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SubjectRe: Network drivers that don't suspend on interface down
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On Thu, 2006-12-21 at 01:15 +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 01:12:51PM -0500, Dan Williams wrote:
> > Entirely correct. If the card is DOWN, the radio should be off (both TX
> > & RX) and it should be in max power save mode. If userspace expects to
> > be able to get the card to do _anything_ when it's down, that's just
> > 110% wrong. You can't get link events for many wired cards when they
> > are down, so I fail to see where userspace could expect to do anything
> > with a wireless card when it's down too.
>
> Because it works on the common hardware? If there's documentation about
> what userspace can legitimately expect, then I'm happy to defer to that.
> But in the absence of any indication as to what functionality users can
> depend on, deciding that existing functionality is a bug is, well,
> impolite.
>
> > Also, how does rfkill fit into this? rfkill implies killing TX, but do
> > we have the granularity to still receive while the transmit paths are
> > powered down?
>
> Is rfkill not just primarily an interface for us getting events when the
> radio changes state? Every time I read up on it I get a little more
> confused - some time I really need to make sense of it...

That's OK, it's really complicated. There are 3 cases of rfkill
switches AFAICT:

a) tied to the wireless hardware, switch kills hardware directly
b) tied to wireless hardware, but driver handles the kill request
c) just another key, a separate key driver handles the event and asks
the wireless driver to kill the card

It's also complicated because some switches are supposed to rfkill both
an 802.11 module _and_ a bluetooth module at the same time, or I guess
some laptops may even have one rfkill switch for each wireless device.
Furthermore, some people want to 'softkill' the hardware via software
without pushing the key, which is a subset of (b) or (c) above.

It sucks. But we _need_ a unified interface to handle it.

Dan


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