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Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2100 Driver for Linux in support of:
Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2100 Network Connection
Copyright (C) 2003-2006, Intel Corporation
Version: git-1.1.5
Date : January 25, 2006
1. Introduction
2. Release git-1.1.5 Current Features
3. Command Line Parameters
4. Sysfs Helper Files
5. Radio Kill Switch
6. Dynamic Firmware
7. Power Management
8. Support
9. License
Intel wireless LAN adapters are engineered, manufactured, tested, and
quality checked to ensure that they meet all necessary local and
governmental regulatory agency requirements for the regions that they
are designated and/or marked to ship into. Since wireless LANs are
generally unlicensed devices that share spectrum with radars,
satellites, and other licensed and unlicensed devices, it is sometimes
necessary to dynamically detect, avoid, and limit usage to avoid
interference with these devices. In many instances Intel is required to
provide test data to prove regional and local compliance to regional and
governmental regulations before certification or approval to use the
product is granted. Intel's wireless LAN's EEPROM, firmware, and
software driver are designed to carefully control parameters that affect
radio operation and to ensure electromagnetic compliance (EMC). These
parameters include, without limitation, RF power, spectrum usage,
channel scanning, and human exposure.
For these reasons Intel cannot permit any manipulation by third parties
of the software provided in binary format with the wireless WLAN
adapters (e.g., the EEPROM and firmware). Furthermore, if you use any
patches, utilities, or code with the Intel wireless LAN adapters that
have been manipulated by an unauthorized party (i.e., patches,
utilities, or code (including open source code modifications) which have
not been validated by Intel), (i) you will be solely responsible for
ensuring the regulatory compliance of the products, (ii) Intel will bear
no liability, under any theory of liability for any issues associated
with the modified products, including without limitation, claims under
the warranty and/or issues arising from regulatory non-compliance, and
(iii) Intel will not provide or be required to assist in providing
support to any third parties for such modified products.
Note: Many regulatory agencies consider Wireless LAN adapters to be
modules, and accordingly, condition system-level regulatory approval
upon receipt and review of test data documenting that the antennas and
system configuration do not cause the EMC and radio operation to be
The drivers available for download from SourceForge are provided as a
part of a development project. Conformance to local regulatory
requirements is the responsibility of the individual developer. As
such, if you are interested in deploying or shipping a driver as part of
solution intended to be used for purposes other than development, please
obtain a tested driver from Intel Customer Support at:
1. Introduction
This document provides a brief overview of the features supported by the
IPW2100 driver project. The main project website, where the latest
development version of the driver can be found, is:
There you can find the not only the latest releases, but also information about
potential fixes and patches, as well as links to the development mailing list
for the driver project.
2. Release git-1.1.5 Current Supported Features
- Managed (BSS) and Ad-Hoc (IBSS)
- WEP (shared key and open)
- Wireless Tools support
- 802.1x (tested with XSupplicant 1.0.1)
Enabled (but not supported) features:
- Monitor/RFMon mode
The distinction between officially supported and enabled is a reflection
on the amount of validation and interoperability testing that has been
performed on a given feature.
3. Command Line Parameters
If the driver is built as a module, the following optional parameters are used
by entering them on the command line with the modprobe command using this
modprobe ipw2100 [<option>=<VAL1><,VAL2>...]
For example, to disable the radio on driver loading, enter:
modprobe ipw2100 disable=1
The ipw2100 driver supports the following module parameters:
Name Value Example:
debug 0x0-0xffffffff debug=1024
mode 0,1,2 mode=1 /* AdHoc */
channel int channel=3 /* Only valid in AdHoc or Monitor */
associate boolean associate=0 /* Do NOT auto associate */
disable boolean disable=1 /* Do not power the HW */
4. Sysfs Helper Files
There are several ways to control the behavior of the driver. Many of the
general capabilities are exposed through the Wireless Tools (iwconfig). There
are a few capabilities that are exposed through entries in the Linux Sysfs.
