I have two Cisco AIR-AP1832-E-K9 access points.

The first one is already operational (1).

Its operating mode is: AP & Controller (2).

I configured two WLANs (and also two VLANs, two SSIDs) on this WLC-AP.

With the second AP I would like to achieve roaming.

I don't know how to configure this second access point.

By default, AIR-AP1832-E-K9 are in "AP & Controller" operating mode.

But I don't need two controllers.

Can the second AP "share" the configuration of the first AP (the WLAN definitions for example)?

Or do these WLANs (VLANs and SSIDs) have to be redefined in exactly the same way on the second AP?

How does the second AP "pairs"/"associates with" with the first one?

Does it have something to do with "master" and "subordinate" APs?

I don't care about doing this configuration twice but I don't want the APs to "compete".

I just need to go from one room to another with my Cisco Wifi phone in hand without any disruption.

Thank you.

(1) As a side note, I did the first AP configuration in CLI.

(2) I don't know how to check that in CLI. If you know, please share.



I just did the initial configuration in CLI of the second access point.

As a result, I cannot access the first access point anymore (either via https://access_point_1_ip or via SSH).

I can access the second access point via https://access_point_2_ip and it shows that:

  • the second access point operating mode is "AP & Controller",
  • the first access point operating mode is "AP only".

And I cannot change these operating modes via the GUI.



I solved my problem by installing the version of the software on AP1.

And apart from the initial setup, I didn't configure anything special on the second access point.

Thank you for your help.

  • 1
    Have you got the software version of the APs? In general, if you put the same SSID on two access points, clients expect to be connected to same network, so put the VLANs the same; ensure channels are separated.
    – jonathanjo
    Oct 4, 2018 at 15:23
  • Thank you for your answer. Is it that kind of info you are asking for? This concerns the second access point: AP Running Image : / AP Image type : MOBILITY EXPRESS IMAGE / AP Configuration : MOBILITY EXPRESS CAPABLE? Oct 4, 2018 at 16:02
  • Hello jonathanjo, the software versions of the APs are: AP1 -> and AP2 -> Oct 5, 2018 at 10:08
  • I have the impression that, as the second AP has the most recent image version, it declares that it is going to be the controller of the two APs. Is it true? Is there such a(n implicit) rule? Oct 5, 2018 at 10:24
  • Did any answer help you? If so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you can post and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jan 7, 2021 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


Apparently, you don't actually have a controller, which would make things very simple.

But briefly:

  • You need to configure each access point with its own IP address.
  • Each access point will use a different RF channel.
  • Both access points will have the same SSID and same WPA key.
  • Both access points will map the SSID to the same VLAN.

This will allow your clients to roam.

  • Thank you for your answer. I edited my original post. Oct 4, 2018 at 16:14
  • Pardon me if I'm mistaken but, to me, both devices are, by default, controllers. Are you saying I should deactivate the controllers in both devices? Oct 4, 2018 at 16:23
  • 1
    I see, you are using Mobility Express. My bad for not seeing that first. You can configure both APs from the second one - it is the controller for both APs. Here is the full deployment guide, which will walk you through everything: cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/controller/technotes/8-3/…
    – Ron Trunk
    Oct 4, 2018 at 17:23
  • Thank you I am going to have a look at it more carefully. Oct 5, 2018 at 8:34

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