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ZyDAS ZD1211/ZD1211B and Atheros AR5007UG devices

This page describes how to enable support for WiFi devices based on ZyDAS ZD1211 chipsets on Debian systems.


zd1211rw is a module for ZyDAS ZD1211, ZD1211B and Atheros AR5007UG USB 802.11g wireless LAN chipsets. This is not to be confused with the ["zd1201"] module which supports the ZD1201 802.11b chipset.

After being acquired by Atheros, the ZyDAS ZD1211B chipset was rebranded as the "Atheros AR5007UG" (also known as AR2524/AR5524). Devices with chipsets bearing these names are also supported.

Non-free firmware is required, which can be provided by installing the zd1211-firmware package.


The zd1211rw driver is included in the mainline Linux kernel since 2.6.18-rc1. It is present in Debian kernel images.

  • <!> [:DebianEtch:Etch] users: Some ZD1211/ZD1211B devices may not be known to the zd1211rw driver in the 2.6.18 kernel. Refer to the [#troubleshoot troubleshooting section] to install a 2.6.24 kernel image.

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

# Debian Etch/4.0
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian etch main contrib non-free

# Debian Lenny/5.0
deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian lenny main contrib non-free

2. Install the wireless-tools and zd1211-firmware packages:

aptitude update
aptitude install wireless-tools zd1211-firmware

3. Physically connect the device to your system.

4. The necessary kernel module should be [:Modules:automatically loaded]. If necessary, it can be manually loaded via:

modprobe zd1211rw

5. Verify your device has an available interface:


6. Raise the interface to activate the radio, for example:

ifconfig wlan0 up

7. [:WiFi/HowToUse:Configure] your wireless interface as appropriate.



  • Examine the kernel ring buffer (dmesg) to verify the required firmware files are being loaded by the driver. Lack of firmware is the usual reason for the "SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory" error message.
  • Atheros AR5007UG devices based on the UW2453 radio require a 2.6.23 or later kernel.
    • Etch users: Install and boot an [:EtchAndAHalf:] kernel (apt-cache search linux-image-2.6.24-etchnhalf and install a package appropriate for your system).

See Also

  • ["zd1201"] - Help page for the ZyDAS ZD1201 chipset (802.11b USB devices)
  • [:WiFi/HowToUse:?HowToUse] Wifi adapter