View Full Version : Alfa AWUS036NHA + eth9k_htc Driver + Windows 8 + Kali 2.0 Sana Installation Guide

2015-08-20, 12:34
Here is some guide how to make AWUS036NHA working with Kali 2.0

I have been reading a lot and seems lot of people missing the actual step to make this Alfa AWUS036NHA running on Kali 2.0

Therefore I came out with this guide hopefully to kill your pain.

Step 1: (If you run on VMWare on Windows 8 Machine - Otherwise skip this)

If you are running Kali 2.0 on VMWare on Windows 8 you need to get right driver working.
There is a PDF inside the folder you to guide you, you only need to install the driver, follow the step from the PDF.

Reboot Windows 8

Step 2:
You need to install compatibility driver for AWUS036NHA on Kali 2.0 which is eth9k_htc Driver
Quick way is by adding Debian 8 "Jessie"

Add a "non-free" component to /etc/apt/sources.list, for example:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following.

# Debian 8 "Jessie"
deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free

Update the list of available packages and install the firmware-atheros package:

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

Connect the device to your system. The ath9k_htc kernel module is automatically loaded for supported devices.

next in terminal type


If you encounter an error such as

ath9k_htc: Firmware - htc_9271.fw download failed

don't worry its because the downloading failed therefore we need manually download the file into /lib/firmware folder

cd lib/firmware
sudo wget -P /lib/firmware http://wireless.kernel.org/download/htc_fw/1.3/htc_9271.fw

Once rebooted.

Connect the AWUS036NHA device to your system again.



to check the usb is connected to Kali.
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0cf3:9271 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR9271 802.11n


to check if any error when plug into the usb if everything is good proceed.

ifconfig -a

to check wlan1 or wlan0 is visible if yes good if not let me know.

once visible we need to kill some services.



airmon-ng check kill
airmon-ng start wlan1
ifconfig wlan1mon down
iwconfig wlan1mon mode monitor
ifocnfig wlan1mon up

Finally you can start

airodump-ng wlan1mon

Just to ensure that I didn't missed anything here are the history of commands. But DON'T FOLLOW exactly this because a lot of tries and errors during the process to make it work, with many forums suggest this and that which I did try most of them.

731 nano /etc/apt/sources.list
732 apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-atheros
733 ifconfig -a
734 service network-manager stop
735 service network-manager start
736 ifconfig
737 ifconfig -a
738 airmon-ng
739 ls
740 iwconfig
741 ifconfig -a
742 cd
743 apt-get install firmware-atheros
744 dmesg
745 aptitude install firmware-atheros
746 dmesg
747 lsusb
748 dmesg
749 ls
750 dmesg
751 cd /lib
752 cd firmware/
753 ls
754 sudo wget -P /lib/firmware http://wireless.kernel.org/download/htc_fw/1.3/htc_9271.fw
755 ls
756 dmesg
757 cd /home/seclusio/Downloads/
758 ls
759 cd /lib/firmware/
760 ls
761 dmesg
762 ifconfig -a
763 dmesg
764 lsusb
765 airmon-ng
766 airmon-ng check kill
767 lsusb
768 dmesg
769 cd /etc/
770 history
771 nano apt/sources.list
772 sudo apt-get install -t squeeze-backports firmware-atheros
773 cd /lib
774 cd firmware/
775 ls -la /lib/firmware/htc_9271.fw
776 ls -la /lib/firmware
777 modprobe -rw htc_9271.fw
778 modprobe -rv htc_9271.fw
779 ls *htc*
780 dmesg
781 lsusb
782 cd
783 dmesg
784 ifconfig
785 airmon-ng
786 airmon-ng check kill
787 airmon-ng
788 airmon-ng start wlan1
789 ifconfig
790 ifconfig wlan1mon down
791 iwconfig wlan1mon mode monitor
792 ifconfig wlan1mon up
793 airodump-ng --help
794 airodump-ng wlan1mon

Here is the working proof:

Let me know, if I made some unnessary commands, its always about try error process, I'm not perfect by the way. Just helping out buddies here. :cool:

2015-10-31, 21:33

I've been having difficulty getting my AWUS036NHA to install on Ubuntu with he purpose of running it under Kali via VirtualBox. It seems this thread will help me get it working under the VM but could you suggest a way to get Ubuntu to see it first?

When running lsusb, this is the output > Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0cf3:9271 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR9271 802.11n. However it doesn't show when running iwconfig?
lsmod shows the following:

ath9k_htc 69632 0
ath9k_common 36864 1 ath9k_htc
ath9k_hw 450560 2 ath9k_common,ath9k_htc
ath 32768 3 ath9k_common,ath9k_htc,ath9k_hw
mac80211 643072 1 ath9k_htc
cfg80211 540672 4 ath,ath9k_common,mac80211,ath9k_htc
compat 16384 4 cfg80211,ath9k_common,mac80211,ath9k_htc
mxm_wmi 16384 1 nouveau
wmi 20480 2 mxm_wmi,nouveau

Hopefully that made some sense. I can send a wireless-info dump by email if that would be more helpful.

