Please note: This project is no longer active. The website is kept online for historic purposes only.
If you´re looking for a Linux driver for your Atheros WLAN device, you should continue here .
Version 12 (modified by mrenzmann, 12 years ago)
Name changed from MadWifi to About/MadWifi

General Information

MadWifi is short for Multiband Atheros Driver for Wireless Fidelity. In other words: this project provides a Linux kernel device driver for Atheros-based Wireless LAN devices. The driver works such that your WLAN card will appear as a normal network interface in the system. Additionally there is support for the Wireless Extensions API. This allows you to configure the device using common wireless tools (ifconfig, iwconfig and friends). Some of the driver's key features are:

  • Operational Modes:
    • sta -- Station, a.k.a. infrastructure or managed. This device acting as typical WLAN client station. This is the default mode if not otherwise specified.
    • ap -- Access Point, a.k.a. master. This device acts as the Access Point for other WLAN client stations.
    • adhoc -- Ad-hoc. a.k.a. IBSS mode. This device is in a peer-to-peer(s) WLAN without the need for an Access Point.
    • ahdemo -- Ad-hoc Demo. This is an older, non-802.11 compliant, proprietary ad-hoc mode.
    • monitor -- Monitor. This device can be used to "sniff" raw 802.11 frames.
    • wds -- Wireless Distribution System. This device can be used to create large wireless networks by linking several Access Points together.
  • WDS support for transparent bridging over WLAN links.
  • Supports Wireless Extensions API.
  • One driver for miniPCI and cardbus devices. USB devices are not yet supported.
  • Most of the current Atheros WLAN chipsets are supported.
  • Supports WEP and WPA/802.11i.
  • Support for 802.1x authentication in AP mode.


  • Linux Kernel 2.4.23+ and 2.6.x series (Others may work, but are unsupported)
  • Crypto AP support in kernel (option CONFIG_CRYPTO)
  • Sysctl support in kernel (option CONFIG_SYSCTL)
  • Wireless Extensions support in kernel (v14+ required, v17+ recommended; option CONFIG_NET_RADIO)
  • Same GCC version used to compile the kernel (otherwise, "Invalid module format" errors may occur)

How can I get it?

A detailed description of how and where to get MadWifi is available on the GettingMadwifi page. If not done yet, be sure to check that your system meets all requirements as described in the previous section.

Where can I get help?

The Support section gives detailed information on the various ways to get help in case you get stuck with MadWifi.

How to submit bug reports / patches / feature requests

We have a ticket system that is used to keep track on any reported bugs, patches or feature requests. The TracTickets page will tell you how to use it. If you plan to submit a patch you should also have a look on our guide - it has important information for you.

How to contribute

As any other open source project we're glad about any help we can get. Read more about how you can contribute here.