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


ath9k is a completely FOSS wireless driver for Atheros IEEE 802.11n WLAN based chipsets.

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Mailing list

Our mailing list for this driver is:

Get the latest ath9k driver

Any distribution shipping a kernel >= 2.6.27 will have ath9k present. Below is a list of the minimal distribution requirements to either use ath9k from 2.6.27 or from compat-wireless.

  • 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 can get it by using the wireless-testing git tree. Read our git-guide for that. Alternatively you can simply upgrade only your Linux wireless subsystem by using compat-wireless.

Enabling ath9k

To enable ath9k, you must first enable mac80211:

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

Debugging ath9k

This is covered under the ath9k debugging section.

Enabling bluetooth coexistance

You can enable bluetooth coexistance on ath9k by using the btcoex_enable module parameter. This is not enable by default as some devices have had issues with it.

modprobe ath9k btcoex_enable=1

Products with ath9k cards

You can find all products int the market with ath9k cards on the ath9k products page.

supported chipsets

  • AR5418+AR5133
  • AR5416+AR5133
  • AR5416+AR2133
  • AR9160
  • AR9280
  • AR9281
  • AR9285 (>= 2.6.29)

  • AR9102 (AHB) (>= 2.6.30)

  • AR9103 (AHB) (>= 2.6.30)


Modes of operation

  • Station Mode

  • AP Mode

  • IBSS Mode


  • 802.11abg
  • 802.11n
    • HT20
    • HT40
    • AMPDU
    • Short GI (40 MHz only)
  • 802.11i
    • WEP 64 / 127
    • WPA1 / WPA2
  • 802.11d
  • 802.11h
  • 802.11w/D7.0
  • WPS client side (use wpa_gui-qt4 from wpa_supplicant for now)
  • WMM
  • LED
  • BT co-existence (with a module parameter)
  • 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

OpenWrt became the first distribution to pick up ath9k and contribute to it.

ath9k TODO list

If you are a developer looking to help with ath9k you can keep track of our efforts on our ath9k TODO page.

ath9k bugs

This is covered under the ath9k bugs section.

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