The wireless in my Asus P8Z77-V Pro didn’t work (it’s a new machine, in which I installed Debian Linux 6.0.6, kernel 2.6.32-5-amd64), and since I’m not an advanced user, and knew naught about wireless, I came here for help. But before I could come up with a better description of the problem than “I turn the system on and there’s no wireless in sight!”, I decided to read the “How to ask a question” section, and then I saw the “help vampires” definition, which got me a bit ashamed of myself. So I set off to do my homework (an awful hard one at that), which, to complete the circle, got me back here four days later with a quite different problem — I think. So here it goes:
“find out what the wireless hardware is” — done: Atheros AR9485;
“find out what driver to use with that” — done: ath9k;
“get the driver” — done… well, sort of. It seems that this ath9k driver comes native in Linux since the kernel version 2.6.27 and, therefore, I had it since the beginning.
What else then? Well, I surfed around the net, and learned that I should configure the thing using iwconfig. I tried that but it didn’t work either — this was the output:
root@balafom:~# iwconfig lo no wireless extensions. eth0 no wireless extensions. pan0 no wireless extensions.
Then I found the Linux Wireless ath9k page, where there was a list of supported chipsets with the following entry:
AR9485 (>= 2.6.39) 1x1 SB 11n PCIe
I don’t know what all that means, but the parenthesis looked to me as a threatening indication of minimal Linux kernel version to support the beast. So I went on looking for answers, and found the Debian ath9k wiki page. There I found two different chipset support lists, one for squeeze and one for wheezy, and, unfortunately as it turns out, it does seem that my chipset support is not current, but due to be provided only by the latter (kernel 2.6.39?)
Since, as I said, I’m not an advanced Linux user, I don’t feel able to adventure into the land of unstable versions. Would you advise that? Is the kernel 2.6.39 stable enough at this point? Can it be installed and run with the remaining system components and the rest of the software still on their stable current versions?
I started then to gather information about kernels and kernel changes, and found out that the last stable kernel, released last December, was 3.7.2, which got me really confused, because in my distro’s stable release, the kernel is 2.6.32. And, more than that, version 2.6.39 isn’t even listed in kernel.org… So I’m lost now. And how-come there is no support available now for my chipset if the correct driver (ath9k) is already present in my machine? What else is missing? Is it the wrong version? Can it be updated? I really can’t even tell if these questions make any sense at all, and I actually don’t know what would be the intelligent questions to ask right now! And if I can’t organize my questions, I’m stuck and can’t move on on my own…
So, what do you suggest? Remember that I am not a tech guy: I do believe that kernel compilation and such hacks would most certainly above my capabilities…
Well, that’s that. Forgive-me if this help request strays from the ordinary way to ask questions here, and if it’s long and boring — this is my first. After all I’m just a teacher in Literary Theory, trained in narrative, but not in the forum genre.
Thank you all for the patience,