Distribution specific notes

Some distributions have additional, specific information. Please check there first:

Relevant software

Wireless drivers are just one component of the software stack necessary for wireless devices to function. There are also userspace components, namely NetworkManager, wpa_supplicant, wireless-tools, wireless-regdb, CRDA, iw and possibly many more (as always, there are lots of options to choose from).

It is best if you to try to determine where the issue is before reporting it since you can then report it to the right place. If unsure you can check out user support IRC channel and ask there.

Kernel panics/hangs

Kernel panics are kernel bugs, and should be reported immediately. Kernel hangs are usually kernel bugs as well and should be reported too. If you can, you should try to determine whether the bug persists in the latest vanilla stable linux release. Vanilla stable kernel means you got it from kernel.org and it is a stable kernel.

Other issues

Please also report other issues, for example when things are not working correctly. In this case, you are encouraged to try out the latest wireless-testing git tree or the latest compat-wireless snapshot.

If you are not sure if your issues is driver or userspace specific consider asking on our user support IRC channel for help.

Identifying the bug

You can save us and yourself a lot of time by trying a few things before reporting a bug.

If you are unsure about where the bug lies you can start by turning off NetworkManager (if you're using it) and then try running wpa_supplicant yourself with your own configuration file. To reproduce a configuration file similar to the one NetworkManager uses you can check the log (usually /var/log/messages or /var/log/syslog) for the settings it used. To stop NetworkManager use:

# Red Hat based systems
sudo /sbin/service NetworkManager stop

# Debian
sudo /etc/init.d/NetworkManager stop
sudo killall -TERM wpa_supplicant

# On Ubuntu 9.10
sudo service network-manager stop
sudo killall -TERM wpa_supplicant

If you can still reproduce the issue you should report it, and include the wpa_supplicant configuration file with your report. If this works fine, please report it to the NetworkManager maintainers.

If you're not using NetworkManager you can still try to reproduce the issue with just wpa_supplicant.

Bug information

In order to effectively work on your bug (maybe even reproduce it), we need some information from you.

Software versions

Please include the versions of all relevant software, especially the exact kernel version you are using.

Wireless driver

We need to know the driver you are using. If you are unsure of which wireless card you have or which driver you are using, check which modules are loaded and maybe include that list in your bug report. If it is a PCI device, lspci -k can help, if it is a USB device include the USB IDs if possible.

kernel messages

Always include the kernel messages (you can retrieve them with the dmesg command) in your bug report. Please take care not to line-wrap them, if you must attach a file rather than pasting them into email.

If possible, configure your kernel to include the options


If you use compat-wireless you can edit config.mk and enable them there. Note that each driver may also have their own respective debug parameters which help as well.

iw event log

Sometimes an iw event log is useful, for that please install iw and provide the output of the iw event -t in your bug report.

invocation information

If you're using command line tools, always include their command line. This is especially important with wpa_supplicant – we need to know whether you're using -Dwext or -Dnl80211.

Where to report bugs

NetworkManager bugs

Please report bugs on the GNOME bugzilla, in the NetworkManager product.

wpa_supplicant bugs

You can report bugs on the hostap mailing list.

drivers, mac80211, cfg80211 -- kernel wireless bugs

You should report them on the Linux wireless mailing list.

Kernel bugs are fixed according to the fix propagation, so depending on the severity any fixes might not propagate to the version of the kernel you are currently using.