On many Linux distributions, be it BackTrack, Kali, BackBox, Ubuntu, Mint, etc., whenever I use anything from the aircrack-ng suite my wireless card is shown as channel -1. This problem has been around for years if I recall and I have never found a solution to it.

Why does this happen? What could I do to resolve this?

I have tried installing the latest backports to no avail, and I am unable to figure out how to apply this patch due to lack of available information on using it properly, nor do I even know if it will work due to how outdated it is.

Currently I am using the Alfa AWUS051NH wireless adapter with BackBox Linux 3.13 64-bit, but I have the same issue with the tried and true Alfa AWUS036H and other Linux distributions. Here's some hopefully helpful info:

backbox@backbox-vm:~$ uname -r
backbox@backbox-vm:~$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 148f:2770 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT2770 Wireless Adapter
backbox@backbox-vm:~$ lsmod | grep rt2
rt2800usb              27225  0 
rt2800lib              81972  1 rt2800usb
crc_ccitt              12707  1 rt2800lib
rt2x00usb              20886  1 rt2800usb
rt2x00lib              56180  3 rt2800usb,rt2800lib,rt2x00usb
mac80211              623710  3 rt2800lib,rt2x00usb,rt2x00lib
cfg80211              499466  2 rt2x00lib,mac80211

1 Answer 1


Try this from the Ask Ubuntu section:
The lastest dev version has the --ignore-negative-one option.
Obtain the lastest dev version from subversion:
Install Subversion: On Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install subversion
Then, obtain it via svn. On Debian/Ubuntu:

sudo svn co http://svn.aircrack-ng.org/trunk/ aircrack-ng

Then cd aircrack-ng
Then sudo make
Finally:sudo make install if you'd like to install it immediately, though I'd suggest you test the binaries first. Try running them with the --ignore-negative-one option.

  • I agree with this answer because I have had this problem several times, but in my case, the -1 channel has disappeared just by installing the latest version, no need to use the --ignore-negative-one option. I can even say that I did not need to install the SVN latest development one. Aug 1, 2015 at 20:26

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