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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 09-21-2007, 04:20 PM   #1
Thetargos
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Mexico City
Distribution: Fedora, Ubuntu & Mint
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Atheros 5006EG wireless problem on an Aspire 5050-4697 laptop


Hi all,

I hope you may be able to give me some pointers about this, as I've been unable to do much with this laptop. I managed to get Fedora 7 installed, however none of the network interfaces seem to work. I knew about the wireless, which is the one in the thread's title, but neither does the ethernet connection work, hence I set out to see if I could manage to get the wireless working. At any rate, I installed madwifi and its drivers for the kernel the machine is currently running (2.6.21 based, "boxed" Fedora kernel). My problem is that even though the modules are loaded (wlan, ath_pci, ath_hal) there is no wireless device whatsoever. More so, like I said, the onboard RealTek 8139 NIC doesn't seem to be working either, and I really started worrying when neither did a PCMCIA RaLink RT2500 wireless card would work (well, it would be active, just like the 8139, but it wouldn't see any wireless networks... and I'm sitting right bellow the freaking AP!). Just for kicks I put the RT2500 card on another (much older) laptop just installed with Fedora 7 to see if it was a problem with either, a fresh install of Fedora, the NIC or the computer itself.

Now one key difference is that the Acer laptop had to be installed with ACPI turned off (acpi=off kernel argument) and required that to boot as well. I'm starting to wonder if having ACPI off might be the cause of the lack of connectivity. I tried Linux Mint (Ubuntu spin off) XFCE LiveCD, to see if could get the laptop on-line, it didn't detect the wireless (so I assume I have to install the madwifi drivers some other way into Mint) and didn't have access to wired network at the time, so I couldn't test if the laptop would connect with the 8139 NIC. Now Mint uses a 2.6.20 based kernel and Fedora a 2.6.21, and I read somewhere that the 8139too driver had a regression at some point that prevented proper NIC activation. However that doesn't explain the problem I saw with the RT2500 NIC. I'll try to boot once more with Mint and see if I can get it to connect to the wired network, as well as F8T2 LiveCD with its 2.6.23-rc kernel and see how it goes. Hopefully ACPI will work and no fiddle with acpi=off will be required (which also means the laptop consumes immense amounts of power, and I have no means to monitor the battery and a bunch of other stuff, like proper shutdown [turn off], etc). In the mean time if anyone has any suggestions on what I may try next or any explanation why is this so or any workarounds for either Fedora or any other distribution, I'll be most grateful.

TIA!
Thetargos.
 
Old 09-21-2007, 07:37 PM   #2
Brian1
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Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Seymour, Indiana
Distribution: Distribution: RHEL 5 with Pieces of this and that. Kernel 2.6.23.1, KDE 3.5.8 and KDE 4.0 beta, Plu
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Post the related info for the nic from this command.
/sbin/lspci -v

If Atheros based then check on the madwifi site to see if that chipset is supported. If so then install madwifi. You can install madwifi as rpms using yum if the required repos are setup. many post here on doing this. If you wish to install from source then for Fedora and using the default installed kernel then you need to install the kernel-devel-****.rpm file from the install cds before you can compile it.

If not supported then look into ndiswrapper and using the windows inf driver. Again to install ndiswrapper can be done using yum with repos setup. If source then you still need to install the kernel source kernel-devel rpm before compiling from source.

At any point if you upgrade the kernel you need to recompile it or get the match kernel version rpm of the module.

Now once you have that setup you want to set the router to it basic type connection. NO wpa, wep, mac or ip filtering. Make it the easiest no secure connection possible. Enable dhcp as well. Then follow the instrucions on setup up the connection from the developers site or one of 50,000 some post on this subject. I would read alot about both madwifi and ndiswrapper to get an understanding of it.

Brian
 
Old 09-21-2007, 11:47 PM   #3
Thetargos
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Registered: Mar 2003
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Thank you for posting, I have been through pretty much all you said, before I even posted here... I should have linked to the paste-bin of the lspci -vv output for the machine:

http://pastebin.com/f73903a30

At any rate, I've downloaded the updates from the other laptop, and now I'm transferring them to the Acer, I'll install them and the new kmod-madwifi for the new kernel and see what happens.

