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Go back –> Atheros Linux wireless drivers

About ath9k

ath9k is a completely FOSS wireless driver for all Atheros IEEE 802.11n PCI/PCI-Express and AHB WLAN based chipsets.

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Get the latest ath9k driver

ath9k is part of the kernel, but the latest version can be obtained from backports.

Enabling ath9k

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  --->
          Atheros Wireless Cards ---->
            <M>   Atheros 802.11n wireless cards support

Supported chipsets

SB = single-band 2.4GHz DB = dual-band 2.4GHz or 5GHz


  • AR2427 (no 802.11n hardware support, its bonded out) 1×1 SB PCIe AR5008:
    • AR5418+AR5133 AR5418 = DB 11n PCIe, AR5133 = 3×3 DB 11n
    • AR5416+AR5133 AR5416 = DB 11n PCI
    • AR5416+AR2133 AR2133 = 3×3 SB 11n AR9001:
      • AR9160 2×2 DB 11n
      • AR9102 2×2 SB 11n
      • AR9103 3×3 SB 11n AR9002:
        • AR9220 2×2 DB 11n PCI
        • AR9223 2×2 SB 11n PCI
        • AR9227 2×2 SB 11n PCI
        • AR9280 2×2 DB 11n PCIe
        • AR9281 2×2 SB 11n PCIe
        • AR9285 1×1 SB 11n PCIe
        • AR9287 2×2 SB 11n PCIe AR9003:
          • AR9380 3×3 DB 11n PCIe
          • AR9382 2×2 DB 11n PCIe
          • AR9331 1×1 SB 11n
          • AR9340 2×2 DB 11n AR9004:
            • AR9485 1×1 SB 11n PCIe
            • AR9462 2×2 DB 11n PCIe
            • AR9565 1×1 SB 11n PCIe
            • AR9580 3×3 DB 11n PCIe
            • AR9550 3×3 DB 11n

Available devices

Features and modes of operation

All of these modes of operation are supported and should work on all ath9k cards.

Modes of operation

  • Station Mode
  • AP Mode
  • IBSS Mode
  • Monitor Mode
  • Mesh point with HT support, as well as RSN
  • WDS (as of >= 2.6.37)


  • 802.11abg
  • 802.11n
  • * HT20
  • * HT40
  • * AMPDU
  • * Short GI (Both 20 and 40 MHz)
  • * LDPC
  • * TX/RX STBC
  • 802.11i
  • * WEP 64 / 127
  • * WPA1 / WPA2
  • 802.11d
  • 802.11h
  • 802.11w/D7.0
  • WPS
  • WMM
  • LED
  • BT co-existence
  • 64-bit support / big endian, small endian
  • AHB and PCI bus
  • TDLS
  • WoW
  • Antenna Diversity

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

Visit the ath9k contribution graphs. You can help keep this up to date if you like. If interested contact the ath9k driver maintainers.

Other sections

en/users/drivers/ath9k.1423572190.txt.gz · Last modified: 2015/02/10 12:43 by Sujith Manoharan