Please note: This project is no longer active.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 .

Setting up a Client Using WPA-PSK

This is the information on how to manually install and configure WPA. However, most distributions provide wpasupplicant packages, obviating the need for this process. See UserDocs/Distro for distribution specific information (recommended).


  • A working madwifi installation, and wpa_supplicant. Or, if you have 2.6.14 or greater, a directory with the built madwifi source. See UserDocs/GettingMadwifi for instructions.


Download the latest development pack or cvs tarball of wpa_supplicant and unpack it (or just check it out of CVS). Then execute:

cd wpa_supplicant

and with your favorite editor edit (you may have to create it first) the .config file so that it contains the following:

If the above criteria is satisfied, then the following .config file can be used to compile wpa_supplicant:


Use the following for Linux versions less than 2.6.14:

CFLAGS += -I/path/to/madwifi-ng

Be sure that /path/to/madwifi-ng points to your MadWifi source directory, where you built it. E.g. if you have MadWifi folder in /usr/src/madwifi, then the correct flag is:

CFLAGS += -I/usr/src/madwifi

Compile the source with make and copy the files wpa_cli, wpa_passphrase and wpa_supplicant into an appropriate directory e.g. /usr/local/sbin. Then execute:

wpa_passphrase YOURSSID yourpassphrase

with the SSID of your AP and the passphrase you’ve entered in its WPA-PSK configuration. You’ll receive an output, which looks like this:


Copy this output in a new file called /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf and change the permissions after you’ve finished editing:

chmod 640 /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

To get your network device up and running, you could execute this command:

wpa_supplicant -BW -Dwext -iath0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
wpa_supplicant -B -Dwext -iath0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Or, if you are using a Linux version smaller than 2.6.14, substitute the madwifi driver:


(I'm not certain but two lines above the -BW might be a mistake. AFAIAC I changed it in -B and it worked, though it didn't work with -BW) If you omit -B from the above commands, then the terminal where you’ve started the wpa_supplicant should now show the communication between your wlan card and the AP. -B tells the wpa_supplicant process to run in the background.

For more information, take a look at README and at wpa_supplicant.conf files supplied with the lastest wpa_supplicant package.