Saturday, February 27, 2010

Linux Atheros AR9285 wireless driver

So, my 1008HA eee pc has a Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter as lspci shows me. Usually, linux uses the default ath9k driver for it, but unfortunately, it sucks. It disconnects, it’s slow, it’s a big fucking mess. So, if you need wireless drivers for your Atheros wireless adapter, i’d proudly recommend this website:

From there, you can download an archive called compat-wireless. Unarchive it, make, make install, …and then reboot your computer. You’ll have a brand new ath9k driver that …RULEZ! No more disconnecting from the wireless AP, no more 30% signal when u’re 5m away from the AP…


  1. Hi John,

    So, I've just installed aircrack-ng and iw on my Ubuntu 9.10 and seems to work.

    iwconfig shows:

    lo no wireless extensions.

    eth0 no wireless extensions.

    wlan0 IEEE 802.11bgn ESSID:"dlink"
    Mode:Managed Frequency:2.432 GHz Access Point: 00:24:01:27:F3:7B
    Bit Rate=65 Mb/s Tx-Power=20 dBm
    Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
    Encryption key:off
    Power Management:off
    Link Quality=59/70 Signal level=-51 dBm
    Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
    Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

    pan0 no wireless extensions.

    and after "airmon-ng start wlan0", iwconfig shows more:

    mon0 IEEE 802.11bgn Mode:Monitor Frequency:2.432 GHz Tx-Power=20 dBm
    Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
    Power Management:off

    So my guess is that you your backtrack distro doesn't have correct drivers installed. So, try to run "lsmod | grep ath9k" because ath9k is the right driver for your wireless adapter, if you can't find it, means you don't have the module, and I don't think you can install/compile anything on a live distro. A VMware virtual machine won't give you full access to your wireless interface so it's not a good idea. I'd suggest a full install of Ubuntu.

  2. Have you tried the madwifi drivers under ubuntu?
    How do they behave?

    Which ones are better compat-wireless or the madwifi drivers?


  3. I have Centos 6.4 installed, which still use 2.6.32-358.2.1.el6.x86_64 kernel. The drivers from either do not seem to work