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