DragonFly On-Line Manual Pages
ATH(4) DragonFly Kernel Interfaces Manual ATH(4)
ath - Atheros IEEE 802.11 wireless network driver
To compile this driver into the kernel, place the following lines in your
kernel configuration file:
Alternatively, to load the driver as a module at boot time, place the
following line in loader.conf(5):
The ath 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.
The ath 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
ifconfig(8) as shown below.
The driver supports station, adhoc, adhoc-demo, hostap, mesh, wds, and
monitor mode operation. Multiple hostap 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 wds virtual interfaces
may be configured together with hostap interfaces. Multiple station
interfaces may be operated together with hostap interfaces to construct a
wireless repeater device. The driver also support tdma operation when
compiled with options IEEE80211_SUPPORT_TDMA (which also enables the
required 802.11 support). For more information on configuring this
device, see ifconfig(8).
Devices supported by the ath driver come in either Cardbus or mini-PCI
packages. Wireless cards in Cardbus slots may be inserted and ejected on
The ath 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 "my_net":
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
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 fragmented.
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
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
ath%d: 802.11 address: %s The MAC address programmed in the EEPROM is
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 continue.
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/netif/ath/ath_hal/ah.h.
This should not happen.
ath%d: unable to start recv logic The driver was unable to restart frame
reception. This should not happen.
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 happen.
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 not happen.
ath_hal(4), cardbus(4), ifmedia(4), intro(4), wlan(4), wlan_ccmp(4),
wlan_tkip(4), wlan_wep(4), wlan_xauth(4), hostapd(8), ifconfig(8),
The ath device driver first appeared in FreeBSD 5.2 and was imported into
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
DragonFly 5.9-DEVELOPMENT May 26, 2016 DragonFly 5.9-DEVELOPMENT