I am trying to use a USB connected device (a used wlan adapter, that I got without any docs or CD). When I plug it and run lsusb I see it gets recognized as plugged. What do I do to use it?

The line is:

Bus 001 Device 021: ID 0cf3:9271 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR9271 802.11n

  • If it's a random USB wifi dongle, it might not be supported in Linux. Even if it is supported, the installation procedure varies a lot from device to device, so it is not possible to answer your question generically. – DepressedDaniel Nov 28 '16 at 2:50
  • Based on the device ID, it looks like it should be supported by the ath9k_htc driver (although, on Debian, you may need to install non-free firmware) – steeldriver Nov 28 '16 at 3:17
  • @steeldriver: apparently there's open firmware for it: wiki.debian.org/ath9k_htc/open_firmware – Pierre B Nov 28 '16 at 3:30
  • On desktop Ubuntu 18.10 when I plug in my Qualcomm Atheros AR9271 USB dongle this network adapter auto shows up as a pickable adapter in network settings without needing to install driver – Scott Stensland Dec 1 '18 at 1:37

You need to add a non-free repository to your sources.list then install the firmware-atheros , plug in your device it will be loaded automatically.

1) Edit your sources.list:

apt edit-sources

Choose your favorite text editor ( e,g: 1=nano). Add the following line:

deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free

2) install the firmware-atheros package:

apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-atheros

3) Connect your device

  • How do you apt-get when you have no network? – Eamonn Kenny Apr 4 '18 at 15:51

With the output of lsusb you can use $SEARCH_ENGINE for "AR9271", which then leads you to a guide how to apt-get install firmware-atheros, which luckily lists your devices ID (-:

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