I’m running OpenBSD on a computer which is connected via wireless to the network. It is a well supported NIC and I’ve had no problems with it from a hardware perspective.

Unfortunately my wireless access point occasionally loves to forget it’s settings. I then have to help it remember. However, in this intervening time my OpenBSD box drops the connection and then does not automatically reconnect. I have alleviated my problems by running this simple script in the background:

while [ 1 ]
    ping -c1 > /dev/null
    if [ $? = 1 ]
        sh /etc/netstart ral0 > /dev/null
    sleep 30

[Ping the access point. If there is no response attempt to reconnect.]

It seems to me to be a very suboptimal solution. Has anyone else come across a better way?

2 Answers 2


I have the same problem once in a while with VirtIO network device under Qemu/KVM. I've workaround the issue with ifstated(8):

# grep -e ^ifstated /etc/rc.conf.local
ifstated_flags=                 # enabled

The daemon is configured to ping default gateway every 30 seconds:

# /etc/ifstated.conf

net = '( "ping -nq -c 3 -w 1 > /dev/null 2>&1" every 30 )'

state auto {
        if ! $net {
                run "ifconfig vio0 down up"

Unfortunately above solution is in nature, the same as yours.

  • Thanks for pointing out ifstated; it looks very much more suited to this task. I'm going to try this out soon!
    – casr
    Feb 23, 2014 at 23:10

I don't think I understand. You said your wireless AP likes to forget it's settings. What does this have to do with your NIC? Do you mean your NIC forgets the AP settings?

  • Sorry for being a bit free with my language. The problem stems from having an unreliable AP. For unknown reasons, it will turn off and come back on again. When this happens the NIC on the OpenBSD machine will disconnect. It doesn’t lose the connection settings but it doesn’t reconnect either. So the question is this: can the NIC detect when it’s disconnected from the AP and subsequently reconnect to it (if it is detected)?
    – casr
    Feb 15, 2011 at 15:27

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