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Atheros AR9271, AR7010 devices (ath9k_htc)

This page describes how to enable support for WiFi devices based on Atheros AR9271 and AR7010 chipsets on Debian systems.

ath9k_htc is a Linux kernel driver supporting Atheros 802.11n USB chipsets, introduced at Linux 2.6.35. Supported devices are listed at the end of this page.

AR7010-based devices (e.g. Netgear WNDA3200, TP-Link TL-WN821N v3) operate in USB mass storage mode by default. Since Linux 2.6.39, the driver sends the necessary command to enable wireless LAN operation.1

Firmware is required, which can be provided by installing the firmware-atheros package. Open firmware for this driver is also available in the firmware-ath9k-htc package starting from Buster.

{i} Atheros AR9170-based 802.11 draft-n devices are supported by carl9170.


  1. Add a "non-free" component to /etc/apt/sources.list, for example:

    # Debian 8 "Jessie"
    deb jessie main contrib non-free
  2. Update the list of available packages and install the firmware-atheros package:

    # apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-atheros
  3. Connect the device to your system. The ath9k_htc kernel module is automatically loaded for supported devices.

  4. Configure your wireless interface as appropriate.

Supported Devices

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

The following list is based on the alias fields of modinfo ath9k_htc in Debian 3.16 (3.16.7-ckt9-3~deb8u1) kernel images.

See Also

CategoryHardware | CategoryWireless