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Old 12-04-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
Agent0013
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Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
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Help getting Netgear WG511T working on a low power laptop with Slack


I have been working on getting this older laptop (omnibook 800ct) to be a useful thin client type of machine. It has been fun working with Slackware and figuring out how to get everything working on this somewhat limited machine.

The wireless has been my latest challenge, and the hardest so far. First I tried a Linksys card that needs ndiswrapper. I found I was getting some sort of alloc error in the messages log. I came to the conclusion that it was a kernel error and maybe it had to do with being out of memory. This machine only has 32MB. So I dropped that effort and looked for a card that had linux drivers. I chose the Netgear WG511T based on the Atheros chipset. It seemed like a good choice.

The card appears to be detected and the drivers appear to load. I cannot get the card to stop the alternate blinking that it does when it is not connected to a network. It will never show anything when I do a scan either.

Details of the Machine: It is a 166Mhz processor with 32MB ram. I am running Slackware 11.0 with the 2.4.33.3 kernel. I got the madwifi slackbuild from Alien Bob's collection of slackbuilds. It is version 0.9.4_2.4.33.3.



After a fresh reboot.

Put card into pcmcia slot.

cardctl ident

Code:
Socket 0:
  product info: "Atheros Communications, Inc.", "AR5001-0000-0000", "Wireless LAN Reference Card", "00"
  manfid: 0x0271, 0x0012
  function: 6 (network)
Socket 1:
  no product info available

lsmod

Code:
Module                  Size  Used by    Tainted: P  
vlsi_ir                 8492   0  (unused)
irda                   80796   0  [vlsi_ir]
wlan_scan_sta           8960   1  (autoclean)
ath_rate_sample         8908   1  (autoclean)
ath_pci                72752   1 
wlan                  151984   1  [wlan_scan_sta ath_rate_sample ath_pci]
ath_hal               174864   1  [ath_rate_sample ath_pci]


lspci

Code:
00:00.0 Host bridge: VLSI Technology Inc 82C535 (rev 03)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: VLSI Technology Inc 82C534 [Eagle] (rev 03)
00:02.0 Class ff00: VLSI Technology Inc 82C532 (rev 02)
00:03.0 VGA compatible controller: Neomagic Corporation NM2070 [MagicGraph 128] (rev 01)
00:04.0 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1130 (rev 04)
00:04.1 CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI1130 (rev 04)
00:06.0 IRDA controller: VLSI Technology Inc 82C147 (rev 02)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)


iwlist ath0 scan

Code:
ath0      No scan results


iwconfig

Code:
ath0      IEEE 802.11g  ESSID:""  Nickname:"test"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated   
          Bit Rate=11 Mb/s   Tx-Power:18 dBm   Sensitivity=1/1  
          Retry:off   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0


ifconfig

Code:
ath0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:18:4D:98:BB:80  
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

wifi0     Link encap:UNSPEC  HWaddr 00-18-4D-98-BB-80-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00  
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:1855 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:199 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:85330 (83.3 KiB)
          Interrupt:5



