[SOLVED]Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

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[SOLVED]Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby klein92 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:29 pm

Hey!

Total newbie here, just installed linux mint cinnamon 14 (64bit) on an old laptop (packard bell easynote tj65). Was a fairly smooth installation, it used to run windows 7, I created a live usb and installed mint.

Now, the only thing that doesn't work is the wifi. I have had it connected to the internet via ethernet and that worked. The wireless did work using windows 7. I've tried connecting it with both WPA2 and no encryption.
Tried searching on these forums as well as others but haven't found a working solution yet. I have an Atheros AR928x chip.
Got some stuff here that might help:

Code: Select all
cat /etc/lsb-release; uname -a
DISTRIB_ID=LinuxMint
DISTRIB_RELEASE=14
DISTRIB_CODENAME=nadia
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Linux Mint 14 Nadia"
Linux sam-serv 3.5.0-17-generic #28-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 9 19:31:23 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
02:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Broadcom Corporation NetLink BCM5784M Gigabit Ethernet PCIe [14e4:1698] (rev 10)
   Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] Device [1025:0207]
   Kernel driver in use: tg3
--
03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) [168c:002a] (rev 01)
   Subsystem: Lite-On Communications Inc Device [11ad:6632]
   Kernel driver in use: ath9k



iwconfig
eth0      no wireless extensions.

lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"Alfabet" 
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.462 GHz  Access Point: 00:0C:F6:5A:8E:E8   
          Bit Rate=65 Mb/s   Tx-Power=16 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:on
          Link Quality=64/70  Signal level=-46 dBm 
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:13  Invalid misc:65   Missed beacon:0


rfkill list all
1: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
   Soft blocked: no
   Hard blocked: no
3: phy1: Wireless LAN
   Soft blocked: no
   Hard blocked: no


lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
uas                    17844  0
usb_storage            48838  1
ath9k                 131308  0
mac80211              539908  1 ath9k
ath9k_common           14055  1 ath9k
ath9k_hw              395218  2 ath9k,ath9k_common
ath                    23827  3 ath9k,ath9k_common,ath9k_hw
cfg80211              206566  3 ath9k,mac80211,ath
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     32007  1
snd_hda_codec_conexant    57842  1
joydev                 17457  0
bnep                   18140  2
parport_pc             32688  0
rfcomm                 46619  0
bluetooth             209199  10 bnep,rfcomm
ppdev                  17073  0
acer_wmi               32453  0
sparse_keymap          13890  1 acer_wmi
snd_hda_intel          33491  3
snd_hda_codec         134212  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_conexant,snd_hda_intel
snd_hwdep              13602  1 snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm                96580  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec
snd_seq_midi           13324  0
snd_rawmidi            30512  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq_midi_event     14899  1 snd_seq_midi
snd_seq                61521  2 snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
coretemp               13400  0
arc4                   12529  2
snd_timer              29425  2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
uvcvideo               76749  0
videobuf2_core         32851  1 uvcvideo
videodev              120309  2 uvcvideo,videobuf2_core
videobuf2_vmalloc      12860  1 uvcvideo
microcode              22803  0
videobuf2_memops       13368  1 videobuf2_vmalloc
psmouse                95552  0
serio_raw              13215  0
snd_seq_device         14497  3 snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
mac_hid                13205  0
snd                    78734  16 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_conexant,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hwdep,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_timer,snd_seq_device
i915                  520519  3
wmi                    19070  1 acer_wmi
soundcore              15047  1 snd
drm_kms_helper         46784  1 i915
lpc_ich                17061  0
snd_page_alloc         18484  2 snd_hda_intel,snd_pcm
drm                   275528  4 i915,drm_kms_helper
i2c_algo_bit           13413  1 i915
video                  19335  2 acer_wmi,i915
lp                     17759  0
parport                46345  3 parport_pc,ppdev,lp
tg3                   148780  0



Would really appreciate some help. As far as I can see I have the required driver? If there's any other information someone needs to help diagnose the problem, please let me know.

Thanks
Last edited by klein92 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby karlchen on Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:35 am

Hello, klein92.

