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* [PATCH] `iwlist scan` fails with many networks available
       [not found] <CABVa4NgWMkJuyB1P5fwQEYHwqBRiySE+fGQpMKt8zbp+xJ8+rw@mail.gmail.com>
@ 2019-08-11  2:08 ` James Nylen
  2019-08-11  6:25   ` Johannes Berg
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 3+ messages in thread
From: James Nylen @ 2019-08-11  2:08 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Johannes Berg, David S. Miller, linux-wireless, netdev, linux-kernel

[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 464 bytes --]

In 5.x it's still possible for `ieee80211_scan_results` (`iwlist
scan`) to fail when too many wireless networks are available.  This
code path is used by `wicd`.

Previously: https://lkml.org/lkml/2017/4/2/192

I've been applying this updated patch to my own kernels since 2017 with
no issues.  I am sure it is not the ideal way to solve this problem, but
I'm making my fix available in case it helps others.

Please advise on next steps or if this is a dead end.

[-- Attachment #2: wireless-scan-less-e2big.diff --]
[-- Type: text/plain, Size: 1993 bytes --]

commit 8e80dcb0df71ac8f5d3640bcdb1bba9c7693d63a
Author: James Nylen <jnylen@gmail.com>
Date:   Wed Apr 26 14:38:58 2017 +0200

    Hack: Make `ieee80211_scan_results` (`iwlist scan`) return less E2BIG
    
    See: https://lkml.org/lkml/2017/4/2/192
    
    (and branch `jcn/hack/wireless-scan-no-e2big`)
    
    This should really be done with a bigger limit inside the `iwlist` code
    instead, if possible (or even better: modify `wicd` to use `iw scan`
    instead).

diff --git a/net/wireless/scan.c b/net/wireless/scan.c
index 21be56b3128e..08fa9cb68f59 100644
--- a/net/wireless/scan.c
+++ b/net/wireless/scan.c
@@ -1699,6 +1699,7 @@ static int ieee80211_scan_results(struct cfg80211_registered_device *rdev,
 				  struct iw_request_info *info,
 				  char *buf, size_t len)
 {
+	char *maybe_current_ev;
 	char *current_ev = buf;
 	char *end_buf = buf + len;
 	struct cfg80211_internal_bss *bss;
@@ -1709,14 +1710,29 @@ static int ieee80211_scan_results(struct cfg80211_registered_device *rdev,
 
 	list_for_each_entry(bss, &rdev->bss_list, list) {
 		if (buf + len - current_ev <= IW_EV_ADDR_LEN) {
-			err = -E2BIG;
+			// Buffer too small to hold another BSS.  Only report
+			// an error if we have not yet reached the maximum
+			// buffer size that `iwlist` can handle.
+			if (len < 0xFFFF) {
+				err = -E2BIG;
+			}
 			break;
 		}
-		current_ev = ieee80211_bss(&rdev->wiphy, info, bss,
-					   current_ev, end_buf);
-		if (IS_ERR(current_ev)) {
-			err = PTR_ERR(current_ev);
+		maybe_current_ev = ieee80211_bss(&rdev->wiphy, info, bss,
+					         current_ev, end_buf);
+		if (IS_ERR(maybe_current_ev)) {
+			err = PTR_ERR(maybe_current_ev);
+			if (err == -E2BIG) {
+				// Last BSS failed to copy into buffer.  As
+				// above, only report an error if `iwlist` will
+				// retry again with a larger buffer.
+				if (len >= 0xFFFF) {
+					err = 0;
+				}
+			}
 			break;
+		} else {
+			current_ev = maybe_current_ev;
 		}
 	}
 	spin_unlock_bh(&rdev->bss_lock);

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 3+ messages in thread

* Re: [PATCH] `iwlist scan` fails with many networks available
  2019-08-11  2:08 ` [PATCH] `iwlist scan` fails with many networks available James Nylen
@ 2019-08-11  6:25   ` Johannes Berg
  2019-08-13  0:43     ` James Nylen
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 3+ messages in thread
From: Johannes Berg @ 2019-08-11  6:25 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: James Nylen, David S. Miller, linux-wireless, netdev, linux-kernel