dmesg

Code:
Linux version 2.4.33.3 (root@switch) (gcc version 3.4.6) #20 Tue Oct 28 15:13:46 CDT 2008
BIOS-provided physical RAM map:
 BIOS-88: 0000000000000000 - 000000000009f000 (usable)
 BIOS-88: 0000000000100000 - 0000000002000000 (usable)
32MB LOWMEM available.
On node 0 totalpages: 8192
zone(0): 4096 pages.
zone(1): 4096 pages.
zone(2): 0 pages.
DMI not present.
ACPI: Unable to locate RSDP
Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=Slackware-11.0 ro root=302
Initializing CPU#0
Detected 131.732 MHz processor.
Console: colour dummy device 80x25
Calibrating delay loop... 262.14 BogoMIPS
Memory: 29596k/32768k available (1591k kernel code, 2784k reserved, 503k data, 100k init, 0k highmem)
Dentry cache hash table entries: 4096 (order: 3, 32768 bytes)
Inode cache hash table entries: 2048 (order: 2, 16384 bytes)
Mount cache hash table entries: 512 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
Buffer cache hash table entries: 1024 (order: 0, 4096 bytes)
Page-cache hash table entries: 8192 (order: 3, 32768 bytes)
Intel Pentium with F0 0F bug - workaround enabled.
CPU:     After generic, caps: 000001bf 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU:             Common caps: 000001bf 00000000 00000000 00000000
CPU: Intel Pentium 75 - 200 stepping 0c
Checking 'hlt' instruction... OK.
POSIX conformance testing by UNIFIX
mtrr: v1.40 (20010327) Richard Gooch (rgooch@atnf.csiro.au)
mtrr: detected mtrr type: none
ACPI: Subsystem revision 20040326
ACPI: Interpreter disabled.
PCI: PCI BIOS revision 2.10 entry at 0xeef92, last bus=1
PCI: Using configuration type 1
PCI: Probing PCI hardware
PCI: Probing PCI hardware (bus 00)
PCI: Using IRQ router VLSI 82C534 [1004/0102] at 00:01.0
Linux NET4.0 for Linux 2.4
Based upon Swansea University Computer Society NET3.039
Initializing RT netlink socket
apm: BIOS version 1.2 Flags 0x03 (Driver version 1.16)
Starting kswapd
Journalled Block Device driver loaded
PCI: No IRQ known for interrupt pin A of device 00:03.0. Please try using pci=biosirq.
neofb: memory mapped IO in use
vesafb: framebuffer at 0xc0000000, mapped to 0xc2800000, size 832k
vesafb: mode is 800x600x8, linelength=800, pages=0
vesafb: protected mode interface info at a5f3:1f5f
vesafb: scrolling: redraw
Console: switching to colour frame buffer device 100x37
fb0: VESA VGA frame buffer device
pty: 256 Unix98 ptys configured
Serial driver version 5.05c (2001-07-08) with MANY_PORTS SHARE_IRQ SERIAL_PCI enabled
Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 7.00beta4-2.4
ide: Assuming 33MHz system bus speed for PIO modes; override with idebus=xx
hda: IBM-DMCA-21440, ATA DISK drive
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
hda: attached ide-disk driver.
hda: 2822400 sectors (1445 MB) w/96KiB Cache, CHS=700/64/63
Partition check:
 hda: hda1 hda2
SCSI subsystem driver Revision: 1.00
kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modprobe -s -k scsi_hostadapter, errno = 2
kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modprobe -s -k scsi_hostadapter, errno = 2
kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modprobe -s -k scsi_hostadapter, errno = 2
Linux Kernel Card Services 3.1.22
  options:  [pci] [cardbus] [pm]
PCI: Assigned IRQ 5 for device 00:04.0
PCI: Assigned IRQ 9 for device 00:04.1
Intel ISA PCIC probe: not found.
pci_hotplug: PCI Hot Plug PCI Core version: 0.5
Initializing Cryptographic API
NET4: Linux TCP/IP 1.0 for NET4.0
IP Protocols: ICMP, UDP, TCP
IP: routing cache hash table of 512 buckets, 4Kbytes
TCP: Hash tables configured (established 2048 bind 4096)
NET4: Unix domain sockets 1.0/SMP for Linux NET4.0.
Yenta ISA IRQ mask 0x06d8, PCI irq 5
Socket status: 30000006
Yenta ISA IRQ mask 0x04d8, PCI irq 9
Socket status: 30000006
kjournald starting.  Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
VFS: Mounted root (ext3 filesystem) readonly.
Freeing unused kernel memory: 100k freed
Adding Swap: 125456k swap-space (priority 42)
EXT3 FS 2.4-0.9.19, 19 August 2002 on ide0(3,2), internal journal
cs: IO port probe 0x0c00-0x0cff: clean.
cs: IO port probe 0x0820-0x08ff: clean.
cs: IO port probe 0x0800-0x080f: clean.
cs: IO port probe 0x03e0-0x04ff: clean.
cs: IO port probe 0x0100-0x03af: excluding 0x220-0x22f 0x330-0x337 0x388-0x38f
PCI: Enabling device 00:06.0 (0000 -> 0001)
PCI: Assigned IRQ 10 for device 00:06.0
vlsi_ir: IrDA PCI controller VLSI Technology Inc 82C147 detected
PCI: Setting latency timer of device 00:06.0 to 64
vlsi_ir: registered device irda0
vlsi_ir: unregister device irda0
vlsi_ir: VLSI Technology Inc 82C147 disabled
cs: cb_alloc(bus 2): vendor 0x168c, device 0x0013
PCI: Enabling device 02:00.0 (0000 -> 0002)
ath_hal: 0.9.18.0 (AR5210, AR5211, AR5212, RF5111, RF5112, RF2413, RF5413)
wlan: 0.9.4
ath_pci: 0.9.4
ath_rate_sample: 1.2 (0.9.4)
wifi0: 11b rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps
wifi0: 11g rates: 1Mbps 2Mbps 5.5Mbps 11Mbps 6Mbps 9Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
wifi0: turboG rates: 6Mbps 12Mbps 18Mbps 24Mbps 36Mbps 48Mbps 54Mbps
wifi0: H/W encryption support: WEP AES AES_CCM TKIP
wifi0: mac 7.9 phy 4.5 radio 5.6
wifi0: Use hw queue 1 for WME_AC_BE traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 0 for WME_AC_BK traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 2 for WME_AC_VI traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 3 for WME_AC_VO traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 8 for CAB traffic
wifi0: Use hw queue 9 for beacons
wifi0: Atheros 5212: mem=0x10800000, irq=5
PCI: Found IRQ 10 for device 00:06.0
vlsi_ir: IrDA PCI controller VLSI Technology Inc 82C147 detected
PCI: Setting latency timer of device 00:06.0 to 64
vlsi_ir: registered device irda0
vlsi_ioctl: notsupp - cmd=8b01
vlsi_ioctl: notsupp - cmd=8b01


After each time I do a iwlist or iwconfig command a new line of the vlsi_ioctl: notsupp is added to dmesg. I do not know what these errors mean and have not been able to find anything helpful online.