Thank you.

2015-11-07, 03:53
Hi, seClusiO. Thanks for kindly taking the time to post your text in this thread! I originally installed a version of the Kali Linux operating system on my notebook computer on March 11, 2015. For quite awhile my Alfa or ATHEROS AR9271 or AWUS036NHA WiFi adapter was working in Kali Linux 1.1.0 and/or 1.1.0a. But I often updated Kali Linux 1.1.0. Perhaps that was the reason I eventually began having problems with the wlan0 interface no longer appearing for my Alfa WiFi adapter after an ifconfig command in the computer program Terminal. And after a dmesg command I saw "ath9k_htc: Firmware - htc_9271.fw download failed."

Due to your above, detailed set of instructions written for the Kali Linux-2.0 operating system, I decided to switch to using Kali Linux 2.0, still in Oracle VM (Virtual Machine) VirtualBox (hereafter referred to as VirtualBox), currently version 5.0.8 r103449. And over this long period of time from March 11, 2015 through November 4, 2015 I switched from using a 64-bit Windows-8.1 to a 64-bit Windows 10 Home Edition, host operating system; and I might have updated VirtualBox from version 4.3.26 to 4.3.28 to 4.3.30 to 4.3.32, looking at the release dates of VirtualBox on https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog-4.3 on the Internet and my notes.

I downloaded a .iso (Industry Standards Organization) file for the installation of Kali Linux 2.0 and in my installation of the 64-bit Windows 10 Home Edition selected "Burn disc image" to generate a bootable, Recordable, Digital Video Disc (DVD-R). By booting my computer within VirtualBox from that DVD-R I could install Kali Linux 2.0 as a Virtual Machine (VM) in VirtualBox. But after within the program Terminal updating it with 122 megabytes of archives on October 16, 2015 the icons on the Kali Linux-2.0 desktop and the program Terminal were no longer visible. I found help with these problems in the text on the Web page *REMOVED*. By simultaneously pressing the Ctrl, Alt, and F1 keys of my computer's keyboard the Terminal program opened for me (From elsewhere on the Internet I learned that simultaneously pressing the keys labeled Ctrl, Alt, and F7 would close the Terminal program after it had been opened by simultaneously pressing down on the keys labeled Ctrl, Alt, and F1.). I think I had to input my Kali Linux-2.0 root user name and root-user password. The response of "-bash: startx: command not found" to my entry of the command "startx" in the program Terminal was evidence that the software package x-window-system was not installed in my installation of the 64-bit, Kali Linux-2.0 operating system. Eventually I entered "apt-get install x-window-system" in the Terminal program, likely while online. After that, entering the command "startx" in the Terminal program gratefully caused a normal-looking desktop with some icons on it to appear in my installation of a 64-bit Kali Linux-2.0 operating system. But if I let my Kali Linux installation "sit" idle for awhile, at least once I think I had to input Ctrl, Alt, and F1 and then within the ensuing Terminal program to input “startx” to get the Kali Linux-2.0 desktop to again have icons on it and look normal. Then on another occasion I don't think inputting Ctrl, Alt, and F1 resulted in the program Terminal opening, unless it was already open, but minimized; anyhow, I didn't notice anything useful happening after that set of Ctrl, Alt, and F1 key presses.

I discovered that the entry "ATHEROS UB91C [0108]" was missing in VirtualBox's "Settings," "USB" section. So I left-"button"-clicked on a blue-colored, Universal Serial Bus- (USB-) looking image with a green-colored plus on it and then selected "ATHEROS UB91C [0108]" to get a line reading that to appear as a listed USB device in VirtualBox's “Settings, USB.” Then I clicked on an "OK" software "button."

With my Alfa WiFi adapter connected to my notebook computer my starting point is to get my Windows-10, host operating system to show me a USB-looking icon listed among several other icons often after clicking on “^” on the right-hand portion of the taskbar (And months ago in a 64-bit Windows-8 or 8.1 operating system I had to have my computer online to get Windows to automatically install the necessary software to get a blue light to blink on and off on that WiFi adapter. And I think that blinking blue light was in turn likely an indication that the necessary software to make use of my Alfa WiFi adapter had been installed within my computer's 64-bit, Windows-8 or 8.1 operating system.). Then I would have a hope of that WiFi adapter getting attached to Kali Linux 2.0 within VirtualBox. A success of that is indicated by placing a the touch-pad (or "mouse") arrow over blue-colored, USB-looking image near the lower-right-hand side of the Kali Linux-2.0 window and seeing "ATHEROS UB91C [0108]" appear in the ensuing, context-sensitive menu (Alternatively, and as you noted, after an lsusb command that WiFi adapter being listed would be an indication of its successful attachment to Kali Linux 2.0.). But even with those two successes, after an ifconfig command I could not see wlan0 appearing as an interface for my Alfa WiFi adapter in my installation of the 64-bit, Kali Linux operating system.

