Ath10k Improvements in LANforge 5.3.5 Release

20160722-splitters-anvil-430 Ben put an immense amount of effort into bug fixes for the Ath10k firmwares for the LANforge 5.3.5 release. Stability is way better, throughput is improved, and there’s better virtual station capacity, too: Atheros 9980 supports 48 virtual stations, and Atheros 9984 supports 64 virtual stations.

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Using UTF-8 in Your SSIDs

The LANforge server process is not multi-byte character aware, and pasting hanzi or other logograms into the GUI will get mangled. What is displayed is an byte escape sequence, like what this script shows:

 > ./utf8hex.pl 小猫
\xe5\xb0\x8f\xe7\x8c\xab

This is the C-language byte encoding for those UTF-8 characters. This is what wpa_supplicant and hostapd rely on in their configuration files. (That script is pasted below.)

If you paste hanzi into the hostapd.conf file “ssid=” property, (you have to specify a custom file) you can get a virtual AP to come up. It will NOT associate with a station. The wrong way:
2015-10-23-vap-utf8-101

If you paste the byte sequence into the ssid property, a station WILL associate. Make sure to specify utf8_ssid=1. The right way:
2015-10-23-vap-utf8-201

The display scan window will display the SSID as a byte sequence.
2015-10-23-vap-utf8-100

The SSID picker in the Port Modify will show the byte sequence after you click the DISPLAY SCAN button.
2015-10-23-vap-utf8-102

Watch your Wireless Events log window for of station association messages. A station that continues to scan even if the SSID is shown in the scan windows is one that is not connecting.

2015-10-23-vap-utf8-200

This is the right way to write the wpa_supplicant file, with the SSID escape sequence. Use the utf8hex script to get this byte sequence.
2015-10-23-vap-utf8-103

Here is the utf8hex.pl script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use utf8;

for my $u (@ARGV) {

   foreach my $ch (split('', $u)) {
      my $b = ord($ch);
      if ($b >= 20 && $b <= 126) {
         print $ch;
      }
      else {
         printf("\\x%x", $b);
      }
   }
   print "\n";
}

LANforge 5.2.13 Released

There’s a number of great features in this latest release. Some highlights:

  • The Atheros10k 802.11ac radio driver supports 64 virtual stations, or 63 with one station in monitor mode
  • We offer the new four-module CT704 attenuators, you can now test 4×4 MIMO radios with LANforge
  • a big improvement in Layer-3 UDP performance with low level multi-packet sending. This allows our embedded appliances to emit almost 1Gbps of small packet UDP traffic!
  • Better IPv6 support: router advertisement and dhcpv6 work smoothly in LANforge now.

Here are the release notes for 5.2.13.

And here is a picture of our four-module CT704 attenuator:

CT704 Four module programmable attenuator
CT704 Four module programmable attenuator