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. au?ust says:

    Works on Acer Aspire 5052 🙂

  2. pinoy guy says:

    Thank you very much. Method 1 worked for my unit, an Asus X80NE

  3. Eric says:

    I’m running a ar5006ex in a dell inspiron 1525 (the broadcom card didn’t have as good of range…) and method 2 didn’t seem to work. I’d do method one, but I’m not sure that dkms would take care of the driver on kernel upgrade, and right now I can’t afford the hassle of building it often. The only problem I have with the standard ath driver in 8.10 is resuming from sleep. I have to “sudo ifconfig wifi0 up” every time I resume to get a working connection. Not that big of a deal really…but I sleep my laptop about 15 times a day, and rarely shut down. If anyone has any info on how to fix the resume issue or how to make method 2 work with this card, please email me at lienerDOTmeatATgmailDOTcom.

  4. Anant Shindalkar says:

    It works!!!

    Thanks Man. 🙂 Finally “compat-wireless” fixed the wifi issue.

    Thanks for posting!

  5. James says:

    Hello im running a Compaq Presario C731TU With Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) and cant seem to get wireless card running its a Atheros AR5007EG or as listed under lspci AR242 Any help email me at Crow454AThotmailDOTcom please

  6. jentra says:

    Just bought an emachines e520 loaded UBUNTU 8.1 went through hell trying to get wifi to work. You did it! I’m so pleased. Wish i could buy you a beer.

  7. dhaval says:

    Can Method 1 and Method 2 work simultaneously? Basically, I have my wifi running using Method 1, however, it is quite sporadic. It ceases to work after some time and the funny part is, when I reboot, Windows, does not even detect any networks. Even on Ubuntu, iwconfig, recognizes wlan, but I can’t seem to detect any wireless networks.

    What I then do is run Windows recovery and everything starts to work fine!

    I need some help in understanding what is going on – why does Windows recovery fix my wlan issues, whereas Ubuntu, even though “sees” the wlan card, cannot detect any wireless networks.


  8. DominaDoom says:

    In 8.10 omit the “make” command and begin with the sudo make install command.

    Prior to that the directoryname command looks like this: cd compat-wireless-2009-02-09/

  9. Jean says:

    First method worked for me on Toshiba Satellite U405D-S2902 and Atheros AR242x. I had to reboot.

    Thank you so much.

    I had tried several other things before. Most information where from outdated websites, none working links, etc… Even on this site, wget did not work directly because of some redirecting issue, I had to circumvent this problem.

    This whole process (finding the right info, trying several things) took me about 4 hours before I got it to work, and I am an experienced Linux user.

    I still have sound input not working on this laptop. Will require another 4 hours to fix or more.

    It’s also a pain that most applications are older versions of Firefox, Open Office, Skype, ….

    These and other problems make Intrepid still not ready for mainstream, not even close. I hope someone will figure out once and for all this never-ending driver problems that have prevented Linux adoption for the last 15 years. Maybe there is no solution to this problem? Maybe we need a radically different approach to this?

  10. Ravi says:

    Dhaval… Same here… My Atheros also winds down after some time and although I can see wlan0 in my ifconfig -a, I don’t get anything when I
    iwlist wlan0 scan
    When I reboot, it doesn’t solve the problem. BUT when I “init 0” wait 2 secs and then start the computer, it starts working again.

    Any ideas people? Puhlleezzz…. its making me dislike Linux a bit :'(

  11. erik says:

    i have done de Method 1 and my pc can now recognize de wireless Atheros Ar5007EG but i can’t detect any wireless network…
    can anybody help me?

  12. nir says:

    if somebody is using method 2 you should know that you need to load the module after – in root type – modprobe ath5k

  13. tragic vizionsz says:

    this tutorial helped me out a great deal. i followed your directions to the T and worked 100% without any problems. Thank you much.

  14. Jake says:

    Worked great on Toshiba Satellite L305 running Ubuntu 8.10 .

    Thanks so much!

