Best Wi-Fi chipsets for Linux and hostapd?

Weedy weedy2887 at
Mon Dec 26 11:05:43 PST 2016

On 25 December 2016 at 22:42, Morten W. Petersen <morphex at> wrote:
> Hi there.
> Since I've had some issues with my Realtek Wi-Fi dongles and hostapd,
> I was wondering if there are suggestions of better alternatives.

Since you mention dongles, do you NEED a USB interface? In that case I
would lean towards mt76 devices but I have no personal experience. Or
a TL-WN722N

> Better in terms of (historic) Linux and hostapd compatability, while
> still not being too expensive.

HISTORICALLY Atheros based hardware is where it's at.

In a land not so far way a long long time ago we had the binary
Atheros driver. Some dudes thought it was a shame that decent radios
were held back by such a shitty driver and we got madwifi. This still
used a closed source HAL. Some time later the same dudes???? got mad
at the HAL and rewrote the whole thing top to bottom. And this gave us
ath5k (and since then ath9k, ath10k is a little different and kinda
goes backwards). And everywhere Linux laptop users rejoiced because we
could replace our Broadcom cards with something that actually flipping

So yeah, when ever possible choose to use ath9k. ESPECIALLY now that
airtime fairness patches are in the wild. Go look at the LEDE git for
Dec for cool shit. Ath10k is a different beast since we are kinda back
to closed source blobs and between the Qualcomm vs. community firmware
you have trade offs.

I have some hope for mt76 hardware going forward since that seems to
be nbd's baby and he does good work.
But as I said I've never bought or run a device using those chips.
They could suck.

*** I'm clearly talking out my ass here and I could have the timelines
or motivations wrong. As a long time Linux user this is how I
understand things happened but I've never cared or needed to go look
up a wikipedia article or something to get "just the facts". Please
don't kill me.

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