How to get Atheros AR5007EG or AR242x wireless cards (may be other models) working in Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex)

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This tutorial will explain how to Atheros AR5007EG or AR242x wireless cards working in Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex).First you need to compile latest ath5k driver using the following procedure.Use one of the following method.

Preparing your system

sudo aptitude install build-essential

This will install all the required compilers.

Method 1

Now you need to download the latest wireless drivers from here using the following command


Now you have compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2 file you need to extract this file using the following command from the terminal

sudo tar -jxvf compat-wireless-2.6.tar.bz2

Move to the directory you extracted in terminal

cd directoryname

Run the following commands


sudo make install

sudo make unload

sudo make load

Uninstall drivers

If you want to uninstall cd in to the wireless drivers directory path and use the following commands

sudo make unload

sudo make uninstall

Method 2

if you are on Intrepid and still cannot use wifi with an Atheros card , you need to do two things, 1) install linux-backport-modules and 2) blacklist ath_pci and ath_hal.

To install the backport modules, just search for it on Synaptic or use apt-get or aptitude, it's called linux-backports-modules-intrepid. Then on System/Administration/Hardware Drivers make sure Atheros driver is activated.

sudo aptitude install linux-backports-modules-intrepid

For Jaunty Users run the following comamnd

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-jaunty

To blacklist the old modules, do this:

gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

And add the following lines At the bottom of the file save and exit

blacklist ath_hal
blacklist ath_pci

Now you need to reboot your system.

IF after this steps you still cannot make it work, you probably have something left still blacklisting ath5k, thus making it not to load. You should search all the files on /etc/modprobe.d for all lines that had:

blacklist ath5k

And add a # before the start of the line, thus making it into a comment so the above one becomes

# blacklist ath5k

Save and exit the file

I hope this help for some one to fix their wireless problem.

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95 Responses

  1. There are more ways to get this done… Check on my blog this post to find out all methods. Warning, the post is on my language, spanish.

  2. mario says:

    I’ve had a ton of problems with my thinkpad T60 and ath5k from linux backports.
    ath5k on the kernel was removed right before the intrepid release and i’ve been using backports as a replacement.
    Backports ath5k seems to do exactly the same as the one in the kernel.
    Hog 100% cpu and crash the machine.

    anyone knows whether compiling it would be better?

  3. Tempp says:

    There is a simple way:

    Atheros ath5k wireless driver not enabled by default

    The version of the ath5k driver for Atheros wireless devices included in Linux 2.6.27 interferes with the use of the madwifi driver for some wireless devices and as a result has been disabled by default. Many Atheros chipsets will work correctly with the madwifi driver, but some newer chipsets may not, and the madwifi driver may not work with WPA authentication. If you have an Atheros device that does not work with madwifi, you will want to install the linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic package, which includes an updated version of the ath5k driver. While not installed by default, this linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic package is included on the Ubuntu 8.10 CD and DVD images for ease of installation.

  4. Benoit says:

    Worked wonders with me. Wireless is now working flawlessly.

  5. bob dobbs says: – for ar5007 & AR2425 support plus snapshot files.

  6. Joe says:

    This is what lspci says I have:
    01:0a.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR5008 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
    My card is Linksys RangePlus Wireless PCI Adapter, Model No. WMP110. Everything worked for me without having to do any configuration whatsoever. All I had to do was choose which wireless network I wanted to connect to with NetworkManager.

  7. furik says:

    Hello just one question regarding this,

    I would like to ask you, if you get work also small control light (signalling that you are connected to wifi spot) wit mentioned procedure…?

    Thank you for answers.

  8. Steven says:

    This worked great thank you so much for this i had been looking an entire day for this i had heard about the back-port modules but i had no clue what they meant it anyway good job.

  9. mrhanz says:

    Thanks for this:
    I spent the past hour trying to figure out why these instructions didn’t work on my Acer Aspire 5315. Turns out I had to hit the wireless on/off button on the laptop (which doesn’t illuminate either way.) So lol @ m3…

  10. Peter says:

    Hello all,

    I have an AR242x wireless card running on Ubuntu with Compaq Presario C700 laptop. On Ubuntu 8.04 this card worked perfectly with the madwifi driver. (See for reference).

