My laptop is i386 machine running Ubuntu 18.04.1 lts.

It comes with internal wireless Qualcomm Atheros AR242x / AR542x Wireless wifi (ath5k), and the default currently wireless connection.

I would like to use USB wireless ALFA AWUS036NHA with chipset AR9271 as default wireless adapter.

lsusb shows that Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0cf3:9271 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR9271 802.11n

that means Ubuntu recognizes the presence of this wireless usb

From the link https://ubuntu.pkgs.org/18.04/ubuntu-universe-amd64/firmware-ath9k-htc_1.4.0-97-g75b3e59+dfsg-1_all.deb.html

I downloaded firmware-ath9k-htc_1.4.0-97-g75b3e59+dfsg-1_all.deb

But I am not sure what to do with this.

I followed the instructions

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install firmware-ath9k-htc

That is all I did,

and of course nothing has changed, my laptop still using the default build-in wireless for internet access.

What are the steps to get my laptop to use the USB wireless AWUS036NHA as default wireless ?

1 Answer 1


The firmware-ath9k-htc package is for your internal WiFi chipset, and (re)installing it won`t activate your AWUS036NHA chipset. The Alfa AWUS036NHA is an Atheros rebranding.

Do instead:

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install firmware-atheros 

If you have bought the Alfa for hacking, you have no whatsoever interest on disabling the internal WiFi.

When you have the Alfa in monitor mode, you need to have the athk working for having Internet/normal connectivity.

  • Thanks Rui F Ribeiro for the answer. I bought the Alfa to learn about hacking (I am new to this), But I don't know how to install needed driver to work kali-linux, so I though my first step is to get this USB adapter to work on Ubuntu with the right driver, thinking that this will pave the way to automatically recognize in kali-linux, please point me the right steps to install the driver in order to test the functionality of 'monitor' mode packet injection Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 12:30

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