Host AP driver for Intersil Prism2/2.5/3, hostapd, and WPA Supplicant


This project includes three main components:

Host AP is a Linux driver for wireless LAN cards based on Intersil's Prism2/2.5/3 chipset. The driver supports a so called Host AP mode, i.e., it takes care of IEEE 802.11 management functions in the host computer and acts as an access point. This does not require any special firmware for the wireless LAN card. In addition to this, it has support for normal station operations in BSS and possible also in IBSS. WPA and RSN (WPA2) is supported when used with accompanied tools, wpa_supplicant (WPA/RSN Supplicant) and hostapd (WPA/RSN Authenticator). All these programs have been designed for both desktop/laptop computers and embedded systems.

Intersil's station firmware for Prism2 chipset supports a so called Host AP mode in which the firmware takes care of time critical tasks like beacon sending and frame acknowledging, but leaves other management tasks to host computer driver. This driver implements basic functionality needed to initialize and configure Prism2-based cards, to send and receive frames, and to gather statistics. In addition, it includes an implementation of following IEEE 802.11 functions: authentication (and deauthentication), association (reassociation, and disassociation), data transmission between two wireless stations, power saving (PS) mode signaling and frame buffering for PS stations. The driver has also various features for development debugging and for researching IEEE 802.11 environments like access to hardware configuration records, I/O registers, and frames with 802.11 headers.

When used with a user space daemon, the combination of the Host AP driver and hostapd daemon includes additional features. These include support for IEEE 802.1X and dynamic WEP rekeying, RADIUS Accounting, RADIUS-based ACL for IEEE 802.11 authentication, minimal IAPP (IEEE 802.11f), WPA, IEEE 802.11i/RSN/WPA2.

Linux Wireless LAN Howto has some useful information about wireless LAN support in Linux. In addition, it includes information about which cards are Prism2-based (and can thus be used in Host AP mode).

WPA/RSN Supplicant (wpa_supplicant)

More information is available on wpa_supplicant's own page.

Supported WPA/IEEE 802.11i features:

Supported drivers:

WPA/RSN/EAP Authenticator (hostapd)

More information is available on hostapd's own page.

Supported WPA/IEEE 802.11i features:

Supported drivers:


Host AP driver
Copyright (c) 2001-2002, SSH Communications Security Corp and Jouni Malinen.
Copyright (c) 2002-2007, Jouni Malinen and contributors.
Author: Jouni Malinen <[email protected]>

Host AP utils
Copyright (c) 2002-2005, Jouni Malinen <[email protected]> and contributors.

Copyright (c) 2002-2008, Jouni Malinen <[email protected]> and contributors.

Copyright (c) 2003-2008, Jouni Malinen <[email protected]> and contributors.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation. See COPYING for more details. hostapd and wpa_supplicant are alternatively available under BSD license.

Please see README for updated documentation of the driver. Please also check FAQ before sending problem reports.

Note! Host AP driver was added into the main kernel tree in Linux v2.6.14. The version in the kernel tree should be used instead of this external hostap-driver package. The external releases are only for older kernel versions and all the future development will be in the main kernel tree.

Wireless Tools for Linux

Please, note that you will need quite recent version of Wireless Tools to use some features of the Host AP driver. Using the latest version of the tools is recommended. Some features might also require latest beta version.

Feedback, comments, mailing list

Any comments, reports on success/failure, ideas for further improvement, feature requests, etc. are welcome at [email protected]. Please note, that I often receive more email than I have time to answer. Unfortunately, some messages may not get a reply, but I'll try to go through my mail whenever time permits.

There is also a mailing list for Host AP related messages. Since this list has a broader audience, your likelyhood of getting responses is higher. This list is recommended for general questions about Host AP driver and its development. In addition, I will send release notes to it whenever a new version is available.

The mailing list information and web archive is at Messages to [email protected] will be delivered to the subscribers. Please note, that due to large number of spam and virus messages sent to the list address, the list is configured to accept messages only from subscribed addresses. Messages from unsubscribed addresses may be accepted manually, but their delivery will be delayed.

If you want to make sure your bug report of feature request does not get lost, please report it through the bug tracking system as a new bug/feature request.

The server and hosting for is kindly provided by Internet Systems Consortium (ISC).
Jouni Malinen
Last modified: Sun Aug 10 20:30:19 EEST 2008