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NAME

     ieee80211_proto — 802.11 state machine support

SYNOPSIS

     #include <net80211/ieee80211_var.h>

     void
     ieee80211_start_all(struct ieee80211com *);

     void
     ieee80211_stop_all(struct ieee80211com *);

     void
     ieee80211_suspend_all(struct ieee80211com *);

     void
     ieee80211_resume_all(struct ieee80211com *);

     enum ieee80211_state;

     int
     ieee80211_new_state(struct ieee80211vap *, enum ieee80211_state, int);

     void
     ieee80211_wait_for_parent(struct ieee80211com *);

DESCRIPTION

     The net80211 layer that supports 802.11 device drivers uses a state machine to control
     operation of vaps.  These state machines vary according to the vap operating mode.  Station
     mode state machines follow the 802.11 MLME states in the protocol specification.  Other
     state machines are simpler and reflect operational work such as scanning for a BSS or
     automatically selecting a channel to operate on.  When multiple vaps are operational the
     state machines are used to coordinate operation such as choosing a channel.  The state
     machine mechanism also serves to bind the net80211 layer to a driver; this is described more
     below.

     The following states are defined for state machines:

     IEEE80211_S_INIT   Default/initial state.  A vap in this state should not hold any dynamic
                        state (e.g. entries for associated stations in the node table).  The
                        driver must quiesce the hardware; e.g. there should be no interrupts
                        firing.

     IEEE80211_S_SCAN   Scanning for a BSS or choosing a channel to operate on.  Note that
                        scanning can also take place in other states (e.g. when background
                        scanning is active); this state is entered when initially bringing a vap
                        to an operational state or after an event such as a beacon miss (in
                        station mode).

     IEEE80211_S_AUTH   Authenticating to an access point (in station mode).  This state is
                        normally reached from IEEE80211_S_SCAN after selecting a BSS, but may
                        also be reached from IEEE80211_S_ASSOC or IEEE80211_S_RUN if the
                        authentication handshake fails.

     IEEE80211_S_ASSOC  Associating to an access point (in station mode).  This state is reached
                        from IEEE80211_S_AUTH after successfully authenticating or from
                        IEEE80211_S_RUN if a DisAssoc frame is received.

     IEEE80211_S_CAC    Doing Channel Availability Check (CAC).  This state is entered only when
                        DFS is enabled and the channel selected for operation requires CAC.

     IEEE80211_S_RUN    Operational.  In this state a vap can transmit data frames, accept
                        requests for stations associating, etc.  Beware that data traffic is also
                        gated by whether the associated “port” is authorized.  When
                        WPA/802.11i/802.1x is operational authorization may happen separately;
                        e.g. in station mode wpa_supplicant(8) must complete the handshakes and
                        plumb the necessary keys before a port is authorized.  In this state a
                        BSS is operational and associated state is valid and may be used; e.g.
                        ic_bss and ic_bsschan are guaranteed to be usable.

     IEEE80211_S_CSA    Channel Switch Announcement (CSA) is pending.  This state is reached only
                        from IEEE80211_S_RUN when either a CSA is received from an access point
                        (in station mode) or the local station is preparing to change channel.
                        In this state traffic may be muted depending on the Mute setting in the
                        CSA.

     IEEE80211_S_SLEEP  Asleep to save power (in station mode).  This state is reached only from
                        IEEE80211_S_RUN when power save operation is enabled and the local
                        station is deemed sufficiently idle to enter low power mode.

     Note that states are ordered (as shown above); e.g. a vap must be in the IEEE80211_S_RUN or
     “greater” before it can transmit frames.  Certain net80211 data are valid only in certain
     states; e.g. the iv_bsschan that specifies the channel for the operating BSS should never be
     used except in IEEE80211_S_RUN or greater.

STATE CHANGES

     State machine changes are typically handled internal to the net80211 layer in response to
     ioctl(2) requests, received frames, or external events such as a beacon miss.  The
     ieee80211_new_state() function is used to initiate a state machine change on a vap.  The new
     state and an optional argument are supplied.  The request is initially processed to handle
     coordination of multiple vaps.  For example, only one vap at a time can be scanning, if
     multiple vaps request a change to IEEE80211_S_SCAN the first will be permitted to run and
     the others will be deferred until the scan operation completes at which time the selected
     channel will be adopted.  Similarly net80211 handles coordination of combinations of vaps
     such as an AP and station vap where the station may need to roam to follow the AP it is
     associated to (dragging along the AP vap to the new channel).  Another important
     coordination is the handling of IEEE80211_S_CAC and IEEE80211_S_CSA.  No more than one vap
     can ever be actively changing state at a time.  In fact net80211 single-threads the state
     machine logic in a dedicated taskqueue(9) thread that is also used to synchronize work such
     as scanning and beacon miss handling.

     After multi-vap scheduling/coordination is done the per-vap iv_newstate method is called to
     carry out the state change work.  Drivers use this entry to setup private state and then
     dispatch the call to the net80211 layer using the previously defined method pointer (in OOP-
     parlance they call the “super method” ).

     net80211 handles two state changes specially.  On transition to IEEE80211_S_RUN the
     IFF_DRV_OACTIVE bit on the vap's transmit queue is cleared so traffic can flow.  On
     transition to IEEE80211_S_INIT any state in the scan cache associated with the vap is
     flushed and any frames pending on the transmit queue are flushed.

DRIVER INTEGRATION

     Drivers are expected to override the iv_newstate method to interpose their own code and
     handle setup work required by state changes.  Otherwise drivers must call
     ieee80211_start_all() in response to being marked up through an SIOCSIFFLAGS ioctl request
     and they should use ieee80211_suspend_all() and ieee80211_resume_all() to implement
     suspend/resume support.

     There is also an ieee80211_stop_all() call to force all vaps to an IEEE80211_S_INIT state
     but this should not be needed by a driver; control is usually handled by net80211 or, in the
     case of card eject or vap destroy, work will be initiated outside the driver.

SEE ALSO

     ioctl(2), wpa_supplicant(8), ieee80211(9), ifnet(9), taskqueue(9)

HISTORY

     The state machine concept was part of the original ieee80211 code base that first appeared
     in NetBSD 1.5,