Atheros AR2427 Wireless Network Adapter
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Atheros AR2427 Wireless Network Adapter

NOTE: this page is for archival only, see the note at the end of the page.

Go back –> Atheros Linux wireless drivers

ath9k is a completely FOSS wireless driver for all Atheros IEEE 802.11n PCI/PCI-Express and AHB WLAN based chipsets.

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Our mailing list for this driver is:

Any distribution shipping a kernel >= 2.6.27 will have ath9k present but the ath9k driver on 2.6.32 is the oldest one recommended, anything older than that is completely unsupported.

The latest ath9k driver can be obtained from backports.

To enable ath9k, you must first enable mac80211 through make menuconfig when compiling your kernel. If you do not know what this means then please learn to compile kernels or rely on your Linux distribution’s kernel. Below are the options you need to enable ath9k through make menuconfig.

Networking -> Wireless -> Improved wireless configuration API Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack (mac80211)

You can then enable ath9k in the kernel configuration under

Device Drivers -> [*] Network device support -> Wireless LAN -> Atheros Wireless Cards -> Atheros 802.11n wireless cards support

SB = single-band 2.4GHz DB = dual-band 2.4GHz or 5GHz


  • AR2427 (no 802.11n hardware support, its bonded out) 1×1 SB PCIe


  • AR5418+AR5133 AR5418 = DB 11n PCIe, AR5133 = 3×3 DB 11n
  • AR5416+AR5133 AR5416 = DB 11n PCI
  • AR5416+AR2133 AR2133 = 3×3 SB 11n


  • AR9160 2×2 DB 11n
  • AR9102 2×2 SB 11n
  • AR9103 3×3 SB 11n


  • AR9220 2×2 DB 11n PCI
  • AR9223 2×2 SB 11n PCI
  • AR9227 2×2 SB 11n PCI
  • AR9280 2×2 DB 11n PCIe
  • AR9281 2×2 SB 11n PCIe
  • AR9285 1×1 SB 11n PCIe
  • AR9287 2×2 SB 11n PCIe


  • AR9380 3×3 DB 11n PCIe
  • AR9382 2×2 DB 11n PCIe
  • AR9331 1×1 SB 11n
  • AR9340 2×2 DB 11n


  • AR9485 1×1 SB 11n PCIe
  • AR9462 2×2 DB 11n PCIe
  • AR9565 1×1 SB 11n PCIe
  • AR9580 3×3 DB 11n PCIe
  • AR9550 3×3 DB 11n

See the ath9k device list.

All of these modes of operation are supported and should work on all ath9k cards.

Modes of operation

  • Station Mode
  • AP Mode
  • IBSS Mode
  • Monitor Mode
  • Mesh point with HT support, as well as RSN
  • WDS (as of >= 2.6.37)


  • 802.11abg
  • 802.11n
  • HT20
  • HT40
  • Short GI (Both 20 and 40 MHz)
  • LDPC
  • 802.11i
  • 802.11d
  • 802.11h
  • 802.11w/D7.0
  • WPS
  • WMM
  • LED
  • BT co-existence
  • 64-bit support / big endian, small endian
  • AHB and PCI bus
  • TDLS
  • WoW
  • Antenna Diversity

When it went in

ath9k was announced to have been merged into Linux-2.6.27-rc3 by Linus on Tue, 12 Aug 2008 19:33:16 -0700 (PDT), and consisted of 58.8% of the entire rc3 patch.

Early distributions which picked it up

OpenWrt became the first distribution to pick up ath9k and contribute to it.

Visit the ath9k contribution graphs. You can help keep this up to date if you like. If interested contact the ath9k driver maintainers.