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Author Topic: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212  (Read 2957 times)

raymac46

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Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« on: November 20, 2008, 06:21:07 pm »

I got a D-Link WDA-2320 wireless PCI card today to install in my test PC (Dell Optiplex GX270 Desktop) which runs VL 5.9.1 SOHO.
I always try to buy an Atheros based card and use the madwifi drivers because I know they work fine with most distros.
I was unpleasantly surprised to find I couldn't get the wifi card to work - I've installed probably 5-6 of these cards over the years. No association with the network no matter how hard I tried.
I actually tried the adapter in a Windows XP machine just to make sure the card wasn't DOA and it worked fine there.
Finally after some searching round the forum here I found out that the ath5k module doesn't always work with Atheros 5212/5213 cards if you have the wrong kernel.
After a download build and install of the madwifi legacy 0.9.4 driver and blacklisting ath5k I'm in business. However this ath5k driver is not ready for prime time and I think a HowTo would be a good idea for others who may find themselves in my predicament.
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wcs

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 08:25:35 pm »

Yes, this seems to be a problem... I think at least another user here (Caitlyn?) also has to blacklist ath5k.
Hopefully these problems with ath5k will soon be fixed.

I don't know what the current status is in VL6.0 alpha regarding madwifi vs. ath5k. One of them has to be the default, which might not work with some cards. From some posts in the driver mailing list, it seems that a lot of the efforts are going into ath5k, which also has the advantage of not having a proprietary component, so that seems like a natural choice.

Did you try the madwifi repository package? Did that work (after blacklisting ath5k)?
Maybe it could also work by using a newer kernel...





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caitlyn

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2008, 09:16:41 pm »

Madwifi is kernel version dependent.  You need to be sure that the version in the repo matches the kernel you are running.

Yes, I had to blacklist ath5k.  So have a bunch of other users.  However, if you do a search on madwifi in the forum you'll find the instructions you need.  A How-to for a version of VL that's about to become legacy probably won't be forthcoming unless you choose to write it.

Whatever becomes the default in VL 6.0 will work with some Atheros chipsets but not others.  That's true of both madwifi and ath5k.  This is a temporary situation we all have to live with until ath9k is ready for prime time.  This problem is NOT unique to VL.  In fact, right now, it applies to all distros with a 2.6.25 or newer kernel.  Basically, wifi in Linux is, in general, still a work in progress.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1

raymac46

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 05:28:32 am »

I didn't use the madwifi version in the repositories, just downloaded the driver from madwifi and built and installed it under kernel 2.6.25.7.
This works quite well. Also the VL Wifi Radar app is a big improvement over the manual wireless install and config I had to do with VL 5.8.
Caitlyn's probably right about a HowTo if the madwifi legacy drivers will disappear in future. I just hope that they get the bugs out of the new kernels/FOSS Atheros drivers fairly soon.
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uelsk8s

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2008, 07:20:48 am »

Ath5k driver seems to be working in last 6.0 Alpha
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caitlyn

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2008, 11:28:49 am »

Uelsk8s:  Does ath5k in 6.0 work with a 5212 chipset?  I haven't found that to be true in Light a0.13.   I haven't tried a recent Standard build, though.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1

raymac46

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2008, 07:56:26 am »

I've tried out a number of recently released distros, and the problem seems to be rather a special case:

(1) AR5212 card or equivalent.
(2) FOSS Driver
(3) Using WPA

Only the impressive new Fedora 10 seems to work out of the box for me with the ath5K driver and WPA encryption. Mandriva 2009 Gnome and SimplyMepis 8.0 beta 5 don't. Ubuntu Intrepid doesn't either, although it seems to have blacklisted ath5k and is using some FOSS version of ath_hal and ath_pci.
I'm having no problems with VL 5.9.1 SOHO and the madwifi 0.9.4 driver.
There's hope for the future though, with the fact that Fedora 10 has things working. I think I'll just stick with the tried and true for a bit.
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raymac46

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 07:04:46 am »

Any comments on whether this problem has been fixed in the VL 6 beta 2.10? I'd like to try an install but not unless wireless works.
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caitlyn

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Re: Vector 5.9.1 SOHO and Atheros AR5212
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 03:43:45 pm »

Vector Linux 6 rc1 works out of the box with the ath5k driver and a 5212 chipset.  All I had to do was go into WICD, pull down the little arrow for my wireless network, and enter the passphrase.  Then I clicked connect.  We use wpa2 encryption at home and it does just work with the latest VL6 build.  It couldn't be easier.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1