----- Driver Level ------
For the driver level files, look in /sys/bus/pci/drivers/ipw2100/
This controls the same global as the 'debug' module parameter. For
information on the various debugging levels available, run the 'dvals'
script found in the driver source directory.
NOTE: 'debug_level' is only enabled if CONFIG_IPW2100_DEBUG is turn
----- Device Level ------
For the device level files look in
For example:
For the device level files, see /sys/bus/pci/drivers/ipw2100:
read -
0 = RF kill not enabled (radio on)
1 = SW based RF kill active (radio off)
2 = HW based RF kill active (radio off)
3 = Both HW and SW RF kill active (radio off)
write -
0 = If SW based RF kill active, turn the radio back on
1 = If radio is on, activate SW based RF kill
NOTE: If you enable the SW based RF kill and then toggle the HW
based RF kill from ON -> OFF -> ON, the radio will NOT come back on
5. Radio Kill Switch
Most laptops provide the ability for the user to physically disable the radio.
Some vendors have implemented this as a physical switch that requires no
software to turn the radio off and on. On other laptops, however, the switch
is controlled through a button being pressed and a software driver then making
calls to turn the radio off and on. This is referred to as a "software based
RF kill switch"
See the Sysfs helper file 'rf_kill' for determining the state of the RF switch
on your system.
6. Dynamic Firmware
As the firmware is licensed under a restricted use license, it can not be
included within the kernel sources. To enable the IPW2100 you will need a
firmware image to load into the wireless NIC's processors.
You can obtain these images from <>.
See INSTALL for instructions on installing the firmware.
7. Power Management
The IPW2100 supports the configuration of the Power Save Protocol
through a private wireless extension interface. The IPW2100 supports
the following different modes:
off No power management. Radio is always on.
on Automatic power management
1-5 Different levels of power management. The higher the
number the greater the power savings, but with an impact to
packet latencies.
Power management works by powering down the radio after a certain
interval of time has passed where no packets are passed through the
radio. Once powered down, the radio remains in that state for a given
period of time. For higher power savings, the interval between last
packet processed to sleep is shorter and the sleep period is longer.
When the radio is asleep, the access point sending data to the station
must buffer packets at the AP until the station wakes up and requests
any buffered packets. If you have an AP that does not correctly support
the PSP protocol you may experience packet loss or very poor performance
while power management is enabled. If this is the case, you will need
to try and find a firmware update for your AP, or disable power
management (via `iwconfig eth1 power off`)
To configure the power level on the IPW2100 you use a combination of
iwconfig and iwpriv. iwconfig is used to turn power management on, off,
and set it to auto.
iwconfig eth1 power off Disables radio power down
iwconfig eth1 power on Enables radio power management to
last set level (defaults to AUTO)
iwpriv eth1 set_power 0 Sets power level to AUTO and enables
power management if not previously
iwpriv eth1 set_power 1-5 Set the power level as specified,
enabling power management if not
previously enabled.
You can view the current power level setting via:
iwpriv eth1 get_power
It will return the current period or timeout that is configured as a string
in the form of xxxx/yyyy (z) where xxxx is the timeout interval (amount of
time after packet processing), yyyy is the period to sleep (amount of time to
wait before powering the radio and querying the access point for buffered
packets), and z is the 'power level'. If power management is turned off the
xxxx/yyyy will be replaced with 'off' -- the level reported will be the active
level if `iwconfig eth1 power on` is invoked.
8. Support
For general development information and support,
go to:
The ipw2100 1.1.0 driver and firmware can be downloaded from:
For installation support on the ipw2100 1.1.0 driver on Linux kernels
2.6.8 or greater, email support is available from:
9. License
Copyright(c) 2003 - 2006 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved.
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.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for
more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with
this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59
Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.
The full GNU General Public License is included in this distribution in the
file called LICENSE.
License Contact Information:
James P. Ketrenos <>
Intel Corporation, 5200 N.E. Elam Young Parkway, Hillsboro, OR 97124-6497