NetworkManager connection priority - a question

mike cloaked mike.cloaked at
Sat Jan 8 15:28:10 UTC 2011

As I understand it NetworkManager makes connections according to the
following priority order (but correct me if I am wrong!):

Highest priority is given to a functioning wired connection.
If (1) is not available, then connection is made to a wireless AP that
is defined or that has been connected to before.
If (2) is not available, then connection is made to any available wireless AP.

In my home LAN I have two wireless access points and here is where the
problem lies.  The main servers and primary AP are upstairs.
Downstairs is a second wireless AP that I can choose to have the same
or different SSID as the priimary, but the channel they operate on is
different.  I have only run this with wireless G at the present time
(before trying later with wireless N)

So when a laptop running F14 is switched on downstairs there is a
strong wireless signal from the secondary AP downstairs, and a weaker
(but usable) wireless signal from the upstairs AP.

NetworkManager appears not to be able to make a firm decision to
connect to the strong downstairs AP and keeps trying to switch back
and forth between to the two available APs despite the difference in
strength between the signals from the two APs.

This appears to be the same behaviour whether or not the two AP's have
the same SSID or different SSIDs.  The only way I can keep the
connection stable is to make the connection to the upstairs AP not
connect automatically.

It would be very nice to be able to tell NM to connect to the stronger
of the two AP signals as priority and not keep trying to switch
between the two - but I can't find any way to make NM do this?  i.e.
in my original list of connection priority near the top of this post
if there are two available wireless APs with defined or pre-existing
connection setups then it appears (unless I am wrong) that NM has no
internal rule to prioritise the stronger signal, or to set this as a
user config somewhere.

The net result (forgive the pun - it is only just after the New Year!)
- is that there are not infrequent brief network pauses as NM retries
the other AP.....

Can anyone offer advice on resolving this or should this be a bugzilla
report? (upstream?)


mike c

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