    This week I upgraded the system to 8.10. Trying to install madwifi from the above link gives compilation errors. I found the current page with the hint to install ath5k driver instead of madwifi and blacklist ath_pci and ath_hal. This worked and I have connection now.

    The problem is that this driver is much more unstable than the madwifi driver (using the same internet connection, same location, same computer, so clearly a software issue). Once in a while it unconnects, never to return back and you are forced to restart the computer.

    Is there no way to get the madwifi working again on 8.10?

  11. Peter says:

    I don’t know what happened before, but now it also runs fine on my system.

  12. Mike Houlden says:

    I have pretty much the same issue except its with a ZyXEL 802.11b/g Wireless cardbus in Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex…Can You Help me there?

  13. Simon says:

    Hola a todos, a mi me funcionó el método 2 en un easy note bg45-u-033 y con la targeta

    02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)

    Hello everyone!!! I get it working with the Method 2 on an easy note bg45-u-033 with the card

    02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)


  14. Merlin says:

    Thanks you for the page. I tried both approaches with eMachines D620 – both show wlan0 and wlan0:avahi in the network tools, but the IP addres is mapped to wlan0:avahi which does not work and is not listed in iwconfig. How can I get rid off wlan0:avahi?

  15. Mutahir says:


    Thank you so much for your instructions, it worked flawlessly!

    Now, after that I did software update which updated the kernel version as well and then no wireless at all 🙁 I am on ubuntu 8.10

    any ideas ?


  16. S.Jaafar Ahmed says:

    Hi everyone, I got it working on my Fujitsu Siemens Esprimo v5545 using the second method.
    The first way didn’t work.

  17. Romko Stets says:

    ath5k didn’t work fine for my atheros 242x on samsung r20 laptop – bit rate was always 6Mb/s, besides that I was getting “ath5k phy0: noise floor calibration timeout” error in dmesg… so I had to install latest madwifi – works great all bit rates are supported.

  18. S.Jaafar Ahmed says:

    Mutahir, you need to reinstall the modules every time you get kernel updated.
    That’s because the updated kernel uses a different modules directory other than the one you installed to before.

  19. Jake says:

    this worked great for me………thank you very much.

  20. Angry says:

    None of the above methods does not work for me-I will never use damn Linux again-fucking open source Ubuntu OS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Earthen says:

    “None of the above methods does not work”

    So does that mean that they are all working???

    work like a dream for me thanks!!!!

  22. Matt says:

    I had recently done the 398 updates since installing the Beta version of 8.10
    I found that in order for method 1 to work, I had to first go into Hardware Drivers and deactivate the Atheros Driver. after rebooting and doing sudo make install, sudo make unload and sudo make load, it worked.

    I still don’t understand why 8.10 beta made it work instantly, and then as usual, when I get an update, if all stuffed up again. I am just glad that it wasn’t my Mum trying to get her wireless working.

  23. Dylan says:

    wow, i have been trying to fix it for hours, this worked flawlessly, thanks a ton 🙂

  24. Paulo Celso says:

    I’ve purchased 2 LG Notebooks for my kids. They have an atheros 5007 mini pciexpress wifi card. Your “how to” was very fine to me and solved my problem. Thanks a lot!

  25. Kayel says:

    This worked great for me also!!!!

    Thanks for the detailed descriptions and explanations.

    If anyone has problems with the “make” command, try “sudo make”

    Many thnx bro

  26. stevenb says:

    Ah, this is terrific! A complete walk-through for two ways to fix the problem. I have a HP dv9000 and I hadn’t been able to make my wifi card work up to now. I’ve followed the steps of method 2 (use ath5k module), and now my wifi card work like a charm. Thank you *so* much!

  27. alex says:

    hi and thanks! i’d been dualbooting with windows because i couldn’t get wifi up and running on HH – but finally! thanks!

    one issue remaining though; each time the system reboots i have to unload and reload the drivers. that recognizes the drivers and gets me going again – but upon reboot it’s back to square 1.

    any idea why that might happen?

    thanks again!

  28. john says:

    Hell yes! I wrote this one down! Thanks a lot bro! She works flawlessly.

    Advice for the people that had problems after their kernal updates.. just reinstall the file mentioned in this tutorial. Extract the folder via ‘tar xvf and run make, make unload, and make load from the new folder’s directory. It’ll turn back on after the ‘make unload’ command.

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