ath5k drivers = slow as hell internet...now so are madwifi's!!
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ath5k drivers = slow as hell internet...now so are madwifi's!!
I've been out of the linux world for a couple of years as I had to use windows stuff for work. Anyway, that's all by-the-by.
I installed Mandriva 2009 today (my linux flavour of choice) and noticed that it is now shipped with ath5k drivers for atheros chipsets. In the old days I used to just install the latest madwifi drivers which worked a treat. The ath5k module just doesn't seem to work well for me - I get very unreliable speeds and it drops a lot so I thought, no problem, I'll install madwifi drivers and I'll be away...not so. I had the same problem with madwifi's drivers.
Then after a bit of reading up I discovered that madwifi and ath5k drivers are pretty much one and the same these days (correct me if I'm wrong). So the logical move was to install old madwifi drivers (I still had a copy of the ones that used to work for me a couple of years ago). Now the problem is that they won't compile under the madrive 2009 kernel!
Arrrgh. Since I've been out of the loop for a while I'm guessing I'm not the first person to enquire about this problem/bug/whatever. Can anyone offer some advice?
Here's hoping I don't timeout while I upload this message!!
I also had problems attempting to use the ath5k drivers on opensuse 11.1 and had to go back to the existing madWiFi drivers. However, even with them I still found that the maximum connection speed I could attain was not what it should be. I reported the two bugs below:
At the start, they had to limit the rate but it should'nt be the case anymore. "shouldn't" because at the moment I've only tried the driver for internet (slower than LAN).
At least, my downloads run over night without interruption.
Since I switched to 2.6.28 it works pretty good.
For info, I use wicd which works like a charm.
I would dl the latest kernel and build and install it with default configuration.
Thanks again to all replies.
It seems odd that my card is listed but it doesn't work properly with the drivers. I tried a live cd of suselinux 11.1 and had the same issue, but when I tried the latest ubuntu the card works fine.
As far as I know madwifi is not deprecated, it's just that ath5k is the driver of choice for a lot of distros recently. Anyway, I was thinking about what you said about the drivers conflicting, NX5000, and blacklisted everything in sight to do with ath5k. Still no joy so I've gone back to mandriva 2007 and installed madwifi. All seems to be well again.
Strange that hardware support should get worse with later distros rather than improve!
Flammerwurfer: I'm using kernel 188.8.131.52 and compiled madwifi 0.9.3.3 from source. Now it works great. I don't understand why a newer kernel and latest version of madwifi cause slow/sporadic network speeds, but this has fixed the problem for me.
nx5000: I was previously using mandriva 2009 and had done all updates so I'm assuming I had the latest ath5k drivers and kernel. I'm going to re-install it on an other hard drive so I can tinker with it without breaking my main machine. I'll give an update soon (including accurate info on driver version and kernel)
I looked at mandriva 2009 and it includes a 2.6.27 kernel. Mandriva probably adds its own patches but it could be that the ones concerning "noise calibration" affecting your chip was not backported from 2.6.28 to 2.6.27.
So as you say, keep your current kernel, additionnaly take the latest kernel from kernel.org, blacklist everything related to madwifi (starting with ath and with wlan), comment the line blacklisting ath5k and boot.
I'd bet it will work as it does for me. (I needed wicd also)
Out of interest I'm experimenting with mandriva 2009 with kernel 184.108.40.206 on spare hard drive as I will want to upgrade eventually. I was wondering about what you said about ath5k working for you when you upgraded the kernel to 2.6.28. Did you have to upgrade your ath5k version too or did the new kernel alone fix noise problems?
Also do you know if ath5k is available as a precompiled package (like RPM, etc) or does it have to be compiled from source? I can't seem to find any rpms out there.
I have very poor performing wifi performance on my Ubuntu Jaunty laptop that has an AR5212 in it.
The ath5k driver has never worked very well, as I've experimented with it for several years now.
The older Madwifi driver used to work very well, but now is also slow and has been slow for a few months now.
I've repeatably tried both the latest Ubuntu kernels as well as my own custom compiled ones (the latest being 220.127.116.11). Note that I have both drivers in the kernel but then just change the blacklisting from one to the other to select the one I try to use.
I have NOT been able get the MADWIFI kernel to compile into the 18.104.22.168 (or a few versions previous that I've tried). It bombs out with "copy_from_user() buffer size is not provably correct". I guess this is a result of strict "copy_from_user" now being checked. I just tried the latest MADWIFI SVN assembled code wth this result, but it does compile and install into the Ubuntu kernel.
For what it's worth setting the rate manually has worked, well for me as has ndiswrapper when using mandriva. I never got ndiswrapper to work right in ubuntu, but setting the rate manually gets me everything from my ISP up to 20mb/s. I really haven't tested the range. Also with very recent kernels I haven't even had to set the rate.