I’ve been looking for a way to debug a wireless card driver for a little while now. The search has pushed me into buying a PCI 802.11 card from eBay and moving hard drives around so that an old machine now has the card installed and FreeBSD 5.2.1 installed on it.

Installing the bsd-airtools package was the first step, which as it’s a recent kernel went fine. Next step was figuring out how to actually get the level of detail from the ether that I need to debug the driver. The answer turned out to be right there but it wasn’t as obvious as I’d have thought!

Running prism2ctl to put the card into monitor mode, then running prism2dump showed me enough to figure out that while the driver is sending data, what it’s sending isn’t correctly formatted – narrowing my debugging down to a significant degree!

Maybe that information will help someone else 🙂