With FreeBSD 10.3 my Atheros card worked fine and showed up as /dev/ath0. Now with FreeBSD 11 this is no longer the case, though the module is loaded and it seems the system recognizes the card:

root@igloo:~ # sysctl net.wlan.devices
net.wlan.devices: ath0

Still, ath0 cannot be used:

root@igloo:~ # ifconfig wlan0 create wlandevice ath0
ifconfig: must specify a parent device (wlandev) when creating

What must I do to use the card?

3 Answers 3


The error message says you need to use wlandev rather than wlandevice.


ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0

More information and examples can be found here in the ath(4) manpage.


To configure the network , edit your /etc/rc.conf by adding the following line ( to configure the network on startup):

ifconfig_wlan0="WPA SYNCDHCP"

Create a wlan interface:

ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev ath0

Scan for access points:

ifconfig wlan0 up scan

Create a /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf configuration file with the following contents:



To connect you need to restart the network service:

service netif restart

After restarting the network service, the wifi should work.

Also you can connect through wpa_supplicant:

wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Just to add my experience to this thread. I am convering an old Asus P5G41T-MLX machine to run FreeBSD 11.1 Initally it would not find the Atheros AR8131-BL1A device. Updating the BIOS resolved the problem

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