Terms we use throughout the wiki with which you should become familiar.
BSS stands for Basic Service Set. The coverage of an access point is called a BSS.
Kernel side of configuration management for wireless devices. nl80211 is the User-space side of configuration management for wireless devices.
CLI stands for Command-line interface. These are utilities you can run in the console or terminal emulator.
git-describe is a git command. It outputs something like this:
The first part is the tag for the current release. The second part is the number of patches which have been applied since the tag was applied. The last part, after the first g is the SHA1 commit ID of the last commit applied.
IBSS stands for Independent Basic Service Set. Its basically Ad-Hoc mode. See Independent Basic Service Set
An Information Element (IE) is a part of management frames in the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN protocol. IEs are a device's way to transfer descriptive information about itself inside management frames. There are usually several IEs inside each such frame, and each is built of Type-length-value (TLVs).
The common structure of an IE is as follows:
← 1 �' ← 1 �' ← 1-255 �' +-------+--------+-----------------+ | Type | Length | Data | +-------+--------+-----------------+
Whereas the vendor specific IE looks like this:
← 1 �' ← 1 �' ← 4 �' ← 1-251 �' +-------+--------+-------------------+------------+ | 221 | Length | OUI | Data | +-------+--------+-------------------+------------+
User-space side of configuration management for wireless devices. It is a Netlink-based user-space protocol. cfg80211 is Kernel side of configuration management for wireless devices.
See also SoftMAC.
MLME Stands for Media Access Control (MAC) Sublayer Management Entity. MLME is the management entity where the Physical layer (PHY) MAC state machines reside. Examples of states a MLME may assist in reaching:
- Timing Synchronization Function (TSF)
mac80211's MLME management implementation is currently handled by net/mac80211/ieee80211_sta.c. This handles only the STA MLME
A WNIC works on both, Layer 1 and Layer 2 of the OSI model. PHY is abbreviation for physical-layer controller and refers to the hardware components of the WNIC, that are responsible for creating/producing the em waves conforming to the standards specified in the responsible standard, e.g. IEEE 802.11a.
SSID stands for Service Set IDentifier. The SSID is a code attached to all packets on a wireless network to identify each packet as part of that network. The code consists of a string of 1-32 octets (usually represented as case sensitive alphanumeric characters).
See also SSID
Station (or STA) is the generic term for a device with a radio that can communicate with other stations in a wireless network. Common forms of a station are access points (AP), computers, or phones.
The Wireless Network Interface Controller always refers to the hardware performing the functionality described in the standards family, i.e. IEEE 802.11. This can be an entire PCB (e.g. a mini PCIe wireless card), a single Chip or the functionality can even be integrated into a SoC.