Thanks for any help that anyone here might be able to give me.

Agent0013
 
Old 12-05-2008, 12:14 AM   #2
Hangdog42
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Trying to run wireless on a 2.4 kernel is probably going to make a difficult problem a LOT more difficult. If I were in your shoes I'd look at going with a more recent version of Slackware and just doing a more limited install or look at one of the distros aimed at limited machines. If you want to stick with Slackware 11, look at compiling your own kernel. The bottom line is that you really want to be running a 2.6 version kernel.
 
Old 12-05-2008, 08:38 AM   #3
Agent0013
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Original Poster
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Thanks for the reply!

I did try the latest Slackware first, but it would not run due to not enough ram. Would I be able to upgrade the kernel to 2.6 on a system running Slackware 11.0? I customize my kernel, but I have not tried changing the kernel version yet.

I read somewhere that using a newer kernel would end up causing compile problems for other software you install because the 2.6 kernel uses the newer gcc, and then the software you compile may have some sort of compatibility problems. Is this correct? What do I need to be aware of before upgrading the kernel on this system?

Again, thanks for responding. I think I will stick with Slack a little bit longer and possibly try a 2.6 kernel before going to a smaller distro.
 
Old 12-06-2008, 08:32 AM   #4
Hangdog42
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Quote:
Would I be able to upgrade the kernel to 2.6 on a system running Slackware 11.0? I customize my kernel, but I have not tried changing the kernel version yet.
Yeah, a 2.6 kernel on Slackware 11 should be fine. I did that all the time on a laptop that needed a 2.6 kernel to support a Broadcom wireless chipset.

Quote:
I read somewhere that using a newer kernel would end up causing compile problems for other software you install because the 2.6 kernel uses the newer gcc, and then the software you compile may have some sort of compatibility problems. Is this correct? What do I need to be aware of before upgrading the kernel on this system?
I think that the gcc version in 11 will likely support at least some 2.6 kernels. Actually, if you look in the testing directory for Slackware 11, you'll see that there is a 2.6.18 kernel and modules. So at very least, Slackware 11 supported that. In fact, that might be the easiest way to get to a 2.6 version kernel.
 
Old 03-09-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
subdriver
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I'm also using an Omnibook 800CT with 32MB RAM and and Slitaz linux with the kernel upgraded to 2.6.28.4, it seems to run OK with a large swap partition. I upgraded the HDD to 40GB with a 100MB partition for boot so the BIOS didn't get in the way (it has an 8.4GB limit).
I have very similar issues, the card is a Realtek RTL8180 based Belkin F5D7010V7000, the driver loads correctly but iwlist scan only gets a result one time in ten then reports no scan results until the next boot; it sometimes associates with the AP but not always but it always fails at the DHCP stage. I've run the card and the same distro in live CD form on a much newer Dell PC and it works OK so I know the driver and card work together; I'm currently looking at the interrupt settings to see if the problem lies there.
 
Old 03-10-2009, 07:35 AM   #6
Hangdog42
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Quote:
the card is a Realtek RTL8180 based Belkin F5D7010V7000
You have my sincerest condolences. The whole Belkin F5D7x line have been far and away, THE most difficult cards to get to run on Linux.

You might have a look in your log files and see if the driver is leaving any clues as to why it is failing.

Oh, and welcome to LQ!
 
Old 03-14-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
subdriver
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Thanks for the welcome.
The problem appears to be IRQ related; the Omnibook 800 F1360 has the 8259A parallel port device mapped to IRQ7 (fairly standard ISA mapping) but the kernel insists on mapping the PCMCIA / cardbus socket 1 to this IRQ as well. I've tried using acpi_irq_isa=irq7 on the kernel line in grub but the system still allocates IRQ7 to the PCMCIA slot 1. IRQ11 is free on this laptop so I want to force the system to map the card slot to IRQ11 but I haven't yet figured out how to do it.

Last edited by subdriver; 03-14-2009 at 10:20 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2009, 08:21 AM   #8
Hangdog42
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I may be very wrong about this, but I don't think the kernel has any control over the IRQ settings. I think this is a BIOS issue more than anything else. You might rummage in the BIOS and see if there is a way to affect IRQs there. Also, if there is a different slot to plug the card into, that might help as well.
 
Old 03-15-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
subdriver
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I'm sure you're correct about the IRQ routing; the BIOS only has options to set the IRQs on the legacy hardware, i.e. the parallel and COM ports. Oddly, the IRQ maps I've found for this machine don't list the card slots or the PCI-PCMCIA bridge.
I've disabled the parallel port to free up IRQ 7 but still no joy. Looking at /proc/interrupts, I can see about 10 interrupts per second coming in on IRQ7 and they stop if I disable the wlan0 interface; how can I see if these interrupts are actually being handled by something?
 
Old 03-15-2009, 05:52 PM   #10
Hangdog42
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Quote:
how can I see if these interrupts are actually being handled by something?
I'm afraid I'm not going to be much help on this. You might consider starting a new thread, and I'd suggest either the Hardware forum or the General forum. This one has simply gone beyond my knowledge level.
 
  


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