Thursday, 5 November 2009

Update to the latest ath9k drivers

I tested out the latest 2.6.31 linux kernel on a spare install of ubuntu i had on an old hard drive and noticed that my wifi signal using the ath9k driver had boosted to twice as strong as it was in my normal install of ubuntu that i have but i decided that i didnt want to update the full kernel in my normal install as this can be a bit of a tricky task and usually something gets messed up along the way, instead i just wanted to update to the latest ath9k driver and after a quick search i figured out this is how to do it.

Firstly install the required files to build the drivers.

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r`

Now you need to download and extract the latest compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2 file from

Now cd into the directory and build the driver

$ cd compat-wireless-2.6 && ./scripts/driver-select ath9k && make

Disconnect your wifi with whatever network manager you use and then carry on to install the driver.

$ sudo make install

Now unload the old drivers and modprobe for the new ones

$ sudo make unload && sudo modprobe ath9k

now you can reconnect with your network manager to your router and when you look at the signal strength hopefully you'll have gained the extra boost in signal that i gained thanks to the guys that work on the drivers.

NOTE: if modprobe on the last step doesnt work then just reboot the system and it will load the drivers for you.

If you want remove the new drivers and go back to using your old ones open a terminal and cd into the drivers folder you extracted and type

$ sudo make uninstall


mcgrof said...

You forgot

./scripts/driver-select ath9k

prior to compiling so that only ath9k and its dependencies are built.

This is exactly why we enabled anti-hotlinking on, so people don't post their own random tutorials which may be a bit inaccurate. Anti-hotlinking would have prevented you from wget'ing without first having visited the website. This may still be enabled so some users reading your guide may not be able to get that tarball.

Please consider just refering to the guide on the page itself:

Also remember that compat-wireless has two tarballs, one for bleeding edge which you downloaded and there is also the compat-wireless stable releases which are based on the latest 2.6.3x-rcy.

Mark Gormley said...


oops sorry i didnt know that hotlinking to wasnt allowed, iv fixed the ./scripts/driver-select ath9k & added the normal link to

Just a little too quick to blog this one without double checking.

As i mentioned in my blog iv noticed an improvement in my signal strength with the latest drivers.

Thanks for all the hard work and time you guys put into them.

Anonymous said...

thanks man...

ZVEN SS said...

Thanks man just What all this time I've been looking for !