My laptop has an Atheros AR9285 wireless card. By following the "Network Configuration" section in the Gentoo handbook I chose the ath9k module. The modules seem to be loaded correctly:

# lsmod | grep ath
ath9k                  72172  0 
ath9k_common            2345  1 ath9k
mac80211              146807  2 ath9k,ath9k_common
ath9k_hw              213153  2 ath9k,ath9k_common
ath                     8652  2 ath9k,ath9k_hw
cfg80211              112782  4 ath9k,ath9k_common,mac80211,ath

And the interface also shows up in ifconfig:

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:22:43:61:a2:f0  
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

However, I cannot do a network scan:

# iwlist wlan0 scanning
wlan0     Interface doesn't support scanning.

And the interface doesn't seem to be recognized:

# iwconfig wlan0
wlan0     no wireless extensions.

What can I try to make it work?

PS: I also have Ubuntu on this laptop and wireless is working fine.

2 Answers 2


I got the solution on Gentoo Forums. It turned out to be a mis-configured kernel.

Here is the kernel configuration that works (from the post that I linked to above):

[*] Networking support  --->
    -*-   Wireless  --->
        <*>   cfg80211 - wireless configuration API                                                                                                                  
        [*]     enable powersave by default
        [*]     cfg80211 wireless extensions compatibility
        [*]   Wireless extensions sysfs files
        <*>   Common routines for IEEE802.11 drivers
        <*>   Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack (mac80211)
              Default rate control algorithm (Minstrel)  --->
        -*-   Enable LED triggers

Device Drivers  --->
    [*] Network device support  --->
        [*]   Wireless LAN  --->
            <*>   Atheros Wireless Cards  --->
                <*>   Atheros 802.11n wireless cards support
  • 1
    You wanna add exactly which config options you changed?
    – tshepang
    Jan 26, 2011 at 19:39
  • @Tshepang the config options is in the post I linked to, do I really have to duplicate it here?
    – phunehehe
    Feb 1, 2011 at 15:09
  • I'm interested only in the ones you changed --> "when I set this and that option to that and this, the problem got fixed". Don't make me read the whole thread :)
    – tshepang
    Feb 1, 2011 at 15:49
  • @Tshepang The working configuration is already on the post I linked to (it is an anchor that links exactly to where the configuration is). Anyway I included that in the answer.
    – phunehehe
    Feb 1, 2011 at 16:42
  • I'm aware of the anchor. The point is, what were your initial settings? Did you lose them?
    – tshepang
    Feb 1, 2011 at 18:25

If you use DE, it's better to use NetworkManager (description of configuring NM on Gentoo).

Otherwise, you need to edit the net configuration file(/etc/conf.d/net):


and then run /etc/init.d/net.wlan0 start to start it.

  • I don't have a file named /etc/init.d/net.wlan0. I guess that's the problem
    – phunehehe
    Nov 14, 2010 at 15:47
  • Try this: cd /etc/init.d ln -s net.lo net.wlan0
    – Spider.Ch
    Nov 14, 2010 at 15:59
  • It tries to work like an Ethernet interface (wait for carrier and time out). Still I am unable to do any scanning.
    – phunehehe
    Nov 22, 2010 at 16:16

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