Go back –> Atheros Linux wireless drivers
ath9k is a completely FOSS wireless driver for all Atheros IEEE 802.11n PCI/PCI-Express and AHB WLAN based chipsets.
- Subscribe to this page!
- Mailing list
- Get the latest ath9k driver
- Enabling ath9k
- Bluetooth coexistence
- supported chipsets
- Available devices
- Features and modes of operation
- A little history on ath9k
- Statistics on contributions
- Other sections
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Get the latest ath9k driver
Any distribution shipping a kernel >= 2.6.27 will have ath9k present but the ath9k driver on 2.6.32 is the oldest one recommended, anything older than that is completely unsupported. Below is a list of the minimal distribution requirements to either use ath9k from 2.6.27 or from compat-wireless, which lets you install newer drivers on older kernels.
- Ubuntu Intrepid (8.10)
- Fedora Core 10
- openSUSE 11.1
- Mandriva Linux 2009.0 (formally known as Mandrake Linux)
- ARCH Linux
- Gentoo Linux
- Red Flag Linux 7.0 (based on Fedora 10)
If you want to get the latest ath9k driver you have several options:
compat-wireless stable releases of ath9k - ath9k as it is in newer stable kernels releases backported for older kernels
compat-wireless daily linux-next.git snapshots of ath9k - ath9k as it is present in the development tree for 802.11 backported for older kernels
- wireless-testing: through the 802.11 development git tree used by developers working on ath9k
To read more about the wireless-testing and development on ath9k you can read our our git-guide and the development process, please be also sure to read the bug fix propagation, our documentation on reporting bugs, and how we handle adding additional critical fix patches to ath9k.
It should be noted that some Linux distributions already use the stable compat-wireless releases as packages in their Linux distribution. Examples are ChromeOS, Ubuntu, Gentoo and Openwrt. Openwrt in particular uses compat-wireless snapshots based on wireless-testing, and the releases are updated regularly after some evaluation by OpenWrt's developers and the community. If you are using the any of the compat-wireless releases, you can enable only to compile and install ath9k by issuing the following commands.
./scripts/driver-select ath9k make sudo make install
To enable ath9k, you must first enable mac80211 through make menuconfig when compiling your kernel. If you do not know what this means then please learn to compile kernels or rely on your Linux distribution's kernel. Below are the options you need to enable ath9k through make menuconfig.
Networking ---> Wireless ---> <M> Improved wireless configuration API <M> Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack (mac80211)
You can then enable ath9k in the kernel configuration under
Device Drivers ---> [*] Network device support ---> Wireless LAN ---> <M> Atheros 802.11n wireless cards support
ath9k supports 2-wire and 3-wire Bluetooth coexistence, for details see the ath9k btcoex page.
SB = single-band 2.4GHz DB = dual-band 2.4GHz or 5GHz
AR2427 (>= 188.8.131.52, no 802.11n hardware support, its bonded out) 1x1 SB PCIe
AR5418+AR5133 (>= 2.6.27) AR5418 = DB 11n PCIe, AR5133 = 3x3 DB 11n
AR5416+AR5133 (>= 2.6.27) AR5416 = DB 11n PCI
AR5416+AR2133 (>= 2.6.27) AR2133 = 3x3 SB 11n
AR9160 (>= 2.6.27) DB 11n
AR9102 (>= 2.6.30, AHB) 2x2 SB 11n
AR9103 (>= 2.6.30, AHB) 3x3 SB 11n
AR9220 (>= 2.6.27, an AR9280 card over PCI) 2x2 DB 11n PCI
AR9280 (>= 2.6.27) 2x2 DB 11n PCIe
AR9281 (>= 2.6.27) 2x2 SB 11n PCIe
AR9285 (>= 2.6.29) 1x1 SB 11n PCIe
AR9287 (>= 2.6.32) 2x2 SB 11n PCIe
AR9380 (>= 2.6.36) 3x3 DB 11n PCIe
AR9382 (>= 2.6.36) 2x2 DB 11n PCIe
AR9485 (>= 2.6.39) 1x1 SB 11n PCIe
See the ath9k device list.
Features and modes of operation
All of these modes of operation are supported and should work on all ath9k cards.
Modes of operation
Mesh point with HT support, as well as RSN
WDS (as of >= 2.6.37)
- Short GI (40 MHz only)
- WEP 64 / 127
- WPA1 / WPA2
- WPS client side (use wpa_gui-qt4 from wpa_supplicant for now)
- BT co-existence
- 64-bit support / big endian, small endian
- AHB and PCI bus
A little history on ath9k
When it went in
ath9k was announced to have been merged into Linux-2.6.27-rc3 by Linus on Tue, 12 Aug 2008 19:33:16 -0700 (PDT), and consisted of 58.8% of the entire rc3 patch.
Early distributions which picked it up
Statistics on contributions
Below are stats on contributions between Qualcomm Atheros and the community on ath9k.
For more information please see:
power consumption - power consumption details with ath9k
ath9k_hw module - documentation about the ath9k_hw module
ath.ko module - used for shared code between Atheros devices