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 From:  Jim Thompson <jim at netgate dot com>
 To:  Lee Sharp <leesharp at hal dash pc dot org>
 Cc:  "m0n0wall" <m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch>
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] wireless cards
 Date:  Sat, 17 Jun 2006 13:19:46 -1000
On Jun 17, 2006, at 6:08 AM, Lee Sharp wrote:

> From: "Chris Flugstad" <chris at cascadelink dot com>
>
>> Why does version 1.2b7 seem to be the only "wireless" versoin that
>> works?  what changed after, that keeps wireless cards from working?
>
>> IS anyone using it and having no problems.  i have a 4511 and a  
>> pcmcia
>> ext2 senao card.  Also, the senao card is quite old.  I could make  
>> sure
>> it has the latest firmware directly on the card, but im not  
>> exactly sure
>> how to do that.  Any suggestions.  I have a windows and ubuntu OS
>
> m0n0wall is based on FreeBSD 4.11 which is somewhat old.  In the  
> 1.2betas there was an attempt to move to FreeBSD 5.  It was very  
> slow.  Even the FreeBSD people admitted this.  It had more wireless  
> support, but the performance on older or embedded hardware was  
> unacceptable, so 1.2 went back to FreeBSD 4.11.  1.3 will be  
> FreeBSD 6 which is faster, and has all the support.

Almost correct.

In specific answer to Chris' questions:

The 'wi' driver in FreeBSD5 is better than the one found in  
FreeBSD4.11, which is why your card seems to work better under  
m0n0wall 1.2b7.  Also FreeBSD5 is required to use an Atheros-based  
card.  This isn't affecting you, but does affect many others.

Is anyone using it?    Netgate ships 1.2b7 on its m0n0wall-powered  
equipment.  (But will move moving production to pfsense shortly.)

Firmware on the card:  1.4.9 should be fine with the version(s) of  
m0n0wall you're likely using.   Later versions of firmware are  
required for WDS and WPA support, but FreeBSD4 and FreeBSD5 don't  
support these.   FreeBSD6 supports WPA, but I haven't gone to look if  
pfSense or the FreeBSD6-based m0n0wall alpha include the correct  
firmware (1.7.4 STA, 1.1.1 PRI) for this card.

Details (and firmware images) can be found here: http:// 
www.netgate.com/support/prism_firmware/readme.html

While the >alphas< of m0n0 1.3 have been FreeBSD6-based, I don't know  
that the decision to move to FreeBSD6 has been taken.  I think its  
the right path, but the decision is Manuel's, and I don't remember  
seeing anything definite from him.   The switch back from FreeBSD5 to  
4.11 after 1.2b7 shows that the freebsd base of an alpha (or beta)  
release doesn't mean that same will be preserved.

Also, FreeBSD6 is >slower< on the types of embedded hardware common  
to m0n0wall deployments, but faster on Pentium (or better) hardware,  
and supports many more devices and features than the 4.11-based  
m0n0wall variants do.   See:  http://www.bsdcan.org/2006/papers/ 
BSD_Firewalling.pdf

Jim