On Sun, 2019-08-11 at 02:08 +0000, James Nylen wrote:
> In 5.x it's still possible for `ieee80211_scan_results` (`iwlist
> scan`) to fail when too many wireless networks are available.  This
> code path is used by `wicd`.
> 
> Previously: https://lkml.org/lkml/2017/4/2/192

This has been known for probably a decade or longer. I don't know why
'wicd' still insists on using wext, unless it's no longer maintained at
all. nl80211 doesn't have this problem at all, and I think gives more
details about the networks found too.

> I've been applying this updated patch to my own kernels since 2017 with
> no issues.  I am sure it is not the ideal way to solve this problem, but
> I'm making my fix available in case it helps others.

I don't think silently dropping data is a good solution.

I suppose we could consider applying a workaround like this if it has a
condition checking that the buffer passed in is the maximum possible
buffer (65535 bytes, due to iw_point::length being u16), but below that
-E2BIG serves well-written implementations as an indicator that they
need to retry with a bigger buffer.

> Please advise on next steps or if this is a dead end.

I think wireless extensions are in fact a dead end and all software
(even 'wicd', which seems to be the lone holdout) should migrate to
nl80211 instead.

johannes


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 3+ messages in thread

* Re: [PATCH] `iwlist scan` fails with many networks available
  2019-08-11  6:25   ` Johannes Berg
@ 2019-08-13  0:43     ` James Nylen
  0 siblings, 0 replies; 3+ messages in thread
From: James Nylen @ 2019-08-13  0:43 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Johannes Berg; +Cc: David S. Miller, linux-wireless, netdev, linux-kernel

>I suppose we could consider applying a workaround like this if it has a
>condition checking that the buffer passed in is the maximum possible
>buffer (65535 bytes, due to iw_point::length being u16)

This is what the latest patch does (attached to my email from
yesterday / https://lkml.org/lkml/2019/8/10/452 ).

If you'd like to apply it, I'm happy to make any needed revisions.
Otherwise I'm going to have to keep patching my kernels for this
issue, unfortunately I don't have the time to try to get wicd to
migrate to a better solution.

On 8/11/19, Johannes Berg <johannes@sipsolutions.net> wrote:
> On Sun, 2019-08-11 at 02:08 +0000, James Nylen wrote:
>> In 5.x it's still possible for `ieee80211_scan_results` (`iwlist
>> scan`) to fail when too many wireless networks are available.  This
>> code path is used by `wicd`.
>>
>> Previously: https://lkml.org/lkml/2017/4/2/192
>
> This has been known for probably a decade or longer. I don't know why
> 'wicd' still insists on using wext, unless it's no longer maintained at
> all. nl80211 doesn't have this problem at all, and I think gives more
> details about the networks found too.
>
>> I've been applying this updated patch to my own kernels since 2017 with
>> no issues.  I am sure it is not the ideal way to solve this problem, but
>> I'm making my fix available in case it helps others.
>
> I don't think silently dropping data is a good solution.
>
> I suppose we could consider applying a workaround like this if it has a
> condition checking that the buffer passed in is the maximum possible
> buffer (65535 bytes, due to iw_point::length being u16), but below that
> -E2BIG serves well-written implementations as an indicator that they
> need to retry with a bigger buffer.
>
>> Please advise on next steps or if this is a dead end.
>
> I think wireless extensions are in fact a dead end and all software
> (even 'wicd', which seems to be the lone holdout) should migrate to
> nl80211 instead.
>
> johannes
>
>

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 3+ messages in thread

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2019-08-11  2:08 ` [PATCH] `iwlist scan` fails with many networks available James Nylen
2019-08-11  6:25   ` Johannes Berg
2019-08-13  0:43     ` James Nylen

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