Driver for Atheros AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, and AR5213 wireless network adapters


io-pkt-variant -d ath ... &

where variant is one of v4, v4-hc, or v6-hc.

Runs on:





The driver supports wireless network adapters based on the Atheros AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, and AR5213 chips. Chip-specific support is provided by the Atheros Hardware Access Layer (HAL) (which isn't available in source format). This is a ported NetBSD driver; its interface names are in the form athX, where X is an integer.

Supported features include 802.11 and 802.3 frames, power management, BSS, IBSS, and host-based access point operation modes. All host/device interaction is via DMA.

The 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 are selectable, depending on your hardware.

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 and AR5213-based devices support 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g operation with transmit speeds appropriate to each.

The actual transmit speed used is dependent on signal quality and the “rate control” algorithm employed by the driver. All chips support WEP encryption. AR5211 and AR5212 support the AES, TKIP, and Michael cryptographic operations required for WPA, but at this time the driver doesn't support them. To enable encryption, use ifconfig.

By default, the driver configures the card for BSS operation (also known as infrastructure mode). This mode requires the use of an access point (base station).

The driver also supports the standard IBSS point-to-point mode, where stations can communicate amongst themselves without the aid of an access point.

You can also configure the driver to operate in hostap mode. In this mode, a host may function as an access point (base station). Access points are different from operating in IBSS mode. They operate in BSS mode. They allow for easier roaming and bridge all Ethernet traffic such that machines connected via an access point appear to be on the local Ethernet segment.

To choose the mode of operation, specify the appropriate mediaopt value to ifconfig. To view a list of media types and options supported by the card, try ifconfig -m device. For example, ifconfig -m ath0.

For more information on configuring this device, see ifconfig.

Note: Native io-pkt and ported NetBSD drivers don't put entries into the /dev/io-net namespace, so a waitfor command for such an entry won't work properly in buildfiles or scripts. Use if_up -p instead; for example, instead of waitfor /dev/io-net/ath0, use if_up -p ath0.

See also:

devn-*, devnp-*, ifconfig, io-pkt, nicinfo