Jon’s Linux Experiment – Part 2 – The Wireless Snafu

So I’ve been pretty impressed by how much hardware works out of the box with newer linux distributions (e.g. everything built from 2004 on), but one area that seems to still be annoying to deal with is wireless drivers. Between such strange solutions as using ndiswrapper to run your windows drivers in Linux to hacks here and there to native Linux drivers, wireless can be a pain in the @$$! So it wasn’t really suprising when I booted into Ubuntu and wireless didn’t work.

The solution, however, took a bit of digging since everyone seemed to have their own take on how it should be done. for my particular rig, the solution I found was fairly simple – albeit it required a bit of downloading. This should work with Atheros AR5007EG or AR242x cards (and possibly others). Here’s the simple version.

Goal: Update drivers!

Steps (Everything in This Font is a command to enter into a Terminal window)

1. Prepare machine to do a bit of compiling:

sudo aptitude install build-essential

2. Download latest drivers from This Website, the file you need is compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2 which the following command should fetch, although it gave me errors

wget http://wireless.kernel.org/download/compat-wireless-2.6/compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2

3. Extract said files

sudo tar -jxvf compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2

4. Go into that directory in the terminal

cd compat*

5. Make something, install it, unload the old stuff and load the new. Run the following commands:

make
sudo make install
sudo make unload
sudo make load

At this point the clouds parted and my frickin laptop could connect to it’s wireless network, my home WPA-protected network. If you would have any problems with this and have to go to another method (such as the others that the page I linked to above shows), simply run the following commands to uninstall:

sudo make unload
sudo make uninstall

So there you have it, my first linux “bump” fixed. Stay tuned for the battle of the DVD Playing!

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