When I read Atheros wifi device, I first thought, "Great, same as mine. The problem must be solvable." Yet, then I realized there are a few differences between our systems, but I am uncertain whether they are relevant with respect to the reported problem.
Code: Select all
lsb_release -rd; uname -a
Description:   Linux Mint 14 Nadia
Release:   14
Linux unimatrix0 3.5.0-25-generic #39-Ubuntu SMP Mon Feb 25 19:02:34 UTC 2013 i686 i686 i686 GNU/Linux

klein92 wrote:cat /etc/lsb-release; uname -a
DISTRIB_ID=LinuxMint
DISTRIB_RELEASE=14
DISTRIB_CODENAME=nadia
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Linux Mint 14 Nadia"
Linux sam-serv 3.5.0-17-generic #28-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 9 19:31:23 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Your kernel is older, 3.5.0-17 (yours) vs 3.5.0-25 (mine) and you are using Mint 14 64-bit, I am using Mint 14 32-bit.

Code: Select all
lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
04:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) [168c:002b] (rev 01)
   Subsystem: AzureWave AW-NE785 / AW-NE785H 802.11bgn Wireless Full or Half-size Mini PCIe Card [1a3b:1089]
   Kernel driver in use: ath9k
(Note: Dropped the wired ethernet card from the output, because irrelevant for this thread)
Your specification:
klein92 wrote:lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) [168c:002a] (rev 01)
Subsystem: Lite-On Communications Inc Device [11ad:6632]
Kernel driver in use: ath9k

Looks pretty similar. Yet, the different subsystems might make the difference. Not sure.

Code: Select all
iwconfig
wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"<Name of WLAN>" 
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: CC:55:66:55:FF:EE   
          Bit Rate=150 Mb/s   Tx-Power=14 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=52/70  Signal level=-58 dBm 
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:10  Invalid misc:161   Missed beacon:0
lo        no wireless extensions.
eth0      no wireless extensions.

klein92 wrote:iwconfig
eth0 no wireless extensions.
lo no wireless extensions.
wlan0 IEEE 802.11bgn ESSID:"Alfabet"
Mode:Managed Frequency:2.462 GHz Access Point: 00:0C:F6:5A:8E:E8
Bit Rate=65 Mb/s Tx-Power=16 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Power Management:on
Link Quality=64/70 Signal level=-46 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:13 Invalid misc:65 Missed beacon:0

Hm, looks like my wifi device talks to its router more than twice as fast as yours, but does this alone explain anything? Hm, my router signal seems to be stronger than your router signal. Well, it is only 5 foot away. Your link quality is clearly lower than mine. Yet, is it too low? (And you stated that all is well when running Windows.)

Hm, I am not sure whether the differenes in the signal quality are relevant, or simply a fact, caused by the different locations.
I do wonder a bit whether the different kernel versions give a hint, however. First of all, the kernel itself might matter. Moreover I do wonder whether my system may be more up-to-date with respect to categories 4 and 5 updates which Mint hides away by default and whether this would be relevant in this case.

Looks like my reply may not be of much help, I am afraid. So hopefully someone who is more of a Linux wifi expert will come to the rescue.

The only question which I can answer clearly is this one:
klein92 wrote: As far as I can see I have the required driver?
Yes, you do.

Karl
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby karlchen on Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:43 pm

Hello, klein92.

Booted Mint live system on my Hewlett Packard Bell Easynote LJ75 and checked the wifi adapter:
Code: Select all
lspci -nnk | grep -iA2 net
[wired adapter omitted]
--
03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR928X Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) [168c:002a] (rev 01)
   Subsystem: Lite-On Communications Inc Device [11ad:6632]
   Kernel driver in use: ath9k

This wifi adapter works fine. No speed problems. No sporadic disconnecting. So Lite-On subsystem does not seem to be problematic as such.
Whatever causes the problem that you experience, it need not be caused by the wifi adapter or its driver directly at all.

