Port Linux Driver

Jeremy Chadwick koitsu at FreeBSD.org
Sun Nov 16 02:55:13 PST 2008

On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 02:35:07AM -0800, weinter.lim wrote:
> Hi 
> I have posted
> I am installing FreeBSD 7.1 Beta 2 on my laptop model Acer Aspire 4530
> 1) Atheros AR5B91 is not detected
> Does anyone know how to get the drivers or patch it
> none4 at pci0:11:0:0: class=0x028000 card=0x03031a32 chip=0x002a168c rev=0x01
> hdr=0x00
>     vendor     = 'Atheros Communications Inc.'
>     class      = network
> I have found the Linux driver here
> http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/ath9k 
> Anyone can advice me to port the driver over to BSD ?

You posted something similar to -hardware about your Broadcom NIC and
got responses, so I'm not sure why you decided to go with -questions
this time around.  :-)

Linux drivers are not "ported" to FreeBSD.  The driver and ABI semantics
are *way* too difference to port.  A new driver must be created.  The
Linux driver can be looked at to determine importance of register bits
or other things, but this requires the Linux driver to have large
amounts of commenting, many of which do not.

Thirdly, your Atheros chip is an "AR5B91", it is an "AR9281".  I'm not
sure where 5B91 came from.

Other things to note:

1) There is ath(4) on FreeBSD, but it is for different versions of
Atheros chips; it may not be possible to extend ath(4) to support the
2) Atheros chips have a history of being very different from one
another, as can be confirmed with ale(4) vs. age(4) (ex: the L1E NIC
completely different from the L1 NIC).

I've added an entry to my below Wiki page stating that we do not have
support for these Atheros chips.


| Jeremy Chadwick                                jdc at parodius.com |
| Parodius Networking                       http://www.parodius.com/ |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                  Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.              PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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