Last edited by Thetargos; 09-21-2007 at 11:53 PM.
 
Old 09-25-2007, 08:40 PM   #4
hgsolari
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Registered: Sep 2007
Distribution: debian
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ACER 5050-4697 some answers?

Hola,

I have the same laptop and is giving me a lot of trouble. I was preparing a page (that I have offered to Linux-on-Laptops) using their format. You can find it at
www dot df dot uba dot ar/~solari/acer.html

I am running Debian etch 4.0 and had to put several upgrades on top of it. kernel-2.6.22.8 the most important one.
Neither the ethernet card nor the wifi device were working. The ethernet card is now working and I have hopes for the wifi device.

Since you can go to the page I will make it short here.
a. you need to get acpi running to use the wifi, since it boots powered off
b. you have to recompile the kernel disabling "offending" acpi modules (my config file is available in the page)
c. download, compile and install acer_acpi, modprobe acer_acpi off course!
d. enable wireless device by "echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless" to power on
e. use ndiswrapper with a AR5007EG windows-xp 64bit driver (available from some
atheros page)
f. now that you have wlan0 config network (I have not done it)

For the regular ethernet card I had to download, compile and install dhcp-4.0.0a3
The one distributed with Debian was not working properly. I checked on a adsl connection using rp-pppoe-3.8, again, pppoe and pppoeconf in Debian appear to be
incompatible with new kernel (at least, it is what I read in the kernel config help).

Battery monitoring still not working.

Have fun
Hernan
 
Old 09-26-2007, 02:57 AM   #5
Thetargos
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Mexico City
Distribution: Fedora, Ubuntu & Mint
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Hola!

Muchas gracias por la información que me indicas!

Thank you VERY much for the information, I'll take a look at your page and will certainly mess around with the laptop. This laptop is (fortunately) not mine as such, but my girlfriend's, but she's sentenced me to get it working. I'll most likely download everything I need and then simply "get to it". By the way, you could issue that "echo 1 > /proc/acer/wireless" step straight from /etc/rc.d/rc.local so it will "boot" powered on

Edit

I see you are running x86_64 (which I would), but I (or rather she) want(s) to run i386 with a stock kernel (recompiled, of course, but the same "ABI/API" as "upstream" stock), mainly due to updates. The main reason for that is tickless seems to be jumpy on x86_64 and currently only working (that I know of) in 64-bits kernels as of 2.6.23. Thanks again!

Last edited by Thetargos; 09-26-2007 at 03:01 AM.
 
Old 09-27-2007, 06:37 AM   #6
hgsolari
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Registered: Sep 2007
Distribution: debian
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Smile powering wifi on and off in ACER 5050-4697

The powering "on" of the device (did I mess it? the pseudofile is /proc/acpi/acer/wireless) is something you want to do on demand, to save battery.
My shot is to use the pre-script and post-script instructions in the network
configuration file /etc/network/interaces something like
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
pre-up /usr/sbin/wifi-up
post-down /usr/sbin/wifi-down

with /usr/sbin/wifi-up
echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless
modprobe ndiswrapper

and /usr/sbin/wifi-up
modprobe -r ndiswrapper
echo 0 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless

With respect to AMD64 machines, my desktop is one of them. It works really fine
with kernel 2.6.20.7 and Debian Sarge. The ONLY problems we still have have to do with non-free software: the flasplayer plugin which is not made for 64 machines (there are two free replacement projects but require a version of libc I do not have,
and a wrapper too, vailable under Sid) and the acrobat reader. The old solution
of keeping a chroot with a 32bit system is pretty good work aorund. I am considering to upgrade... which I hate as it is time consuming with a machine I have tuned to my wishes

regards and/y saludos
Hernan
 
Old 09-27-2007, 01:06 PM   #7
Thetargos
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Location: Mexico City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgsolari View Post
The powering "on" of the device (did I mess it? the pseudofile is /proc/acpi/acer/wireless) is something you want to do on demand, to save battery.
My shot is to use the pre-script and post-script instructions in the network
configuration file /etc/network/interaces something like
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
pre-up /usr/sbin/wifi-up
post-down /usr/sbin/wifi-down