Karl
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby Getafix on Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:46 pm

Wifi was randomly disconnecting with the same card and driver. Sometimes it runs seamlessly. But when it disconnects, there is no way to connect back. The network manager won't even be detect the wifi network. The nohwcrypt fix in ath9k.conf was there too.

I doubt if gnome-network-manager is causing this. Now I am testing Wicd and removed network manager. This might be the case for you too.

Power management is OFF under AC power.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby Arday on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:19 am

I think I had the same problem as you did, so if you haven't tried this already, give it a shot. What I did to gain wireless connection was that I went to Sofeware Sources (menu>prefrences>Sofeware Sources), then at the top of the newly opened box I hit additional drives and then I hit the button on which it started using Broadcom rather than wireless. Just go in and activate that.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby karlchen on Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:45 am

Hello, Arday.

We are talking about Atheros wifi adapters, not Broadcom wifi adapters. So I doubt that enabling a Broadcom driver will bring much joy in this case. I doubt, too, that the Broadcom software will even be offered. :wink:

Kind regards,
Karl
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby Getafix on Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:06 am

karlchen wrote:
We are talking about Atheros wifi adapters, not Broadcom wifi adapters.


Karlchen is right. Looks like Wicd can't help to fix that issue. I still get that. So that makes me think may be I should go to Artheros site and look for a latest driver and compile it.

Is there any other way to fix this annoying issue? I got disconnected thrice between client call and it was an embarrassment.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby Getafix on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:26 pm

I think my experiment has payed off well. Haven't noticed it after compiling and installing the latest driver. I will monitor for another 2 days and if its good will share the experience on a new thread. Super.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby AlbertP on Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:25 pm

About compiling drivers for Atheros, I recommend to do so using compat-drivers instead of Atheros website.

You can download a package with newer drivers here: https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel ... 3-2.tar.xz

After extracting the package, go to the folder where you extracted it, right-click in the empty space > Open in Terminal, and run these commands:
Code: Select all
./scripts/driver-select atheros
make
sudo make install

You can replace atheros by the name of a driver, such as ath9k, if you know exactly which Atheros driver you need.

By selecting only Atheros drivers, drivers for other wifi vendors may get disabled. If you are working with multiple wifi devices (including devices that don't contain an Atheros chip), you should leave out the driver-select command.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby Getafix on Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:17 pm

AlbertP wrote:About compiling drivers for Atheros, I recommend to do so using compat-drivers instead of Atheros website.

You can download a package with newer drivers here: https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel ... 3-2.tar.xz

After extracting the package, go to the folder where you extracted it, right-click in the empty space > Open in Terminal, and run these commands:
Code: Select all
./scripts/driver-select atheros
make
sudo make install

You can replace atheros by the name of a driver, such as ath9k, if you know exactly which Atheros driver you need.

By selecting only Atheros drivers, drivers for other wifi vendors may get disabled. If you are working with multiple wifi devices (including devices that don't contain an Atheros chip), you should leave out the driver-select command.


Yes. That's what I did. I thought of creating a new thread but you outlined the steps here. Great.

One week after the loading the new driver and using it rigorously. There is peace. Hmm .. that sense of achievement when you fix something that's broken in Linux. Priceless.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby klein92 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:25 pm

Yes, well I've tried compiling those atheros drivers but that didn't seem to help :(


Never mind my last message, tried the exact steps you outlined and now it did work!
Thanks a bundle for all the help!
Last edited by klein92 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wifi linux mint 14 cinnamon(64) with atheros chip

Postby Getafix on Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:29 am

klein92 wrote:Yes, well I've tried compiling those atheros drivers but that didn't seem to help :(


If you are using the compat-drivers it should work. Try again and again. And after you have compiled you should make sure its the new wifi module that is loaded. And not the old one. Here's what I did.

1. Get the current wifi module file by running

Code: Select all
$ sudo modinfo ath9k


There we can see the module file, the whole path. Note it.

2. Compile and install the new driver. It should replace the old driver. Confirm with the above command, and see the file name has changed, and is the new driver.

3. To be on the safer side, I moved the old wifi module file that ends with extension .so to
file.so.backup
.
Reboot. When it is back once again run modinfo ath9k before going ahead.
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