AR242x Internet Kubuntu Terminal

How To Get Atheros AR242x To Work on 8.10 Intrepid Ibex


**02-24-2009** Instructions for fix after update to kernel 2.6.27-11-generic below.  This how to uses compat-wireless-2009-02-24.tar.bz2. It was tested on (K)Ubuntu 8.10 KDE 4.1.2. Kernel version 2.6.27-7-generic & 2.6.27-9-generic

For instructions on getting the AR242x to work on 8.04 click here.


You could see this as part 3 in the series: How To Get Atheros AR242x Wireless To Work
It’s with disappointment that I have to report the following:

I started with a fresh install of Kubuntu 8.10, the reason for this is simple I wanted to make sure that nobody could say “you should have done a clean install”. On a clean install out of the box the AR242x doesn’t work.

What I Tried First

So I started to search for solutions. There a several solutions out there here is a quick list:

  • Install linux-backports-modules-intrepid. This works but you would have to reload the driver every time you log on.
  • Blacklist ath_hal and ath_pci. This didn’t work for me. The idea behind this is that the madwifi module will not load and instead ath5k is used.
  • Download and install the new wireless driver which uses the newest version of ath5k.
  • The last option worked the best for me so that is what I’ll go with for this how to. Let me clarify that ath_hal, ath5k and ath9k are all developed by madwifi so props to them for doing such a great job of developing the drivers that make wireless for the AR242x work under Linux.

    How To Get The AR242X To Work

    Okay let’s get to the how to. I found this solution on the Ubuntu forums and credit goes to Malet for provinding the information in the first place.

    The Package we’re about to use is as far as I know in beta. Installing this package might make your installation of Kubuntu(or Ubuntu) unstable. I am not responsible for any problems that arise after installing this package. But do feel free to post a comment for help if something doesn’t work right I will respond back and try to work with you to fix it. I am NOT responsible for damage to hardware as a result of applying anything you find on this website.

    This how to uses Terminal (Konsole) and nano the best small text editor for terminal.

    If you had linux-restricted-modules installed please completely remove these by running the following commands:

    sudo update-rc.d -f linux-restricted-modules-common remove

    Let’s make sure you have the right wireless adapter run this command in Terminal:

    lspci | grep Atheros

    If the result of that command is something like this:

    05:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)

    This solution might also work for your wireless chipset so feel free to try it but no guaranty’s there.

    First Let’s make sure we are on the desktop in Terminal:

    cd ~/Desktop

    Then let’s download the new driver (in Linux mostly called Module):

    If re-running this after the Kernel update to 2.6.27-11-generic then run this line — and skip the next one — otherwise skip this and go to line below.

    wget -c

    Please bare with me as I now have to manually change the file to the next date every night at 10pm. If you get a 404 then please change the date part in the file below to the next day. Example if it says 2009-01-26 and you get a 404 then change it to 2009-01-27 in the file to be downloaded below.

    I will have to keep doing this until the universal file that I was using before is updating again. Thank for you patience.

    wget -c

    Now untar:

    tar xvf compat*.tar.bz2

    Go into the directory:

    cd compat*

    Let’s install the new Module:
    First get the build-essential package installed:

    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install build-essential

    Then run the following:

    sudo make install
    sudo make unload
    sudo make load

    The sudo make load command might produce some errors don’t worry about this it loads the ath5k module just fine.

    Now reboot you’re box.
    You should have wireless after rebooting just run:


    The result could look like this:

    lo no wireless extensions.

    eth0 no wireless extensions.

    wmaster0 no wireless extensions.

    wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:”linksys”
    Mode:Managed Frequency:2.412 GHz Access Point: 00:16:B6:AA:AF:58
    Bit Rate=24 Mb/s Tx-Power=27 dBm
    Retry min limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr=2352 B
    Power Management:off
    Link Quality=93/100 Signal level:-43 dBm Noise level=-103 dBm
    Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
    Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0

    pan0 no wireless extensions.

    If so then you can now configure your wireless settings please don’t forget to post a comment below to tell us it worked.

    If there is no wlan0 and you have to run the make load command every time you boot then this might be because the ath5k module is not loading on boot. In this case run this command:

    echo ath5k | sudo tee -a /etc/modules

    This will add ath5k to the modules to be loaded at boot. Thank you HL for figuring this one out.

    Sudhir had the problem that some of you seem to have as well. The driver didn’t find any networks. Here is his solution:

    Originally Posted By Sudhir Thalore
    But no wireless networks were getting detected by the network manager. After some more googling I disabled Bluetooth using system->administration->services and voila – wireless is now working like a champion.

    If it didn’t work then please post a comment below include the results of the following commands:

    uname -a
    cat /etc/issue
    iwlist wlan0 scanning

    In Closing

    Please use the pastebin and post the link you get in the comment. I want to keep the comments readable.

    As always if something changes I will update this post. This means if there is a Kernel update and this solution doesn’t work any more then this is the place where you will find how to fix it.

    I can’t stress enough how important your comments are even if the solution works for you. The comments are used by people with similar chipsets on different computers so if it works or not please leave a comment.

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