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IWM(4) Device Drivers Manual IWM(4)

iwmIntel 7200 IEEE 802.11a/ac/b/g/n wireless network devices

iwm* at pci?

The iwm driver provides support for Intel Wireless 7260, 7265, and 3160 PCIe Mini Card network adapters.

These are the modes the iwm driver can operate in:

BSS mode
Also known as mode, this is used when associating with an access point, through which all traffic passes.

The iwm driver can be configured to use Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK). WPA is the current encryption standard for wireless networks. It is strongly recommended that WEP not be used as the sole mechanism to secure wireless communication, due to serious weaknesses in it.

The iwm driver can be configured at runtime with ifconfig(8) or on boot with hostname.if(5).

The driver needs one of the following firmware files, which are loaded when an interface is brought up:


These firmware files are not free because Intel refuses to grant distribution rights without contractual obligations. As a result, even though OpenBSD includes the driver, the firmware files cannot be included and users have to download these files on their own.

A prepackaged version of the firmware can be installed using fw_update(1).

The following example scans for available networks:

# ifconfig iwm0 scan

The following hostname.if(5) example configures iwm0 to join network “mynwid”, using WPA key “mywpakey”, obtaining an IP address using DHCP:

nwid mynwid
wpakey mywpakey

iwm0: device timeout
A frame dispatched to the hardware for transmission did not complete in time. The driver will reset the hardware. This should not happen.
iwm0: fatal firmware error
For some reason, the firmware crashed. The driver will reset the hardware. This should not happen.
iwm0: radio is disabled by hardware switch
The radio transmitter is off and thus no packet can go out. The driver will reset the hardware. Make sure the laptop radio switch is on.
iwm0: could not read firmware ... (error N)
For some reason, the driver was unable to read the firmware image from the filesystem. The file might be missing or corrupted.
iwm0: firmware too short: N bytes
The firmware image is corrupted and can't be loaded into the adapter.
iwm0: could not load firmware
An attempt to load the firmware into the adapter failed. The driver will reset the hardware.

arp(4), ifmedia(4), intro(4), netintro(4), pci(4), hostname.if(5), ifconfig(8)

The iwm driver does not support any of the 802.11n and 802.11ac capabilities offered by the adapters. Additional work is required in ieee80211(9) before those features can be supported.

The firmware stops passing traffic if the MAC address is changed with

# ifconfig iwm0 lladdr ...

Occasionally, firmware errors occur before association to a wireless network has completed. Several attempts may be required before link is successfully established.

March 8, 2015 OpenBSD-5.8