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ACX(4) Device Drivers Manual ACX(4)

acxTI ACX100/ACX111 IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless network device

acx* at cardbus?
acx* at pci?

The acx driver provides support for TI TNETW1100/TNETW1100B (ACX100) and TNETW1130 (ACX111) based PCI/CardBus network adapters.

The ACX100A and ACX100B are first generation 802.11b devices from TI. The ACX111 is a second generation device which supports 802.11b/g and in some cases 802.11a.

These are the modes the acx driver can operate in:

BSS mode
Also known as mode, this is used when associating with an access point, through which all traffic passes. This mode is the default.
IBSS mode
Also known as mode or mode. This is the standardized method of operating without an access point. Stations associate with a service set. However, actual connections between stations are peer-to-peer.
Host AP
In this mode the driver acts as an access point (base station) for other cards.
monitor mode
In this mode the driver is able to receive packets without associating with an access point. This disables the internal receive filter and enables the card to capture packets from networks which it wouldn't normally have access to, or to scan for access points.

The acx driver can be configured to use Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) in software for ACX111 or in hardware for ACX100. It is strongly recommended that WEP not be used as the sole mechanism to secure wireless communication, due to serious weaknesses in it.

The transmit speed is user-selectable or can be adapted automatically by the driver depending on the number of hardware transmission retries.

The acx driver can be configured at runtime with ifconfig(8) or on boot with hostname.if(5).

The driver needs a set of firmware files which are loaded when an interface is brought up:


These firmware files are not free because TI refuses to grant distribution rights. In fact they have rebuffed thousands of attempts to start a dialogue on this issue. As a result, even though OpenBSD includes the driver, the firmware files cannot be included and users have to download these files on their own.

A prepackaged version of the firmware can be installed using fw_update(1).

The following cards are among those supported by the acx driver:

D-Link DWL-520+ ACX100 PCI b
D-Link DWL-650+ ACX100 CardBus b
D-Link DWL-G520+ ACX111 PCI b/g
D-Link DWL-G630+ ACX111 CardBus b/g
D-Link DWL-G650+ ACX111 CardBus b/g
Digitus DN-7001G ACX111 CardBus b/g
Ergenic ERG WL-003 ACX100 CardBus b
Hamlet HNWP254 ACX111 CardBus b/g
Hawking HWP54G ACX111 PCI b/g
Linksys WPC54Gv2 ACX111 CardBus b/g
Microcom Travelcard ACX111 CardBus b/g
Netgear WG311v2 ACX111 PCI b/g
Sceptre SC254W+ ACX111 CardBus b/g
Tornado/ADT 211g ACX111 PCI b/g
USR USR5410 ACX111 CardBus b/g
USR USR5416 ACX111 PCI b/g
ZyXEL G-160 ACX111 CardBus b/g
ZyXEL G-360 EE ACX111 PCI b/g

The following example scans for available networks:

# ifconfig acx0 scan

The following hostname.if(5) example configures acx0 to join network “mynwid”, using WEP key “mywepkey”, obtaining an IP address using DHCP:

nwid mynwid
nwkey mywepkey

The following hostname.if(5) example creates a host-based access point on boot:

mediaopt hostap
nwid mynwid
nwkey mywepkey

arp(4), cardbus(4), ifmedia(4), intro(4), netintro(4), pci(4), hostname.if(5), hostapd(8), ifconfig(8)

The acx driver first appeared in OpenBSD 4.0.

The acx driver was written by Sepherosa Ziehau. The manual page was written by Sascha Wildner. Both are based on the project team's original code.

The hardware specification was reverse engineered by the good folks at Without them this driver would not have been possible.

March 7, 2016 OpenBSD-6.4