable Wext compatability layer in your kernel (CFG80211_WEXT).

Networking support -> Wireless -> cfg80211 wireless extensions compatibility

I was thinking about adding libnl support to i3status. But the new API seems a bit heavy and i didn't have time to look at it closer. If i have time i will ask Michael what he thinks about it.

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Yes I was pretty certain this was it, haven't had the energy to dig in and report back like you did. Good job. I would definitely rather avoid enabling obsolete kernel options, but I do understand patching is a heavier option. It's not business critical for me, so I'm sitting back on this one.

lkraav gravatar imagelkraav ( 2012-07-12 05:43:37 +0000 )edit

Great answer indeed. Patches to make i3status use the new API are very welcome.

Michael gravatar imageMichael ( 2012-07-12 06:28:05 +0000 )edit

answered 2012-07-06 04:20:43 +0000

Michael gravatar image

i3status uses libiw to get the wireless information. If iwconfig doesn’t list any wireless cards on your system (are you sure it’s wlan1? try sudo iwconfig), then i3status will not find anything either.

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and make sure the i3status.conf is properly pointing to wlan1 instead of the default wlan0 (it happened to me before once a kernel update changed my interface from wlan0 to eth1).

bruno.braga gravatar imagebruno.braga ( 2012-07-07 07:27:38 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2012-07-05 20:49:32 +0000

Seen: 1,260 times

Last updated: Jul 11 '12