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Atheros AR9170 devices (carl9170)

This page describes how to enable support for WiFi devices based on Atheros AR9170 chipset on Debian systems.

{i} Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" users, see ar9170usb for device support.

carl9170 is a driver supporting the Atheros AR9170 802.11 draft-n USB chipset. Supported devices are listed at the end of this page.

It is part of the Linux kernel since version 2.6.37 and enabled in Debian Linux kernel images at linux-2.6 3.0.0~rc1-1~experimental.1. carl9170 replaces the obsolete ar9170usb driver which was removed at Linux 3.0.

Free firmware (GPLv2 licensed) is required for device operation; this is included in the firmware-linux-free package since version 3.2.

{i} Atheros AR9271/AR7010-based USB devices are supported by the ath9k_htc driver.


Debian 7 "Wheezy"

  1. If not already installed, install the firmware-linux-free package:

    # apt-get install firmware-linux-free

    firmware-linux-free is recommended by the linux-image packages. APT installs recommended packages by default.

  2. Connect the device to your system. The carl9170 kernel module is automatically loaded for supported devices.

  3. Configure your wireless interface as appropriate.


Known issues with device compatibility are documented on its homepage.

Supported Devices

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

The following list is based on the alias fields of modinfo carl9170 in Debian 3.2.0 (3.2.46-1) kernel images.

See Also

CategoryHardware | CategoryWireless