WPA encryption choice not listed for AP

I have an (old!) wireless G USB dongle based on the rt73 driver that I would like to use as an AP with my OpenWRT 19.07.4 VM. I know that this device works in a VM, because I have been using it with other VMs and I am actually able to perform scan using OpenWRT. (The LED does not light or flicker in OpenWRT though, while that does work in the others, but that is minor.) The problem is that in Wireless encryption choices, only 2 options (WEP) are displayed in the pulldown. I want to use WPA2.

I have tried using the device as an AP by installing (one at a time of course) hostapd, hostapd-openssl, and even hostapd-wolfssl. At one point in my tinkering around trying to get this to work, I did get the WPA options, but I do not recall what I did to get them to show.

In the Network configuration, after adding the interface for the WLAN, it says the device is not present -- I am not too concerned; this is probably because I have not fully configured the device yet in the wireless UI.

I'd prefer to stick with LuCI, as I feel that my using the uci command line interface at this early point in my learning may lead to misconfiguration and more difficulty in trying to sort this out.

Well, I may have just figured out the "problem" (lol). It looks like I was trying to add the interface BEFORE configuring the wireless. This makes sense, because the wireless UI is where the interface is actually created.

And, now, all the encryption options show up.

Gone again... Must be something about the exact order I am doing this in.

Installed the drivers for the rt73 device.
Installed one of wpad, hostapd, hostapd-openssl, hostapd-wolfssl.
Try "scan" function under Wireless, just to make sure the device is seen and operates (at least as a client).
Try to add (or modify) the wireless network (still in the Wireless UI)
Add the interface in Network (if not already there)

Sometimes this procedure works, sometimes not. I will update this post if I discover I left something out.

Does scan work?

Start simple with an unencrypted AP connected to the existing LAN network. Once a wifi device is found and all the drivers are in place, the autogenerated skeleton configuration sets up that AP, you only need to click the enable button.

x86 builds ship with no wifi support at all so you'll need kmod-nl80211, wireless-regdb, iw, and some flavor of wpad. The one just called wpad is suitable for most applications.

To bring up this card you'll need both the kmod-rt73-usb and the rt73-usb-firmware blob which gets booted into the processor on the card.

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Thanks, mk2, for your valuable input. I've pretty much followed the scheme you are suggesting. I tried the enable button, but that did not work to bring the wireless online... until after I rebooted!

I think I may be getting a little closer to a solution to this. I believe that a reboot may be necessary because I noticed that the pulldown featured the WPA options after I rebooted. I only rebooted once during the entire procedure. It could be the case that a reboot is needed sometime after the installation of the hostapd package, though I am not 100% sure at what point. That is not very unixish, but there could be something unusual about, say, the rt73 driver in particular? (Wireless G, ancient tech at this point, so maybe the driver is a bit out of date also, idk.)

It is working again now, and the thing is fast and seems stable. It's just getting to that state that is the booger here. Does my reboot theory make any sense to you?

(NB: As far as the packages are concerned, opkg finds and installs any dependencies in my experience. Also, I found that not any of wpad, hostapd, hostapd-openssl, or hostapd-wolfssl were able to get wireless working -- other than some anomaly, such as the reboot.)

The script that builds out the wifi configuration for new hardware is run at boot not a hotplug event. Ordinarily in a router the wifi hardware is permanently installed.

Oh no, now this is not good. I just saw the last part of what looked like a crash dump on the console of my OpenWRT VM. That might be a telltale sign. Where are the logs? I can't tell what crashed, and the console scrolled the text off the screen by now.

EDIT/Added: It looks like that was the e1000 card (message indicating it reset), not the wireless or wan cards (both of the latter being the USB devices). The e1000 is my LAN side of the configuration. Not sure if this is related to the other issues or not.

mk24: W/r/t your comment re "new hardware," then my theory might make some sense -- since the wireless "card" is not really part of the system per se, it could be that it only really gets detected at reboot. Is that what you are saying, or am I misunderstanding? Thanks again.

So I am updating my list. I'm going to assume, then, that the reboot is probably needed after installing the wireless card drivers, so that the boot script to build out the wifi config can execute, as you suggested.