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 wireless driver for Atheros AR600x family of chips. It has been tested to work with the latest in the family, AR6003.


  • Station (client) mode
  • IBSS (Ad-Hoc) mode
  • 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

Supported chipsets

  • AR6003: It is the third-generation Wi-Fi chip from Atheros optimized for the throughput, size, and energy efficiency needs of mobile and embedded devices. With its tiny footprint and energy-saving qualities, the AR6003 rounds out Atheros™ comprehensive Align® ecosystem of 1-stream 11n solutions, targeting smartphones, mobile gaming and portable CE devices.


This driver is upstream as part of the Linux 2.6.37 release under the staging area. From Linux 3.2 onwards it will be 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 dedicated ath6kl.git tree. 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 <> and CC linux-wireless. To learn more about git you can refer to our Git guide. It even documents how to send patches with git format-patch.


We are doing heavy cleanup on ath6kl so any patch you send will likely interfere with our current work. Because of this we ask you to please use IRC to help coordinate development.

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 ;)


sha1sum: b6e474d8306edaae867ab60e9e81c83cc1469c6e

Just extract that into your /lib/firmware/ directory. This firmware was submitted upstream for inclusion into the linux-firmware git tree on April 22, 2011.

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Other stuff

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