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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.

carl9170 is a Linux kernel driver supporting the Atheros AR9170 802.11 draft-n USB chipset, introduced at Linux 2.6.37. It replaces the obsolete ar9170usb driver.

Supported devices are listed at the end of this page. Free firmware (GPLv2 licensed) is required for device operation; this is included in the firmware-linux-free package.

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


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

    # apt-get install firmware-linux-free
  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 the driver's 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 3.16 (3.16.7-ckt9-3~deb8u1) kernel images.

See Also

CategoryHardware | CategoryWireless