Atheros IEEE 802.11 wireless network driver
To compile this driver into the kernel, place the following lines in your kernel
Alternatively, to load the driver as a module at boot time, place the following
driver provides support for wireless
network adapters based on the Atheros AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, AR5416 and
AR9300 programming APIs. These APIs are used by a wide variety of chips; most
all chips with a PCI and/or CardBus interface are supported.
Supported features include 802.11 and 802.3 frames, power management, BSS, IBSS,
MBSS, TDMA, and host-based access point operation modes. All host/device
interaction is via DMA.
Please note that from FreeBSD-9.0, the
driver does not include the PCI/PCIe bus glue. The same driver supports
multiple underlying bus types, including PCI/PCIe, but also embedded (AHB) and
USB in the future.
To enable use for PCI/PCIe systems, see the
driver. For embedded systems which use the AHB to connect the wireless MAC,
driver encapsulates all IP and ARP
traffic as 802.11 frames, however it can receive either 802.11 or 802.3
frames. Transmit speed and operating mode is selectable and depends on the
specific chipset. AR5210-based devices support 802.11a operation with transmit
speeds of 6 Mbps, 9 Mbps, 12 Mbps, 18 Mbps, 24 Mbps, 36 Mbps, 48 Mbps, and 54
Mbps. AR5211-based devices support 802.11a and 802.11b operation with transmit
speeds as above for 802.11a operation and 1Mbps, 2Mbps, 5.5 Mbps and 11Mbps
for 802.11b operation. AR5212-based devices support 802.11a, 802.11b, and
802.11g operation with transmit speeds appropriate to each. AR5416 and later
class devices are capable of 802.11n operation. Most chips also support an
Atheros Turbo Mode (TM) that operates in the 5GHz frequency range with 2x the
transmit speeds. Some chips also support Turbo mode in the 2.4GHz range with
802.11g though this support is not presently available due to regulatory
requirements. (Note that Turbo modes are, however, only interoperable with
other Atheros-based devices.) AR5212-based and AR5416-based devices also
support half- (10MHz) and quarter-width (5MHz) channels. The actual transmit
speed used is dependent on signal quality and the “rate control”
algorithm employed by the driver. All chips support WEP encryption. AR5212,
AR5416 and later parts have hardware support for the AES-CCM, TKIP, and
Michael cryptographic operations required for WPA. To enable encryption, use
as shown below.
The driver supports
mode operation. Multiple
virtual interfaces may be configured
for simultaneous use on cards that use a 5212 or later part. When multiple
interfaces are configured each may have a separate mac address that is formed
by setting the U/L bits in the mac address assigned to the underlying device.
Any number of
virtual interfaces may be
configured together with
interfaces may be operated
construct a wireless repeater device. The driver also support
operation when compiled with
enables the required 802.11 support). For more information on configuring this
Devices supported by the
driver come in
either Cardbus or mini-PCI packages. Wireless cards in Cardbus slots may be
inserted and ejected on the fly.
driver supports all Atheros Cardbus
and PCI cards, except those that are based on the AR5005VL chipset.
Join a specific BSS network with WEP encryption:
ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0
ifconfig wlan0 inet 192.168.0.20 netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_net \
wepmode on wepkey 0x8736639624
Join/create an 802.11b IBSS network with network name
ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0 wlanmode adhoc
ifconfig wlan0 inet 192.168.0.22 netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_net \
Create an 802.11g host-based access point:
ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0 wlanmode hostap
ifconfig wlan0 inet 192.168.0.10 netmask 0xffffff00 ssid my_ap \
Create an 802.11a mesh station:
ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0 wlanmode mesh
ifconfig wlan0 meshid my_mesh mode 11a inet 192.168.0.10/24
Create two virtual 802.11a host-based access points, one with WEP enabled and
one with no security, and bridge them to the fxp0 (wired) device:
ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0 wlanmode hostap \
ssid paying-customers wepmode on wepkey 0x1234567890 \
mode 11a up
ifconfig wlan1 create wlandev ath0 wlanmode hostap bssid \
ssid freeloaders up
ifconfig bridge0 create addm wlan0 addm wlan1 addm fxp0 up
Create a master node in a two slot TDMA BSS configured to use 2.5 millisecond
ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0 wlanmode tdma \
ssid tdma-test tmdaslot 0 tdmaslotlen 2500 \
channel 36 up
- ath%d: unable to attach hardware; HAL status %u
- The Atheros Hardware Access Layer was unable to configure the hardware as
requested. The status code is explained in the HAL include file
- ath%d: failed to allocate descriptors: %d
- The driver was unable to allocate contiguous memory for the transmit and
receive descriptors. This usually indicates system memory is scarce and/or
- ath%d: unable to setup a data xmit queue!
- The request to the HAL to set up the transmit queue for normal data frames
failed. This should not happen.
- ath%d: unable to setup a beacon xmit queue!
- The request to the HAL to set up the transmit queue for 802.11 beacon
frames failed. This should not happen.
- ath%d: 802.11 address: %s
- The MAC address programmed in the EEPROM is displayed.
- ath%d: hardware error; resetting
- An unrecoverable error in the hardware occurred. Errors of this sort
include unrecoverable DMA errors. The driver will reset the hardware and
- ath%d: rx FIFO overrun; resetting
- The receive FIFO in the hardware overflowed before the data could be
transferred to the host. This typically occurs because the hardware ran
short of receive descriptors and had no place to transfer received data.
The driver will reset the hardware and continue.
- ath%d: unable to reset hardware; hal status %u
- The Atheros Hardware Access Layer was unable to reset the hardware as
requested. The status code is explained in the HAL include file
sys/dev/ath/ath_hal/ah.h. This should
- ath%d: unable to start recv logic
- The driver was unable to restart frame reception. This should not
- ath%d: device timeout
- A frame dispatched to the hardware for transmission did not complete in
time. The driver will reset the hardware and continue. This should not
- ath%d: bogus xmit rate 0x%x
- An invalid transmit rate was specified for an outgoing frame. The frame is
discarded. This should not happen.
- ath%d: ath_chan_set: unable to reset channel %u (%u MHz)
- The Atheros Hardware Access Layer was unable to reset the hardware when
switching channels during scanning. This should not happen.
- ath%d: failed to enable memory mapping
- The driver was unable to enable memory-mapped I/O to the PCI device
registers. This should not happen.
- ath%d: failed to enable bus mastering
- The driver was unable to enable the device as a PCI bus master for doing
DMA. This should not happen.
- ath%d: cannot map register space
- The driver was unable to map the device registers into the host address
space. This should not happen.
- ath%d: could not map interrupt
- The driver was unable to allocate an IRQ for the device interrupt. This
should not happen.
- ath%d: could not establish interrupt
- The driver was unable to install the device interrupt handler. This should
device driver first appeared in
Revision A1 of the D-LINK DWL-G520 and DWL-G650 are based on an Intersil PrismGT
chip and are not supported by this driver.
The driver does not fully enable power-save operation of the chip in station
mode; consequently power use is suboptimal (e.g. on a laptop).
The AR5210 can only do WEP in hardware; consequently hardware assisted WEP is
disabled in order to allow software implementations of TKIP and CCMP to
function. Hardware WEP can be re-enabled by modifying the driver.