  15. darkside says:

    I’ve done every single thing suggested in this “how to”, to include wiping my HDD and starting with two new fresh installs and I STILL don’t have wireless on my Toshiba Satellite L45-4687. Absolutely nothing works.

    iwconfig and ifconfig look exactly as they did yesterday when i started this process.

  16. Jorge says:

    I was about to give up on ubuntu 8.10 (64) in my toshiba satellite p205D S7802, but this tutorial helped me a lot. Excellent! thanks a lot

  17. salade says:

    Thanx, the first method finaly worked for me !

  18. Thanks, the first method worked for me a well (after a quick reboot) for my Toshiba Satellite A205-S5843 laptop running Ubuntu 8.10.

  19. pat says:

    Thanks for this. the pc now sees the wireless nic. BUT, i can’t get it to work with WPA!!!
    tried the card w/ no encryption, then WEP, and it worked fine. tried WPA, bad times.
    lspci gives: 02:02.0 Network controller: AIRONET Wireless Communications Cisco Aironet Wireless 802.11b

    i dual boot w/ win XP and know this card works w/ WPA. Its a 11b card so i only connects at 11mb/s, but at least it connects.
    does anyone have a workaround for this? does madwifi ever work w/ WPA or am i wasting my time?

    thanks for any help.

  20. Aravind says:

    Thank you for the information and the effort to get to the same.
    Method one worked for me. I tried compiling madwifi and method 2 both of which did not work.

    I am running Ubuntu 8.10 (intrepid), Kernel Linux 2.6.27-11-generic with GNOME 2.241 on a HP Pavilion dv 6000 series (dv6821nr – AMD Turion 64X2)

    I am a new user to Ubuntu and am awed at the work that is happening. Keep it up folks, great work.

    You have a great day


    PS. I had to switch off acpi at boot to get intrepid to boot normally else the boot process gets stuck and proceeds only on keyboard input(any key). I guess something like “getchar()” was used during debug and not removed. Hope this helps

  21. Klydal says:

    WOW! You saved me! Method 2 is what worked for me. I actually have had this issue in the past with gutsy. This issue made me not use Ubuntu until now. I thought Intrepid Ibex would be better and it was until a recent update. You really saved me from reinstalling. Thank you bunches!!

  22. Reemus says:

    I had tried to get the Wifi working with 8.04, but could not. Then installed 8.10 (64) only to find that my Atheros card is not supported by default. Your method-1 worked for me, thanks a ton.

  23. Lia says:

    I’m a total Linux beginner, so thanks SO much for your tutorial!! I got fed up with Windows (Vista particularly), and decided to give Ubuntu a try after some persuasion. I had tried a bunch of other tutorials to get my wireless working, with no luck but your method 1 finally got my wireless working. I’m not sure if there was something I did wrong but line wget didn’t work for me. I did find this page though: that said it’s anti-hotlinked, so I just downloaded it by clicking on the link from there and then moved it to my home directory. Like others mentioned, the make line in 8.10 also didn’t work for me, but I think I just skipped it. Thanks again!

  24. dave says:

    How do I save the options…. I have to redo the load everytime i start the computer?

  25. Taco says:

    Thanks, your instructions worked for Ubuntu linux-image-2.6.27-7 on my Acer Aspire One.

  26. Aloknath says:

    this rocks!!

    Thank you so much. I spent more than half a day scavenging through Ubuntu forums for a solution. Found it here finally.

  27. God'sPeace says:

    Method 1 worked on my Compaq CQ50, installing ununtu 8.10
    You will need to wget the dated version from

  28. Antonello says:

    thanks a million!
    Method 1 working on Asus X59SL (atheros ar242x)

  29. Chris says:

    Thanks–method 2 worked just fine with my Acer Aspire One. (ar5007eg)

  30. Doubi says:

    compat-wireless-2.6 (2009-03-28) seems to make, but won’t make install. It gives an ‘implicit variable declaration’ error for a specific line number and file. Any idea how to overcome this? Many thanks!

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