Regarding "wl command not found" and others

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braveheartleo
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:24    Post subject: Regarding "wl command not found" and others Reply with quote
"wl command not found" is indeed the case, as is the same with some other commands, when it comes to atheros, whatever the build, because the wl command is for broadcom only. it uses the proprietary wl driver, while atheros uses madwifi driver and related drivers and has different commands for manipulating the driver.

also, please take note that most of the written tutorials, especially wireless-related articles, are based on broadcom hardware that may differ when it comes to atheros-related settings, unless otherwise specified. this is the case as dd-wrt evolved from the very first wrt54 hardware, which is broadcom-based, that made possible the installation of third-party firmwares.
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Boki
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Madison, WI, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:07    Post subject: Reply with quote
As I understand it, the madwifi driver is still based on a proprietary HAL. If the Atheros firmware of DD-WRT was based on ath5k drivers instead of madwifi, perhaps there would be faster development? Just a thought.

I don't presume to speak for everyone here that has asked questions about the non-existent commands, but from my perspective I think the underlying intent is to at least have an equivalent method or set of commands to accomplish the desired task.

I speculate, that a fair number of people ended up here for reasons similar to my own: I found the wiki, tried to work through tutorials or command examples, got stuck and confused, and wandered to this Atheros HW forum.

Since the wiki is rather silent on describing which commands exist with which driver base, this would seem to be the place to work out the details.

Unfortunately, I tend to see replies on this topic are variations of "sorry, that command is Broadcom-specific". In the interest of progress, it would be more useful to learn of others' experiences, and deduce some alternatives to the Broadcom-specific commands. If enough data is gathered, perhaps a "Broadcom-to-Atheros" equivalency table will make its way into the wiki someday. That would go a long way toward bridging the usability gap between the firmware types.

My apologies to the OP if this comes across as overly critical. Indeed, I have no dispute with the validity of the statements of the original post. And it's important to acknowledge that DD-WRT is stronger with Broadcom support because of the historical context (without the wrt54 we couldn't have this discussion!) I'm merely trying to make a case to steer these discussions in a direction more beneficial to the newer users of DD-WRT (or regular/veteran DD-WRT users new to Atheros-based firmware).

\b

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Linksys WRT350N (BCM4785) v24-sp2 (01/29/09) vpn - build 11514
Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (AR9132) v24-sp2 (07/16/10) std - build 14815
dark_skeleton
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 13:49    Post subject: Reply with quote
I think you guys are missing something. Something like "yes, wl is a command just for broadcom routers, but..."
I'm not sure you noticed, when it comes to Atheros, we have wl_atheros command, which works in pretty much same way as the original wl command and therefore can be used instead of wl in scripts.

Just thought I'd let you know Smile
Boki
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Madison, WI, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 16:57    Post subject: Reply with quote
dark_skeleton wrote:
I'm not sure you noticed, when it comes to Atheros, we have wl_atheros command, which works in pretty much same way as the original wl command and therefore can be used instead of wl in scripts.

If we're missing something, this certainly isn't it. To what extent have you used the 'wl_atheros' command as an alternative to 'wl'? I found it severely limited in capacity:

No parameter listing exists (e.g. "wl_atheros --help"), the binary file size is significantly smaller than 'wl', and a look at the input parameters through the source (http://svn.dd-wrt.com:8000/dd-wrt/browser/src/router/utils/wl_atheros.c) shows a very small subset of the 'wl' functionality. Testing some of those parameters results in segmentation faults...

At least for build 14815 on a G300NH, 'wl_atheros' does not work as a 'wl' substitute in scripts.

\b

_________________
Linksys WRT350N (BCM4785) v24-sp2 (01/29/09) vpn - build 11514
Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (AR9132) v24-sp2 (07/16/10) std - build 14815
dark_skeleton
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 02 Nov 2009
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 0:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hmm, might as well be as you say. I have tested it in just a few simple scripts (in Tutorials section) that used wl, and it worked for them Smile My bad
braveheartleo
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
Boki wrote:

My apologies to the OP if this comes across as overly critical. Indeed, I have no dispute with the validity of the statements of the original post. And it's important to acknowledge that DD-WRT is stronger with Broadcom support because of the historical context (without the wrt54 we couldn't have this discussion!) I'm merely trying to make a case to steer these discussions in a direction more beneficial to the newer users of DD-WRT (or regular/veteran DD-WRT users new to Atheros-based firmware).


Although nothing overly critical, I do see a positive point in what you say. But I think putting things into perspective is a steer to a good direction.

When I first came to DD-WRT I found myself confused with some of the tutorials and commands that didn't work with my setup. My initial thought was that because DD-WRT had many build types, maybe mine didn't come with the command I needed. Later did I realize that many of the tutorials and explanations were mostly applicable to Broadcom, while I found few suitable for Atheros, much less equivalents. With this in mind I stopped asking the WHYs and started knowing the HOWs related to my hardware platform. This expedited my introduction to DD-WRT, centering around what and how things work with Atheros.

I'm sure you would agree that when DD-WRT first started it had people posting problems encountered, tutorials made, even settings explained, with the Broadcom hardware in perspectives. And now that DD-WRT evolved into supporting different hardware platforms, it's time we do the same.

