NOTE: this page is for archival only, see the note at the end of the page.

Go back –> Atheros Linux wireless drivers


'ath6kl' is the FullMAC wireless driver for Atheros AR600x family of chips, for example AR6003, AR6004 and AR6005.


  • Station (client) mode
  • IBSS (Ad-Hoc) mode
  • AP mode (requires wpasupplicant/hostapd 1.0 or newer)
  • 802.11abg
  • 802.11n
    • HT20
    • HT40
    • AMPDU
    • Short GI (40 MHz only)
  • 802.11i
    • WEP 64 / 127
    • WPA1 / WPA2
  • 802.11d
  • 802.11h
  • WMM
  • BT co-existence

Not supported:

  • monitor mode (no firmware support)

Supported chipsets


This driver is upstream as part of the Linux 2.6.37 release under the staging area. From Linux 3.2 onwards it was promoted from staging to a proper wireless driver.

It is also available for older kernels through the stable compat-wireless releases.

Hacking on ath6kl

ath6kl is now part of wireless kernel trees. All the development happens in github github's ath6kl project. To clone the tree:

git clone git://

The driver is located in drivers/net/wireless/ath/ath6kl. To compile the driver enable CONFIG_ATH6KL which is found under Device Drivers/Network device support/Wireless LAN/Atheros Wireless Cards/Atheros ath6kl support. Also enable CONFIG_ATH6KL_DEBUG to include all debugging code.

Send any patches to Kalle Valo < >, but remember also to CC both < > and < To learn more about git you can refer to our Git guide. It even documents how to send patches with git format-patch.


For technical support send email to < >, which is a public mailing list for ath6kl developers and users. Everyone are welcome to subcribe to the list.

In case there's something you want to send privately just to QCA engineers, you can send email to < >. But due to lack of time, ath6kl developers are not normally able to give private support, so please send questions to the public mailing list. You get better answers that way.


We have an IRC channel with some of the ath6kl people.

IRC server:
IRC channel: #ath6kl

Please take into account the different timezones and schedules, it might take a long time to get an answer.

Note: Windows boxen by default seem to block IRC ports so go find yourself a Linux box ;)


Get the firmware from linux-firmware.git.


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Statistics on contributions

Visit the ath6kl contribution map for details on contributions. If you'd like to help keep this information up to date contact the ath6kl maintainers.

Other stuff

This is a static dump of the old wiki, taken after locking it in January 2015. The new wiki is at
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