Thursday, January 1, 2009

Acer Aspire One: Six commands to a native Atheros driver

There is nothing new in this post that has not been repeated around the Internet (a series of tubes) ... well, not much anyway.

My *next* post will be about Ubuntu 8.10 on an HP DV9000 laptop for the purposes of running VBDOS. It is far more complicated and interesting. This one is pretty simple.

If you are a purist. If you can not stand the idea of running your Acer Aspire One (AAO or AA1) with impure, non-open-source drivers, and you have read here that NDISWRAPPER solves the wireless issues of the AAO and installed it through gritted teeth... then this post is for you. Atheros, being good open source folks, do have a pure, open source solution available to you via the MadWifi project.

It takes six commands to be "pure" (IE, run without binary only sourced drivers such as those NDISWrapper lets you run). It is assumed you have unloaded all the NDIS drivers and stuff. If not, load up NDISGTK (via synaptic or apt-get) and make sure the target system is clear of cruft. The system should have no/zero/none wireless stuff installed before you start step 2 below. Yeah: I suppose removing things first means there is more than six commands...

If you do not have a wired network connection as a backup to the wireless, do step 1 *before* you take off the the NDIS driver....

  1. wget

  2. tar xfz madwifi-hal-

  3. cd madwifi-hal-

  4. make

  5. sudo make install

  6. sudo modprobe ath_pci

With this you have real, Linux drivers again rather than NDIS windows drivers as I previously noted. This can be both good and bad. So far on the AAO/AA1 with 8.10 (or actually, Mint 6) I have to unload and reload the ath_pci drivers after every suspend or hibernate. Thus:

  1. sudo rmmod ath_pci
  2. sudo modprobe ath_pci
Sucks... still looking for a better way. Not being a purist, I went back to NDISWrapper for now.

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