how to install wireless n.i.c. on FreeBSD 9.1

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Aug 26 00:28:12 UTC 2014

On Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:22:10 -0700, leeoliveshackelford at wrote:
> The complete name of the circuit board is as follows: "TP-Link
> TL-WDN4800 450 Mbps Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter."

Ah, "N"... there are still N chipsets not fully supported
by FreeBSD, maybe you accidentally picked one of those?
But first let's check the configuration before we scream
in despair for having bought the _one_ model that is _not_
supported. :-)

> In my
> previous message, I mis-identified the manufacturer, as you correctly
> noted. To the command "pciconf -lv," I received the following response: 
> none0 at pci0:40:0:0 class=0x028000 card=0x3112168c chip=0x0030168c
> rev=0x01 hdr=0x00 
> vendor = 'Atheros Communications Inc.' 
> device = 'AR9300 Wireless LAN adaptor' 
> class = network 

So the Atheros chipset is correctly identified, good.

> Upon checking the webpage specified in your message, I read the
> following line: "The ath(4) driver supports all Atheros Cardbus and PCI
> cards, except those that are based on the AR5005VL chipset."

Good, so this one will probably be supported, I hope.

> The three modified files are /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf, and /etc/rc.conf,
> and /boot/loader.conf. Copies of these files are attached. 

Let's see:

[loader.conf  text/plain (84B)]


The first line looks strange. There are /boot/kernel/if_ath.ko
and /boot/kernel/ahb.ko, and "man ahb" reveals that this one is
for "Adaptec EISA SCSI host adapter driver". But as if_ath_ahb.ko
does not exist, the _correct_ module won't be loaded.

The first line should read:


Change the file accordingly.

Next file.

[rc.conf  text/plain (206B)]

	ifconfig_wlan0="WPA" SYNCDHCP

Again, there's an error which explains your initial 

	SYNCDHCP: command not found

message: The SYNCDHCP has to be _inside_ the quotes. Keep in mind
that /etc/rc.conf is basically a shell script, so it follows all
the rules from "man sh". What you have here is: setting a variable
and calling a command (which doen't exist).

The correct line:

	ifconfig_wlan0="WPA SYNCDHCP"

This should work. The common syntax is keyword="VALUE", where the
VALUE can contain spaces.

Last file.

[wpa_supplicant.conf  text/plain (42B)]


While "WPA" is a strange name of a network, it's a valid one. :-)
The rest of the file looks fine.

But note: freebsd-questions is a _public_ mailing list, so I
hope "F70FA10C57" isn't your _actual_ key. If it is, change
it quickly! You don't want to tell the whole Internet your
access credentials.

Passwords are like underwear: change yours often, don't
share with friends, the longer the better, they must remain
mysterious, don't leave them lying around. :-)

It's common to enter "obvious nonsense" in such cases, like


As long as the syntax is kept correct, the actual information
does not matter here (except, maybe, if a password contained
quote characters or other things that might cause a hickup
for wpa-supplicant, but that's not the case here).

After you have corrected the files, restart your system and
see if it works. Chances are high that there were just those
two little mistakes, and your WLAN should be up and running
quickly. It's not that working WLAN is something magical... :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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