with /usr/sbin/wifi-up
echo 1 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless
modprobe ndiswrapper

and /usr/sbin/wifi-up
modprobe -r ndiswrapper
echo 0 > /proc/acpi/acer/wireless

With respect to AMD64 machines, my desktop is one of them. It works really fine
with kernel 2.6.20.7 and Debian Sarge. The ONLY problems we still have have to do with non-free software: the flasplayer plugin which is not made for 64 machines (there are two free replacement projects but require a version of libc I do not have,
and a wrapper too, vailable under Sid) and the acrobat reader. The old solution
of keeping a chroot with a 32bit system is pretty good work aorund. I am considering to upgrade... which I hate as it is time consuming with a machine I have tuned to my wishes

regards and/y saludos
Hernan
I am at the computer right now and expect to be able to do some work on it (yay!). Even though I like Debian quite a bit, its problems with multilib support (or lack there of) is the main reason why I chose to go with Fedora for 64-bit systems (you don't need to "sandbox" into a 32-bit chroot environment for running 32-bit apps, they run directly). At any rate, I don't have much of an option either on this particular machine, as it is not mine and my GF is pretty convinced she wants Fedora and she wants it 32-bits (her points for doing so are valid, but puts me in a rather awkward position, hehe). Anyway, I'll get down and dirty with this machine today and see if I can by the end of the day, get it running acceptably OK. Your site's been like a shining beacon in a dark night

Saludos.
 
Old 09-28-2007, 05:44 AM   #8
hgsolari
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2007
Distribution: debian
Posts: 25

Rep: Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thetargos View Post
...At any rate, I don't have much of an option either on this particular machine, as it is not mine and my GF is pretty convinced she wants Fedora and she wants it 32-bits (her points for doing so are valid, but puts me in a rather awkward position, hehe). Anyway, I'll get down and dirty with this machine today and see if I can by the end of the day, get it running acceptably OK. Your site's been like a shining beacon in a dark night
With regard to Distributions I guess all of them have their good points and their fans. It all depends on what you want out of your computer and what you tolerate and what not.
I really miss the old times without distributions, but the amount of soft available makes it now impossible. I mean when for having for example Tex on my machine I had to ftp to the source point (no http in those times), compile, debug because your compiler was not quite the same than the one in the developing machine, ... or when to make X run you had to know what those numbers in the modeline mean (actually, modelines may be are not longer there, hidden somewere else) and how to compute them, and the price for a missunderstanding was smoke in your monitor (it happened to me once!)

Now, with respect to girlfriends, just remember that "Sure honney" may be for a life time... but good for her that she wants Fedora and not Windows-Vista/XP or any other troyan OS working for you-know-who. I have turned my wife into Linux and my 13yo daughter is a Linux militant but my co-workers want Windows, and I have to keep double boot machines (one of these days I will assume I am the boss).
They allow me to laugh when their machines are working at apparently 20KHz instead of the nominal 2GHz because Windows+Norton+AVG+...+... leaves no resources for them.

I am disgressing and the moderator is going to kick me out!

I am glad the page is being useful to you. I got in contact with the kernel-developing list and one of the members is looking to the ACPI problem,
some new (for me) debugging technics to be enacted soon...at home.

saludos
Hernan
 
Old 09-28-2007, 06:05 AM   #9
Thetargos
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Mexico City
Distribution: Fedora, Ubuntu & Mint
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I remember those days when you had to do pretty much everything by hand, and when things could (like in your experience) explode in your face, hehe. I've been running Linux for the past 11 years consistently even though I was exposed to it before (though didn't dare to install it on my own). At any rate, the purchase of this machine somewhat proves that the hardware seems to be nowadays tailored to that one particular OS we all know (and most of us hate), like this particular problem with ACPI, which not only hinders stuff like hardware support, but also has the effect of affecting power performance, as some devices when ACPI is off, have no way to enter into power saving mode, or even to power on (like the WLAN). Anyway, hopefully 2.6.23 final or 2.6.24 will incorporate a reasonable workaround for this issue, and most certainly for many others.
 
  


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