How To: Fix the Channel -1 Glitch in Airodump on the Latest Kernel

Fix the Channel -1 Glitch in Airodump on the Latest Kernel

Ever since kernel 2.6.xx in Linux, a lot of the internet kernel modules for wireless interfaces became broken when accessing monitor mode. What happens commonly (to myself included) is a forced channel that your card sits on. No good! For users of airodump and the aircrack-ng suite, the software has become unusable.

In order for us to assess the strength of wireless networks again, we are going to need to perform a few fixes, which can be a bit confusing for a lot of you users new to the hacking world. So, let's take your first step into patching software and get our wireless cards cracking again.


  • Aircrack
  • Linux
  • A wireless card stuck in channel -1

Step 1 Verify the Issue

Text in bold is a terminal command.

Let's reproduce this "little" issue. Throw your wireless card into monitor mode and run the airodump program.

  • sudo ifconfig wlan0 down
  • sudo ifconfig wlan0 mode monitor
  • sudo ifconfig wlan0 up
  • sudo airmon-ng start

You should see in the top-right that you are stuck in channel -1. This is an impossible number for a channel. To fix this, we need to apply a patch to it, but for convenience sake, instead of installing the package from source and patching the files manually, let's take advantage of an awesome package from the AUR!

Step 2 Install the "compat-wireless-patched" Package

Follow along with me in this video for installing the package and selecting our appropriate driver. If you require knowing your chipset or driver, just grep for it in your system.

  • lspci | grep net


  1. yaourt -S compat-wireless-patched
  2. Edit the PKGBUILD file on the line shown in the video and replace the driver name with the appropriate one that you require.
  3. After the installation, a reboot may be necessary.

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1 Comment

I have this problem on Fedora 16 with an Intel Celeron N 1030 wireless adapter. I had this problem before also with my old Intel 4965 on Ubuntu but i was able to fix it. With my new system i had trouble with it and wasnt able to fix it following a different guide online. I was able to fix some compilation problems but once i got done and reboot it my wireless wouldnt work. If anyone could help me out with my problem i would appreciate it.

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