It is VERY important to EMPHASIZE to users, like me once before, that while some of the wiki articles would work, many of them are written around Broadcom, unless otherwise specified. While it's not so much help when the answers stop short at "this is Broadcom-specific," it's an implicit statement of "you are not asking the right question." And where do we find the right questions to ask? For one thing they're not to be found in many of the articles themselves, I have learned.

I agree that we need to have a wiki, not an article about equivalents of Broadcom-to-Atheros commands because it stops short at describing the Atheros-way of doing things, although it can be used as a starting point, but it should be an article of full treatment just like things when DD-WRT first came out with Broadcom-only support.

I do not dispense the importance of the wiki articles to Atheros-based setups. I used them as starting points in my research for answers applicable to my setup. Also I'm not trying to boil things down to the difference between Atheros and Broadcom, because there are other hardware differences to take notice of like switching configurations.
LOM
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 7626

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:12    Post subject: Reply with quote
braveheartleo wrote:





I'm sure you would agree that when DD-WRT first started it had people posting problems encountered, tutorials made, even settings explained, with the Broadcom hardware in perspectives. And now that DD-WRT evolved into supporting different hardware platforms, it's time we do the same.

It is VERY important to EMPHASIZE to users, like me once before, that while some of the wiki articles would work, many of them are written around Broadcom, unless otherwise specified. While it's not so much help when the answers stop short at "this is Broadcom-specific," it's an implicit statement of "you are not asking the right question." And where do we find the right questions to ask? For one thing they're not to be found in many of the articles themselves, I have learned.



So true.
I'd like to add that the wiki wasn't written by the developers or the management, it was written by the users and there are still a bunch of Broadcom users updating the wiki whenever they feel a need for it.
Updating it for Broadcom because that is their routers hardware.

It is about time now that the Atheros community grows mature and starts contributing to the wiki instead of bickering of what info is unavailable to them.
The devs and the management, or the Broadcom users, are not going to do it - it has to be done by the Atheros users.

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Boki
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Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Madison, WI, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:36    Post subject: Reply with quote
braveheartleo, I appreciate your well-written response. I think we're coming to an understanding here, and I view this thread in the context of constructive criticism. Indeed, to get the right answers one has to ask the right questions! Hopefully others will agree.

Since my early experiences with DD-WRT were with Broadcom-based devices, I never got the full grasp of the underlying issues that could occur with other hardware. There are many more differences between Broadcom, Atheros, x86, etc. hardware running DD-WRT, than say, running Windows XP on an Intel- or AMD-based PC. When I then started working with the Atheros-based firmware, I didn't realize the trouble I was in for!

I agree, that simply listing the Broadcom commands and their Atheros counterparts is too simplistic to be completely effective. The hardware and drivers for each are too dissimilar; each has its own style of operation. But, it's a place to start, and can evolve into a more thorough description of how Atheros works vs. Broadcom.

To be honest, I'm likely learning a lot more about how DD-WRT works on a fundamental level because of the Atheros firmware and its lack of a developed wiki. The Broadcom firmware I used in the past was practically "plug-n-play", and I didn't need to try very hard to get it to function as desired. The Atheros side has been another story, but I'm interested enough to keep trying and get educated. Other new users may not be as enthusiastic about being in such an experimental state, but that is where we are currently. With any luck, this will improve in the future as development and documentation solidify.

In the longer term, if the Atheros-side starts to make its way into the wiki, I see another potential benefit: users will be more informed and better able to choose their hardware based on the capabilities of configuration. By that I mean, asking "how can I make this work?" for a given task can evolve into "which one will work best?" That kind of versatility can only mean good news for DD-WRT and its userbase.

\b

_________________
Linksys WRT350N (BCM4785) v24-sp2 (01/29/09) vpn - build 11514
Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (AR9132) v24-sp2 (07/16/10) std - build 14815
braveheartleo
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:51    Post subject: Reply with quote
I can say the same and that we're making good progress.

When I learned that you were first a Broadcom user I didn't find it surprising that you would consider DD-WRT Broadcom flavor as easy as plug-n-play. That is mainly because you are likely to find answers for yourself in the wiki and learn more to do things, with little effort at that.

Now, in the interest of making progress with all these Atheros woes, let me offer up some places that may greatly help those in need to tune their setups.

First, let's not forget that central to DD-WRT Atheros flavor is the driver that makes it possible to run it with: MadWifi has an extensive user documentation http://madwifi-project.org/wiki/UserDocs that is seemingly lacking in the DD-WRT wiki, and some collection of HOWTOs to add, of particular interest to look at are the Users Guide and Chipsets sections.

Second, Host AP http://hostap.epitest.fi/ that provides hostapd for AP management and wpa_supplicant for user space wireless client. Though there is the wpad package that can do both, DD-WRT uses the former two.

Here is an interesting paper that conducted an experimental study on two Atheros proprietary algorithms: Transmit Antenna diversity and Ambient Noise Immmunity (ANI) using the MadWifi driver: [url] http://research.tid.es/domenic/images/computer_networks_giustiniano.pdf [/url] Some other related studies may be found pertaining to madwifi just by searching the web.

My primary place for learning would be with the madwifi website. There are lots of useful information there, including the infamouse Stuck Beacon problem (SBP). Just search through for answers.

There you have it folks. Hope that helps. I hope I wouldn't be punished for linking to external sites in the interest of providing coherent documentation. Smile
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