Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 11-14-2007, 07:50 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2007
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.1
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
Completely new to Linux, need help with setting up Atheros Wireless chip


I am completely new to Linux (always been a Microsoft user), but I would like to start expanding my horizons and installed Fedora 7 on an IBM laptop T42. The install went well except that I don't see my wireless card, only onboard ethernet.

From reading various forums, I learned to run lspci. That's how I learned it was an Atheros chipset a/b/g(XP said it was IBM on board). Please help me install the card, keeping in mind that I am completely green. I also read that you have to download some rpm and compile ( I have no clue what this means)? I hate to say this but treat my knowledge as an infant so you might have to go step by step..

Your help will be greatly appreciated. I'm finding Linux to be very interestng that it renewed my interest in learning something new. Every little thing that I learn or finally getting somewhere in Linux is like finding a pot of gold.

Old 11-14-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Northeast Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,249
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 191Reputation: 191
Start with the documentation on the Atheros/madwifi driver site..
See how far you can get with that information.
If you get stuck come back and post EXACT error messages you received, parts of your config files where you are stuck, etc..

When posting for help on a specific piece of hardware such as your wireless card it's a good idea to post the output of commands like lspci so we can see exactly what you have. There are many different chips in the wireless cards and different chips use different drivers even if the chips are from the same manufacturer.. Even the SAME MODEL wireless card may have chip from a different manufacturer in a different revision of the card.. it's really rather annoying really

And if you get a chance update your profile to include your distro so it jumps right out at us. you did post it in your original question which is a good thing.
Old 11-15-2007, 11:45 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Texas
Distribution: OpenSuSE Tumbleweed, Kernel 4.14*
Posts: 137

Rep: Reputation: 52
Thumbs up RE: need help with setting up Atheros Wireless chip

Another suggestion is to investigate a program called "ndiswrapper" and another called "Linuxant driverloader" Both of these "wrap" around the native Windows driver to be able to use it.
Many wireless chipset makers refuse to divulge the exact hardware and firmware specs, making it very difficult to build a real driver. Broadcom is the card that I fight with. But anyway, I have used both of these programs and they both work well.
Old 11-15-2007, 12:02 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
madwifi is the native driver for your wireless chipset.
Here is a link describing how you can install it using yum, the fedora native package installer. Basically, you tell yum about a new online repository for Fedora RPMs (called livna), and then just do a yum install madwifi. Follow the instructions on the page, Google for any error messages you get. Getting a driver to work is good linux practice for commands like lsmod and modprobe.
Old 11-15-2007, 12:02 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
Old 11-15-2007, 12:43 PM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2006
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
Hi taman,

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux!

I happened to see this the other day:

The first paragraph mentions how one distro recognized an Atheros wifi card 'out of the box' that another distro did not.

Your mileage might vary. But, if you are pressed for time, not tied to particular distro, and/or just want to get up and running asap, you might try it.
Old 11-15-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu, Debian, Maemo
Posts: 464

Rep: Reputation: 30
I wouldn't go the ndiswrapper route since the MAD Wifi driver route seems to work very well. Here it the website:

in case you need more info than the Fedora links listed above provide.

I have this all working well on my Thinkpad R51, but under Ubuntu Linux. The neat thing is that I've installed the extra patches that allowed "aircrack-ng" ( to work. The Atheros is one of the few that can be made to do "packet injection", which means you can crack obtain WEP encryption keys from "secured" access points in just a few minutes!

Anyway, welcome to Linux. It has a steep but rewarding learning curve.

Last edited by wartstew; 11-15-2007 at 03:26 PM.
Old 11-15-2007, 09:47 PM   #8
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2007
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.1
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks guys. I will try your suggestions and will post back the outcome or lack thereof
Old 11-15-2007, 10:53 PM   #9
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Asheville, NC, USA
Distribution: Mint 17 Rebecca
Posts: 145

Rep: Reputation: 18

I had problems with other linux distros not seeing my wireless card also.
My laptop is an IBM T40. Im running Ubuntu 7.1 now. Ubuntu was the only
linux that saw my wireless card and worked right out of the box. the FN F5
key actally turns the radio on and off. If you cant get Fedora 7 to see your
card you may want to try Ubuntu. Ive been using it since June of this year
without any real problems.

Old 11-15-2007, 11:06 PM   #10
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2007
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.1
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Well I tried the suggestions with no luck. Please see below
02:02.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications, Inc. AR5212 802.11abg NIC (rev 01)

I did the following:
-configured yum to use
-yum install madwifi
-It download an i386 and i686rpm.I should've taken a screen shot
-ran yum install madwifi kmod-madwifi and received an error:
0[root@localhost ~]# yum install madwifi kmod-madwifi
Loading "installonlyn" plugin
Setting up Install Process
Parsing package install arguments
Could not retrieve mirrorlist error was
[Errno 4] IOError: <urlopen error (-2, 'Name or service not known')>
Error: Cannot open/read repomd.xml file for repository: fedora

I'm stuck..
Old 11-16-2007, 09:49 PM   #11
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2007
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.1
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Well, I switched to Ubuntu and like what vansch76 said, "it worked out of the box". Thanks for all the tips!!
Old 11-17-2007, 02:01 PM   #12
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2007
Location: Cleveland, OH
Distribution: Debian Etch, Knoppix for troubleshooting
Posts: 17
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 2
I'm a Debian user, and Debian uses Apt for it's package installations. I haven't used Yum, but sounds to me your entry in your sources.list file (or what Yum uses to list it's Repositories) is incorrect. or at least thats what I would have checked first.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Madwifi-ng Atheros AR5005GS AR5006EX chip and Mandriva Spring 2007.1 on Samsung R20 ganz Linux - Wireless Networking 1 11-09-2007 05:39 AM
Help!!! Knetwork manager not playing nice with Atheros chip Yoda3114 Linux - Networking 8 05-11-2007 03:33 PM
Madwifi (0.9.2) cannot detect Atheros chip kaz2100 Linux - Wireless Networking 4 03-19-2007 02:44 PM
Linux (CentOS) and Atheros Wireless Driver nentendo Linux - Newbie 33 08-28-2006 12:43 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:28 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration