Provided by: freebsd-manpages_10.1~RC1-1_all bug


     ieee80211_radiotap — 802.11 device packet capture support


     #include <net80211/ieee80211_var.h>

     ieee80211_radiotap_attach(struct ieee80211com *, struct ieee80211_radiotap_header *th,
         int tlen, uint32_t tx_radiotap, struct ieee80211_radiotap_header *rh, int rlen,
         uint32_t rx_radiotap);

     ieee80211_radiotap_active_vap(struct ieee80211vap *);

     ieee80211_radiotap_active(struct ieee80211com *);

     ieee80211_radiotap_tx(struct ieee80211vap *, struct mbuf *);


     The net80211 layer used by 802.11 drivers includes support for a device-independent packet
     capture format called radiotap that is understood by tools such as tcpdump(1).  This
     facility is designed for capturing 802.11 traffic, including information that is not part of
     the normal 802.11 frame structure.

     Radiotap was designed to balance the desire for a hardware-independent, extensible capture
     format against the need to conserve CPU and memory bandwidth on embedded systems.  These
     considerations led to a format consisting of a standard preamble followed by an extensible
     bitmap indicating the presence of optional capture fields.  A net80211 device driver
     supporting radiotap defines two packed structures that it shares with net80211.  These
     structures embed an instance of a ieee80211_radiotap_header structure at the beginning, with
     subsequent fields in the appropriate order, and macros to set the bits of the it_present
     bitmap to indicate which fields exist and are filled in by the driver.  This information is
     then supplied through the ieee80211_radiotap_attach() call after a successful
     ieee80211_ifattach() request.

     With radiotap setup, drivers just need to fill in per-packet capture state for frames
     sent/received and dispatch capture state in the transmit path (since control is not returned
     to the net80211 layer before the packet is handed to the device).  To minimize overhead this
     work should be done only when one or more processes are actively capturing data; this is
     checked with one of ieee80211_radiotap_active_vap() and ieee80211_radiotap_active().  In the
     transmit path capture work looks like this:

           if (ieee80211_radiotap_active_vap(vap)) {
                   ... /* record transmit state */
                   ieee80211_radiotap_tx(vap, m); /* capture transmit event */

     While in the receive path capture is handled in net80211 but state must be captured before
     dispatching a frame:

           if (ieee80211_radiotap_active(ic)) {
                   ... /* record receive state */
           ieee80211_input(...);   /* packet capture handled in net80211 */

     The following fields are defined for radiotap, in the order in which they should appear in
     the buffer supplied to net80211.

             This field contains the unsigned 64-bit value, in microseconds, of the MAC's 802.11
             Time Synchronization Function (TSF).  In theory, for each received frame, this value
             is recorded when the first bit of the MPDU arrived at the MAC.  In practice,
             hardware snapshots the TSF otherwise and one cannot assume this data is accurate
             without driver adjustment.

             This field contains a single unsigned 8-bit value, containing one or more of these
             bit flags:

                     Frame was sent/received during the Contention Free Period (CFP).

                     Frame was sent/received with short preamble.

                     Frame was encrypted.

                     Frame was an 802.11 fragment.

                     Frame contents includes the FCS.

                     Frame contents potentially has padding between the 802.11 header and the
                     data payload to align the payload to a 32-bit boundary.

                     Frame was received with an invalid FCS.

                     Frame was sent/received with Short Guard Interval.

             This field contains a single unsigned 8-bit value that is the data rate.  Legacy
             rates are in units of 500Kbps.  MCS rates (used on 802.11n/HT channels) have the
             high bit set and the MCS in the low 7 bits.

             This field contains two unsigned 16-bit values.  The first value is the center
             frequency for the channel the frame was sent/received on.  The second value is a
             bitmap containing flags that specify channel properties.

             This field is deprecated in favor of IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_XCHANNEL but may be used to
             save space in the capture file for legacy devices.

             This field contains a single signed 8-bit value that indicates the RF signal power
             at the antenna, in decibels difference from 1mW.

             This field contains a single signed 8-bit value that indicates the RF noise power at
             the antenna, in decibels difference from 1mW.

             Transmit power expressed as decibels from a 1mW reference.  This field is a single
             signed 8-bit value.  This is the absolute power level measured at the antenna port.

             This field contains a single unsigned 8-bit value that specifies which antenna was
             used to transmit or receive the frame.  Antenna numbering is device-specific but
             typically the primary antenna has the lowest number.  On transmit a value of zero
             may be seen which typically means antenna selection is left to the device.

             This field contains a single unsigned 8-bit value that indicates the RF signal power
             at the antenna, in decibels difference from an arbitrary, fixed reference.

             This field contains a single unsigned 8-bit value that indicates the RF noise power
             at the antenna, in decibels difference from an arbitrary, fixed reference.

             This field contains four values: a 32-bit unsigned bitmap of flags that describe the
             channel attributes, a 16-bit unsigned frequency in MHz (typically the channel
             center), an 8-bit unsigned IEEE channel number, and a signed 8-bit value that holds
             the maximum regulatory transmit power cap in .5 dBm (8 bytes total).  Channel flags
             are defined in: <net80211/_ieee80211.h> (only a subset are found in
             <net80211/ieee80211_radiotap.h> ). This property supersedes
             IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_CHANNEL and is the only way to completely express all channel
             attributes and the mapping between channel frequency and IEEE channel number.


     Radiotap receive definitions for the Intersil Prism driver:

           #define WI_RX_RADIOTAP_PRESENT \
                   ((1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_TSFT) \
                    (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_FLAGS) | \
                    (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_RATE) | \
                    (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_CHANNEL) | \
                    (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_DB_ANTSIGNAL) | \
                    (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_DB_ANTNOISE))

           struct wi_rx_radiotap_header {
                   struct ieee80211_radiotap_header wr_ihdr;
                   uint64_t       wr_tsf;
                   uint8_t        wr_flags;
                   uint8_t        wr_rate;
                   uint16_t       wr_chan_freq;
                   uint16_t       wr_chan_flags;
                   uint8_t        wr_antsignal;
                   uint8_t        wr_antnoise;
           } __packed;

     and transmit definitions for the Atheros driver:

           #define ATH_TX_RADIOTAP_PRESENT (               \
                   (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_TSFT)          | \
                   (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_FLAGS)         | \
                   (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_RATE)          | \
                   (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_DBM_TX_POWER)  | \
                   (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_ANTENNA)       | \
                   (1 << IEEE80211_RADIOTAP_XCHANNEL)      | \

           struct ath_tx_radiotap_header {
                   struct ieee80211_radiotap_header wt_ihdr;
                   uint64_t       wt_tsf;
                   uint8_t        wt_flags;
                   uint8_t        wt_rate;
                   uint8_t        wt_txpower;
                   uint8_t        wt_antenna;
                   uint32_t       wt_chan_flags;
                   uint16_t       wt_chan_freq;
                   uint8_t        wt_chan_ieee;
                   int8_t         wt_chan_maxpow;
           } __packed;


     tcpdump(1), bpf(4), ieee80211(9)


     The ieee80211_radiotap definitions first appeared in NetBSD 1.5.


     The original version of this manual page was written by Bruce M. Simpson <>
     and Darron Broad <>.