Penguin Wireless N USB Adapter for GNU / Linux (TPE-N150USB, TPE-N150USBL, & TPE-NUSBDB)

OpenBSD Documentation

While we don't officially provide support for OpenBSD the OpenBSD developers have finally got around to porting support for AR9271 and our USB N wifi adapters. One of our customers has taken the time to write up some documentation on using it in OpenBSD (yes, it's probably what you are expecting, download firmware, insert adapter, etc):

3.15.x Kernel Bug Confirmed / Temporary Fix

Open up a terminal and use your favourite text editor to add the following line to /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k_htc.conf:

1. run the following from a terminal (or equivalent for your favourite distribution):

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k_htc.conf

2. Add the following line and save:

options ath9k_htc nohwcrypt=1

3. Reboot

Your wireless adapter should be working again.

If you have an account at the mainline kernel bugzilla web site add yourself to the CC list on this bug:

Technical Notes

If the USB wireless adapter is not recognized by your system there may be a problem with the USB controller in use on your system. Some systems are affected by a bug that prevents many USB devices from working. While the adapter will work with your distributions and version (if it was listed on the product page) the improper functioning of your USB ports is preventing the adapter from working.

On some systems there are multiple controllers and switching USB ports resolves the problem. Simply try each USB port until the wifi adapter works. If switching ports does not resolve the problem you may be able to resolve it by upgrading to a newer kernel or distribution.

If neither of these resolve the problem you may need to consider exchanging the adapter for a different model. One such model that will work despite the bug is our Wireless G USB Adapter.

Introduction to Wireless Networks & Setup Instructions

Connecting to a wireless network using a USB wireless adapter (video)

CentOS 6.4 & RHEL 6.4 & Scientific Linux 6.4

None work out of the box with the 6.4 series although all three USB N adaptors (TPE-N150USB, TPE-NUSBDB, & TPE-N150USBL) work with the proper drivers installed. Contact us for directions.

Trisquel 6

1. From them menu go to System Settings > Update Manager

2. Apply any updates available

3. Visit and download the latest version of the pre-compiled free software binary/firmware: htc_9271.fw and htc_7010.fw (or for the latest beta version of htc_9271.fw, works around issues on some computers)

4. From the menu go to Accessories > Terminal

5. Type the following, enter your password, and hit enter, this will give you administrator permission

sudo su

6. Move the files from the location you have saved them to /lib/firmware; as an example:

mv /home/trisquel/Downloads/htc_9271.fw /lib/firmware

Debian 10+

Debian has packaged the ath9k-htc firmwares separately and now builds the firmware from sources. This means you can safely install the firmware-ath9k-htc package without enabling the non-free repository or having to manually install the firmware as was the case in prior releases.

sudo apt-get install firmware-ath9k-htc

Debian 6, 7, 8, & 9

How to install firmware for the Debian 6 (Squeeze), 7 (Wheezy), 8 (Jessie), 9 (Stretch), & 10 (Buster) stable releases:

Parabola GNU/Linux

Install the firmware:

pacman -Syu ath9k-htc-firmware

Setting the Regulatory Domain

To set the regulatory domain replace US with your regional code ( for a list of code):

sudo apt-get install iw
sudo iw reg set US

Then edit /etc/default/crda

In there, set "REGDOMAIN=US"

Tips for Improving Speed

1. Enable WMM/QoS on the router
2. Make sure that all devices connecting to the network are modern USB N devices (printers, wireless weather devices, phones, etc)
3. Set the regulatory domain

And lastly remember that advertised speeds are theoretical. The more devices on the network, the further away you are, and interference will slow down the real-world speeds of any wireless connection. We would suggest reading up on why you will likely never get the maximum advertised speed.

A reasonable number to expect for dual-band in non-bonding mode is 80 megabits or around 10 megabytes a second. The TPE-N150USB and TPE-N150USBL adapters will generally achieve somewhere between 20-40 megabits a second (2.7-5 megabytes).

Tips on what else to do when you have a slow connection
Measuring download speed

New Firmware (old)

We have posted new firmware which works around bugs on some machines with flaky USB controllers. If your experiencing connection stability issues (getting disconnected frequently) update your firmware in /lib/firmware with the following:

1. Open a terminal
2. Enter the following commands one line at a time (hit enter after each line, and enter any login passwords when prompted)

Note: The firmware may need to be placed in /lib/firmware/ath9k_htc and named htc_9271-1.4.0.fw on distributions with a more recent kernel

cd /lib/firmware
sudo mv htc_9271.fw htc_9271.backup
sudo wget

3. Disconnect the USB adapter if its plugged in and reboot the computer
4. Reconnect the USB adapter and try it out

* This firmware includes a patch which reduces the packet size. Some USB controllers don't like larger packets which is why users on some systems were experiencing frequent disconnects. This firmware has been pretty well tested already and we do recommend it to anybody experiencing issues.

If you are on Ubuntu 17.04 or Debian 9 and possibly other distributions and you see a list of access points, but can't connect try this (it works around a bug that prevents users from connecting to a network with a USB wifi adapter):

1. Open a terminal, which if you are on Ubuntu can be done by going to the Ubuntu logo icon in the top left corner and searching for terminal. Then click the terminal icon that appears.

2. Type the following into the terminal and hit enter (you will need to enter the password that you use to login to the computer):

gksudo gedit /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf

3. In the text editor that opens add the following to the bottom of the file:


4. Hit save and restart the computer

* Other network managers such as wicd will also work fine as the issue is not with the wifi adapter (sudo apt-get install wicd)