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Atheros 802.11a/bg PCI/PCI-E devices (ath5k)

This page describes how to enable support for WiFi devices based on Atheros 802.11a/bg PCI/PCI-E chips, using the ath5k driver on Debian systems.

ath5k is a Linux kernel driver supporting Atheros 802.11a/bg PCI/PCI-E chips, introduced at Linux 2.6.25. Supported devices are listed at the end of this page.

Unlike the MadWifi driver, ath5k does not require a binary HAL (hardware abstraction layer). No firmware is required to be loaded from userspace.

{i} Atheros 802.11a/bg USB devices are supported by the zd1211rw driver.

{i} Atheros 802.11n PCI/PCI-E devices are supported by the ath9k driver.


  1. Connect the device to your system. The ath5k kernel module is automatically loaded for supported devices.

  2. Configure your wireless interface as appropriate.

Supported Devices

The page HowToIdentifyADevice/PCI explains how to identify a PCI device.

The following list is based on the alias fields of modinfo ath5k in Debian 3.16 (3.16.7-ckt9-3~deb8u1) kernel images.


Devices with an Atheros AR5005VL (AR5513) chip (PCI ID 168c:0020):

Use of NDISwrapper may be possible for device support.

See Also

CategoryHardware | CategoryWireless