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So I have tried everything I know. I have also installed firmware-atheros as suggested in some other posts.

I don't understand why my AR9721 USB Adapter isn't working because I seem to have everything I need.

For reference, here's my lsusb output-

Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0bda:565a Realtek Semiconductor Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 27c6:538d  
Bus 001 Device 007: ID 0cf3:9271 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR9271 802.11n
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 8087:0aaa Intel Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

and here's my lsmod | grep ath output-

ath9k_htc              77824  0
ath9k_common           36864  1 ath9k_htc
ath9k_hw              475136  2 ath9k_htc,ath9k_common
ath                    32768  3 ath9k_htc,ath9k_common,ath9k_hw
mac80211              770048  2 ath9k_htc,iwlmvm
cfg80211              679936  7 ath9k_htc,wl,ath9k_common,iwlmvm,ath,iwlwifi,mac80211

So I seem to have the relevant modules and the device is getting detected as a usb device but it just doesn't work?

I don't really want to use it with my eOS but with my Kali VM in Virtualbox. That, however cannot be done if the device isn't being recognized as a Wi-Fi adapter.

The ifconfig -a doesn't show the adapter either-

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536
        inet 127.0.0.1  netmask 255.0.0.0
        inet6 ::1  prefixlen 128  scopeid 0x10<host>
        loop  txqueuelen 1000  (Local Loopback)
        RX packets 687  bytes 93330 (93.3 KB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 687  bytes 93330 (93.3 KB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

wlp0s20f3: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
        inet 192.168.5.78  netmask 255.255.254.0  broadcast 192.168.5.255
        inet6 fe80::e4df:33c8:597d:a7aa  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        ether 90:78:41:07:77:45  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 13912  bytes 2799094 (2.7 MB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 3548  bytes 790391 (790.3 KB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

The only adapter being shown here is my integrated Intel Wireless card in my laptop.

The Atheros card is nowhere to be found. Not even in lshw -c network-

  *-network                 
       description: Ethernet interface
       product: Intel Corporation
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 14.3
       bus info: pci@0000:00:14.3
       logical name: wlp0s20f3
       version: 00
       serial: 90:78:41:07:77:45
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix bus_master cap_list ethernet physical
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwlwifi driverversion=5.0.0-37-generic firmware=48.13675109.0 ip=192.168.5.78 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes
       resources: irq:16 memory:a1218000-a121bfff

EDIT: I am confident that the adapter is fully functional as it works with my Windows install. I prefer to work in Linux, however and it is extremely inconvinient to drop all my work and boot into Windows to use Kali in VB.

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