iwconfig bitrate is not set properly

Bug #384920 reported by Dainius 'GreatEmerald' Masiliūnas on 2009-06-08
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
wireless-tools (Fedora)
wireless-tools (Ubuntu)
Nominated for Lucid by RussianNeuroMancer
Nominated for Maverick by RussianNeuroMancer

Bug Description

Binary package hint: wireless-tools

I'm using Xubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope, and the bug is in wireless-tools 29-1.1ubuntu2 (but not limited to it; this bug has also appeared in other distributions such as Fedora). The hardware I'm using is a Ralink RT2500 wireless card, and my internet connection security is WPA/WPA2. I'm using the latest NetworkManager to connect to the internet, and NetworkManager-gnome as GUI.

The issue is that the internet connection speed is not set to what it should be. All the connections always get set to 1Mb/s, no matter what the actual connection speed should be, and thus it greatly limits the connection. Although I'm not sure, but I believe that the auto bitrate in iwconfig is malfunctioning in that it always sets the lowest possible speed.

I've also found a workaround: if you manually set the connection speed, it works properly (and NetworkManager-gnome reflects that change). The only things needed to do is open a terminal and enter this:

ifconfig wlan0 up
iwconfig wlan0 rate 54M

...assuming the connection is wlan0. This needs to be done each time the connection is established, though, so I have added the lines to /etc/rc.local. Though I have read that the same can be achieved by entering "iwconfig wlan0 rate 54M fixed" instead.

Changed in wireless-tools (Fedora):
status: Unknown → Confirmed

This bug is also confirmed in wireless-tools question #30772 :

I've found out another fix: get compat-wireless from and install. This will make the rate more or less correct (although varying; I still tend to set it to rate 54M fixed though).

John Stiles (john-isabelle) wrote :

Atheros AR9170 usb repeats this issue (and work arounds).

Charlie Kravetz (charlie-tca) wrote :

Thanks for reporting this bug and any supporting documentation. Since this bug has enough information provided for a developer to begin work, I'm going to mark it as confirmed and let them handle it from here. Thanks for taking the time to make Ubuntu better!

Changed in wireless-tools (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Medium
AndyCee (andrewozear) wrote :

Any progress on this?

I've tripled the speed of my wireless network now that I've read the solution to this bug.

What's doing?

Charlie Kravetz (charlie-tca) wrote :

The issue that you reported is one that should be reproducible with the live environment of the Desktop CD of the development release - Natty Narwhal. It would help us greatly if you could test with it so we can work on getting it fixed in the next release of Ubuntu. You can find out more about the development release at . Thanks again and we appreciate your help.

This bug was reported in Ubuntu 9.04. Which release are you using? Are the symptoms you experience exactly the same as the original report?

Changed in wireless-tools (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Osik (stefan-tollkuehn) wrote :


I'm on 10.10 x64 and experiencing quite similar behaviour with my wifi device, except that my connection speed seems to be 11MB/s instead of 1MB/s.


12:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g LP-PHY (rev 01)

iwconfig eth1:

eth1 IEEE 802.11 ESSID:"MY-WiFi"
          Mode:Managed Frequency:2.412 GHz Access Point: BC:05:43:45:C1:20
          Bit Rate=11 Mb/s Tx-Power:24 dBm
          Retry min limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=5/5 Signal level=-42 dBm Noise level=-89 dBm
          Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:216 Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:82 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

If I try to set the rate manually (i.e. iwconfig eth1 rate 48M) nothing works. I'm using the proprietary driver from repository installed through jockey.

Any ideas how to fix this?

Charlie Kravetz (charlie-tca) wrote :

Osik: We appreciate the difficulties you are facing, but it would make more sense to raise problems you are having in the support tracker at if you are uncertain if they are bugs. This is not the place to ask for ideas.

AndyCee (andrewozear) wrote :

Apologies for the lack of detail.

I encountered the exact symptoms of the original report, except:

* I am running 10.10
* I'm using an Intel wireless card (4965)
* I resolved the problem by adding the following line to /etc/rc.local:
   iwconfig wlan0 rate 54M auto

Will test the liveCD for Natty when I can.

Jamie Kitson (jamie-kitson) wrote :

I have found that if I do a rmmod wl (I am using the compiled broadcom sta driver) and then a modprobe wl that will fix the problem for me.

Cheers, Jamie

Jamie Kitson (jamie-kitson) wrote :

Sorry I think my above comment can be disregarded, it seems to have just started working for no particular reason :-/

Would love to see a fix for this. I'm willing to provide any information necessary to get this fixed.

Charlie Kravetz (charlie-tca) wrote :

Since this bug has enough information provided for a developer to begin work, I'm going to mark it as confirmed and let them handle it from here. Thanks for taking the time to make Ubuntu better!

Changed in wireless-tools (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Triaged
AndyCee (andrewozear) wrote :

Tested with liveUSB of Natty & problem appears fixed.

Without connection, iwconfig lists an "unknown"-type bitrate speed

Upon first connecting to a 54Mb wireless network, iwconfig reported 2Mb/s bitrate.

After running "sudo apt-get update" the bitrate setting increased to 36 Mb/s.

Seems 1Mb/s connection restriction is no longer in place. Have not tested on full install, and am personally unlikely to install until final release.

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