Linux, Wifi Hardware and Tethering

I thought it might be convenient to set up the laptop as a wifi access point sometimes (especially when copying images off of the Flashair SD card in the cameras, since they have very short range).

There’s apparently no built-in method in any Linux distribution to have a wifi card be both an AP and a client at the same time.  This is probably because it’s a very complicated task depending on lots of hardware and software details.  But someone has taken a stab at it, anyway.

On my new Lenovo Carbon X1 laptop, with this wifi controller

04:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 7265 (rev 59)

it doesn’t work.  If NetworkManager is running, it just says “Device busy” when creating the ap0 device.  If I stop NetworkManager, I’m able to create the AP, but if I then start NetworkManager, it’s unable to connect to the real AP.

On my old Lenovo Carbon X1 laptop, with this wifi controller

03:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 
        6205 [Taylor Peak] (rev 96)

it works!  And it’s much, much faster copying pictures from the Flashair card when it talks directly to the laptop than copying pictures via a separate AP.  Which makes sense, but I didn’t think it would be like 5x faster…

Looking at “iw list” on both, they both seem to claim that they should be able to be a client and an AP.

Does anybody have an idea whether the newer chipset just isn’t capable, anyway?

One thought on “Linux, Wifi Hardware and Tethering”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s