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UATH(4) Device Drivers Manual UATH(4)

Atheros USB IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless network device

uath* at uhub? port ?

The uath driver supports USB 2.0 wireless network devices based on Atheros Communications fifth generation AR5005UG and AR5005UX chipsets.

The AR5005UG chipset is made of an AR5523 multiprotocol MAC/baseband processor and an AR2112 Radio-on-a-Chip that can operate between 2300 and 2500 MHz (802.11b/g).

The AR5005UX chipset is made of an AR5523 multiprotocol MAC/baseband processor and an AR5112 dual band Radio-on-a-Chip that can operate between 2300 and 2500 MHz (802.11b/g) or 4900 and 5850 MHz (802.11a).

The AR5005UG and AR5005UX chipsets both have an integrated 32-bit MIPS R4000-class processor that runs a firmware and manages, among other things, the automatic control of the transmit rate and the calibration of the radio.

These are the modes the uath driver can operate in:

BSS mode
Also known as infrastructure mode, this is used when associating with an access point, through which all traffic passes. This mode is the default.
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.

uath supports hardware WEP. It can be typically configured in one of three modes: no encryption; 40-bit encryption; or 104-bit encryption. It is strongly recommended that WEP not be used as the sole mechanism to secure wireless communication, due to serious weaknesses in it.

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

The following firmware file is loaded when a device is plugged:


This firmware file is not freely redistributable.

A prepackaged version of the firmware, designed to be used with pkg_add(1), can be found at:


The following adapters should work:
Adapter Chipset

The following hostname.if(5) example configures uath0 to join whatever network is available on boot, using WEP key “0x1deadbeef1”, channel 11, obtaining an IP address using DHCP:
dhcp NONE NONE NONE nwkey 0x1deadbeef1 chan 11

Configure uath0 for WEP, using hex key “0x1deadbeef1”:

# ifconfig uath0 nwkey 0x1deadbeef1

Return uath0 to its default settings:

# ifconfig uath0 -bssid -chan media autoselect \
        nwid "" -nwkey

Join an existing BSS network, “my_net”:

# ifconfig uath0 netmask 0xffffff00 nwid my_net

uath%d: error %d, could not read firmware %s
For some reason, the driver was unable to read the firmware image from the filesystem. The file might be missing or corrupted.
uath%d: could not load firmware (error=%s)
An error occurred while attempting to upload the firmware to the onboard MIPS R4000 processor.
uath%d: could not initialize adapter (error=%d)
The firmware was uploaded successfully but did not initialize properly or in time.
uath%d: could not send command (error=%s)
An attempt to send a command to the firmware failed.
uath%d: timeout waiting for command reply
A read command was sent to the firmware but the firmware failed to reply in time.
uath%d: device timeout
A frame dispatched to the hardware for transmission did not complete in time. The driver will reset the hardware. This should not happen.

arp(4), ifmedia(4), intro(4), netintro(4), usb(4), hostname.if(5), ifconfig(8)

The uath driver first appeared in OpenBSD 4.0.

The uath driver was written by Damien Bergamini ⟨damien@openbsd.org⟩.

Atheros Communications refuses to release any documentation for their products. Atheros proprietary 108 Mbps mode (aka Super AG mode) is not supported.

The uath driver does not attempt to do any regulation of radio frequencies.

October 22, 2011 OpenBSD-5.1