Concerning your use of the Nano text editor to enter the text you suggested within /etc/apt/sources.list, I learned from the Internet that text could be saved in the file sources.list by first pressing the keys ^O in that order. After that I could press my keyboard's key labeled "Enter" to actually have the file sources.list saved, which appeared to be a necessary step in that saving process. Then by entering ^X I could exit the Nano text editor.

Next after inputting a dmesg command the old problem of "ath9k_htc: Firmware - htc_9271.fw download failed" appeared to me. Following your instruction to enter the command "sudo wget -P /lib/firmware http://wireless.kernel.org/download/htc_fw/1.3/htc_9271.fw" resulted in the file htc_9271.fw.1 appearing in the directory /lib/firmware, in addition to the file htc_9271.fw that was likely already there before that special download! So it appears that /lib/firmware/htc_9271.fw may for some reason not have been "recognized" or not have been “found” by some other part of the computer code either installed on my computer or located on some Web site accessed by my Kali Linux installation while online. As another Internet poster may have wondered, I also wonder if this might be because of the statement “There may be multiple versions of this device” that appears on the Web page https://wikidevi.com/wiki/ALFA_Network_AWUS036NHA.

But very gratefully I found a way to get my Alfa WiFi adapter working again! That was for me to install 64-bit Kali Linux 1.1.0 as a separate Virtual Machine (VM) within VirtualBox and not try to update that software with any “apt-get update && apt-get upgrade,” since my problems with my Alfa WiFi adapter evidently occurred after many updates of Kali Linux-1.1.0 software. At first right after installing Kali Linux 1.1.0 and entering the dmesg command, probably while not connected to the Internet, I saw the familiar message of “ath9k_htc: Firmware – htc_9271.fw download failed”. But afterward I took my notebook computer to a location with a free, fast, WiFi Internet service. There, after entering the dmesg command, that notice did NOT appear! I have wondered what happened!---I just guess, and might be guessing wrongly, that there might have been some “recognition” by Web-located software that htc_9271.fw was already installed on my notebook computer and some kind of communication from the Web-installed software back to my computer so that my computer would “recognize” that installation, too. (Speculation: Similarly I wonder if there might be a similar problem of this kind of “recognition” of already-installed software in Kali Linux 2.0 and/or the Web-site software that Kali Linux 2.0 accesses while online.) After an ifconfig command I could see the wlan0 interface listed. And I could make use of that Alfa WiFi adapter with the commands “airmon-ng start wlan0” to generate the, I suppose, interface mon0 and after that a command like “airodump-ng mon0” and more complicated command of this kind with added options.

There is another “puzzle” for me. After I enter the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of http://wireless.kernel.org/download/htc_fw/1.3/htc_9271.fw into a Web browser and press the “Enter” key on my computer's keyboard while online, “here” is where I actually “arrived” on the Internet: https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/download/htc_fw/1.3/htc_9271.fw. And on that Web page on October 16, 2015 I saw the message “This topic does not exist yet”. Some things may have changed since your write-up of August 20, 2015. Based on http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/ath9k_htc/#ath9k_htc, it appears that now the driver for this adapter may be stored somewhere on the Web page https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/backports/stable/. There is a question in my mind whether the numbers on that Web page go with the Linux kernel or whether they are version numbers unrelated to the Linux kernel version. In spite of the above difference in URLs, after entering the command "sudo wget -P /lib/firmware http://wireless.kernel.org/download/htc_fw/1.3/htc_9271.fw" a file with a name beginning with htc_9271.fw was written into the directory /lib/firmware on my computer's hard-disk drive! So I wonder if there was some redirection within http://wireless.kernel.org/ so that the file with the name and extension of htc_9271.fw could be found and downloaded. I wonder if in the moving of driver files to a new URL that there could have been some mixup in the driver file to work with my Alfa WiFi adapter in Kali Linux 2.0.

2017-02-04, 22:19
Registered just to say thanks! After trying everything else that I could find, this finally made it work! Win10 + Kali 2.0 + VirtualBox + Alfa AWUS036NHA

2017-03-28, 19:34
Same! Thank you very much my friend!!! Win10 + Kali 2.0 + VMWARE+ Alfa AWUS036NHA

2017-03-29, 07:23
@user12345 & @totatevenaar: The initial posting is pretty old (2015). Kali 2016 works perfect with AWUS036NHA. It's plug 'n' play.