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I'm new to Linux, so please use small words :-)

First of all, let it be known that I have searched and attempted to find a solution without posting for help, but my attempts have all been unsuccessful. This could be because my situation is slightly different than those posted, but it could also be because I couldn't fill in the blanks of how to perform the necessary steps for fixing the problem, so I need step-by-step instructions if you have any suggestions (please/thanks).

I have a Zotac MAG (specs are here). It has built-in wireless. Please don't be fooled by my ability to find the following information, I was only able to find it because of other posts telling people to post that....I truly am Linux-illerate.

I'm using Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition and the kernel's info is 2.6.28-19-server.

The entry in sudo lspci -v is:

04:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communcations Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
    Substystem: Device 1a3b:1089
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
    Memory at febf0000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [50] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable-
    Capabilities: [60] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting <?>
    Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel <?>
    Capabilities: [160] Device Serial Number xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx
    Capabilities: [170] Power Budgeting <?>


The output of iwconfig is:

lo     no wireless extensions.
eth0   no wireless extensions.


According to http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/ath9k, my kernel is not new enough to use the ath9k driver, so I checked for an update to my kernel by doing apt-cache search linux-image, but the resulting list doesn't show anything newer than 2.6.28-19-server.

One person suggested using sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-jaunty and then restarting, and then others exclaimed how it amazingly started working for them. Wish I could join them, but although it installed OK, my situation remains unchanged.

I have seen people suggesting to use ndiswrapper or MadWifi, but I couldn't follow their instructions well. Some tutorials often suggest using the GUI, but I need to figure it out via the command-line interface.

I'm sorry for posting a topic that has been discussed so much all over, but I've already spent too much time failing at figuring this out on my own.

Let me know if any other information is needed.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I am afraid that your chances aren't good. It looks like nobody ever wrote a driver for your specific chipset (AR9285) which would work on older kernels. Else installing linux-backport-modules would have functioned.

The best solution would be to upgrade the whole OS. 10.04 is quite nice. Chances are that it will even recognize your wireless out of the box. If not, installing ath9k should be still quite easy.

If you have some very good reason not to upgrade your OS, your second best option is to buy another wireless card. It will cost less than €10 and if you pick a model with a chipset known to work on 9.04, it will go very easy. If you don't need N net connectivity, you can pick something with the Realtek 8187 bg chipset, those are quite stable and very Linux friendly. Just make sure that you research the exact model well before going into a shop, because most sellers cannot tell you the chipset of the card they are selling.

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Thanks for your response. I would like to use 10.04, but it seems to cause problems with my web app that I haven't been able to fix (probably a question for a different post). It sounds like I need to solve that problem if I want to get my built-in wireless to work. Thanks again for clearing that up for me! –  Travesty3 Jul 14 '10 at 13:48

You could try to install a custom kernel on you Ubuntu 9.04 (the latest one is 2.6.35)

It includes an ath9k driver that is better than the one of even 10.04 (2.6.32).

I use a Zotac Board with Atheros AR928x card as Access Point (Mode: Master) and I got strange problems with the official Ubuntu kernel (packet loss, wpa auth not working after resume etc.), that are all solved with the official kernel (2.6.33 in my case).

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