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. Mitchell says:

    There is an additional option, since ath5k is under development and as many of the people (including me) that have tried it also have noticed that the connection is lost after some time, and on the other hand, the card can stop working if you have a dual boot and after a restart, you try to boot under vista, (that happened to me and I solved it completely shutting down the machine and starting it again). Well.. lets go with METHOD 3 (using madwifi)
    Download the latest snapshot from:
    this branch adds support for AR5007 cards.
    Extract the content in a folder.
    uninstall linux-backports-modules-intrepid as it interferes with madwifi.
    sudo dpkg -P linux-backports-modules-intrepid

    then go to the folder where you extracted the snapshot and in a terminal go to the scripts folder and run these two SCRIPTS:
    cd scripts
    ./ $(uname -r)
    cd ..

    answer r(remove) to remove old madwifi modules.
    then just these two more lines:
    make install

    then check (if you have followed methods 1 or 2 before) that madwifi isn’t blacklisted:

    gksudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

    and comment the lines if present:

    blacklist ath_hal
    blacklist ath_pci

    so they look like:
    #blacklist ath_hal
    #blacklist ath_pci

    and thats it! reboot and you will have your AR5007 working!

    I have tried both ath5k and madwifi, but i have to say that for this card madwifi is better, more stable and doesn’t cause weird things as I commented before.

  2. Daisy says:

    Thanks Mitchell, very easy method and working in seconds.

    Since I didn’t even tried the other two methods, I had not to mess with the blacklists at all.

  3. Rob N. says:

    You, My friend are a GOD SEND!!! This got my wireless Atheros AR242x up and running after countless failed attempts via other methods. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making this possiable, painless, and very simple to do. You and the rest of the free & open-source community rock!

    Thanks again 😀 !!

  4. Chris says:

    Thank you so much! Method #1 worked like a dream! Now if only I could work out Intrepid’s buggy suspend/hibernate issues…

  5. Mitchell says:

    If you use Method 3 (madwifi), you can avoid suspend/resume issues using the workaround posted in Intrepid release notes: create a file /etc/pm/config.d/madwifi containing the single line:


    and that’s it!

  6. Henrik Moeslund says:

    Hey it looks like im geting there but im fairly new to the terminal, scripts etc., so after;

    ./ $(uname -r)

    I press “r” and then im stuck –

    You type “cd” after the ./find…… and then i return to the normal “moeslund@laptop:” and can’t type the last 2 lines. What am i doing wrong?

  7. Mitchell says:

    When you run the second script (./find…) you are going to be asked for removing the old madwifi modules, when you answer “r”, the script will remove them. then cd .. go back to the folder where you extracted the snapshot. then you should be able to compile and install.
    sudo make


    sudo make install

    and thats it. I recommend you familiarize with the command line and use google if you dont understand any command.

  8. Henrik Moeslund says:

    Sorry for all the fuss, i just found out that my card is a ar928x and that madwifi does not surport it, but i found a promising looking tread in the Ubuntu-forum;
    for my type of card, sorry i wasted your time, and thaks for the quick reply 🙂

  9. kazulk says:

    how do i uninstall madwifi, i did exactly as u said and it is not working at all

  10. John says:

    Used the method 3 and got it working first try. Been trying to get the card working for months. Great work.

  11. Chelsea says:

    Omg, it actually worked! Thanks so much for this!

  12. Matt says:

    Method #1 worked for me but not with the latest version of compat wireless (16-04) as there was compilation error. I had to download this

    Then everything worked first time on my Asus A7Useries laptop. I suppose had I waited a few days for 9.04 it would have worked straight after install.

  13. Randy says:

    3rd Method did not work for me. It got me further than any other method, however. At least now my HP DV5 is using a driver, realizes there is a wifi card here, but does not connect to the network. Anyone have any tips?

  14. Mitchell says:

    Maybe, you can try what I posted here:

    Maybe you have other card, not a AR2425, but if you try this updated madwifi it is possible that you card is supported.

  15. Ambystoma says:

    This worked for me on an ASUS Eee PC 1000HD running Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 with an Atheros AR242 card. Nothing else worked after hours and hours of troubleshooting. Thank you soooo much!! 🙂

  16. Ambystoma says:

    BTW, I used method one. 🙂

  17. S@inT says:

    Method # 3 work like a charm, Thank You so much for this my friend..

    i was unable to run the command “make unload” and the removing part, but still when i make install and reboot when i saw the connection establish icon i feel like tuns of metal is off my head…

    Thanks Mitchell

  18. Slew says:

    I am now able to use WiFi with my laptop. All I did was reset the BIOS to the factory settings.


  19. RayGuy says:

    I got stuck at the final step of the sudo make install command, it started installing and then gave me an error of “permission denied”

  20. RayGuy says:

    I’m sorry, I managed to get it to install the required files, but when I rebooted, the problem still remained

  21. twek says:

    Thank you very much after doing all three methods, the card is finally working and registering no stupid time out and die stuff. It only took 12 hours of straight work to make this happen thank you to all that has helped. I can now drop dead and work on this stuff some more tomoro

  22. ddreggors says:

    I have an AR5007 (AR242x) in my Compaq CQ60-206US.

    In Jaunty it pretty much worked right out of the box but was SLOWWWWWWW. I had compiled the madwifi-hal under centos5.3 (ath5k would not work in cent) on this laptop and it gave me a consistent 19Mb/s DL however with ath5k on Ubuntu on this laptop I could only get < 5Mb/s or worse. Oddly I never got madwifi to work in Jaunty.

    I just read your guide and ran the command:

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

    and added "blacklist ath_hal" right under "balcklist ath_pci" in "/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-ath_pci.conf" and rebooted.

    Now I am back to the 19Mb/s download speeds, thanks!

  23. Hammer83 says:

    Thanks Mitchell,

    I’ve been trying to get Ubuntu 8.10 UMPC running on my Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium but my wireless Atheros AR5007EG wireless card wasn’t functioning. Your Method #3 seems to have done the trick. Thanks so much!

  24. alvin flumix says:

    YOU’RE A GOD !!!!!
    I spent so many hours trying to get connected
    thank you so much

  25. ericwd says:

    Whoo hoo! Been looking for a solution to this stupid atheros card all day!

    Thanks a million man!

  26. sonichedgehog says:

    Thanks for this advice, it helped me get a solution on both Ubuntu and Debian. If having trouble, take a look at, where I have installed both madwifi and compat-wireless. Should add that my kernel is 2.6.29- 2.6.26 ships with Debian Lenny, but a senior member on LQ suggested that it would be inadequate.

  27. Bharatan says:

    Thanks a lot. Method 1 worked for me first time 🙂

  28. be1952 says:

    thanks for this i’ve been mucking about with madwifi for months trying to get the ar242x in my presario c700 working, tried a different google search, found your instructions and had it working in under 15minutes. method 1 worked fine, thanks.

  29. Don Birdsall says:

    I followed a procedure similar to this in October 2008 in order to get my Atheros wireless card working under Hardy. I forgot that the procedure had to be repeated after a kernel upgrade.

    After upgrading to Karmic, Method 1 worked fine. However, the ath5k driver had to be added to /etc/modules in order to be recognized at start-up.

    The help is greatly appreciated.

  30. Cufflinks says:

    you can avoid suspend/resume issues using the workaround posted in Intrepid release notes: create a file /etc/pm/config.d/madwifi containing the single line:

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