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I'm having a lot of issues trying to get my wlan to work in ubuntu. I have an Atheros AR1111 WB-EG Wireless internal card. I've tried both madwifi and the compat drivers. Neither produced any results. Am I doing something wrong? Or are there cases where neither methods will work?

Must I fall back to ndiswrapper? Wouldn't it be very detrimental to my wifi performance to do that?

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We cannot tell you if you are doing something wrong unless you tell us how you tried the drivers you tried and what exactly the results were. Was the card detected at all? Could you see wireless networks? What does iwconfig show?

In any case, you might want to check out the ath5k driver. The linuxwireless.org website is a very good source of information.

Finally, no, ndiwrapper should not affect your performance at all. If that is the only way to do it, do so. Last I tried it was relatively easy to set up an worked fine.

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