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Ubuntu 8.10 and wireless issues

  Date: Dec 14    Category: Unix / Linux / Ubuntu    Views: 414

As I wrote previously, there are a number of WiFi issues being listed
on Usenet (comp.os.linux.networking, comp.os.linux.hardware) and other
forums. The following solutions seem useful; I don't have WiFi on any
of my Linux laptops, so cannot verify their efficacy:

1. Unreliable driver and a backport required:


2. And this comment:

" You should try the new ath5k kernel module. You will need to install
" the following package:
" linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic

More info about (2) here, scroll down almost all the way, then click
on the "ath5k wireless driver not enabled by default":




8 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered On: Dec 14    

I'll have to check this out. I'll let you know what happens.

Answer #2    Answered On: Dec 14    

just put 810 on a friends vista toshiba. of course
the wireless didnt work :-( using ur info, i was able 2 get it going the 1st
time! i am a new user & am trying to go 100% linux.

Answer #3    Answered On: Dec 14    

every single new release of Ubuntu seems to have way too many
issues. Disabling the very common Atheros chipset and not making that
known widely, is almost criminal. Thanks for pointing this out to us.

That explains why betas of 8.10 seemed fine, yet every single Live CD
8.10 Final variant I've been trying lately have been failing on
wireless test.

I still like Debian, but am going to stick with MEPIS or AntiX for a
good all around hardware compatible Debian-based OS. Hard to beat
these MEPIS variants based around 7 (Etch). The MEPIS 8 betas (based
upon Lenny) have given me bootup issues on one machine although
working well on others. Most report that the beta 8 of MEPIS runs
slower than MEPIS 7.

With AntiX, defaulting to Fluxbox window manager and giving iceWM as
an option, I've grown to like the extra speed on slower machines
through those less resource-demanding window managers as compared to
KDE, Gnome, or XFCE. Another item that AntiX contains is the WICD
wireless configuration (available in repositories for other OSes). I
prefer this over MEPIS's own network manager configuration program.

Answer #4    Answered On: Dec 14    

I found out that my Belkin PCM-CIA card is an Atheros 5005. It works fine. I
wonder what changed between the 5005 and the 5007. Probably cost reduction.

I get "couldn't find package linux-backports.

Reading further down the page is a link that doesn't work.

Why would I want to install an empty package, anyway?

I opened jockey-gtk and disabled the driver (the only driver listed) and
restarted without my Belkin card plugged in as instructed, even though the
package wouldn't load. Wireless is working with the onboard wlan adapter.

Now I feel a bit dumb for all of this hair pulling when the solution was so
simple. I'm a happy guy now. I like ubuntu better then Mandriva. It is
friendlier. Now I can install the packages that I like and put my address
book in.

Answer #5    Answered On: Dec 14    

The one on the Ubunto.com page doesn't work. Strange.
The other link, (1) in my earlier article, does have a valid link
but it wasn't obvious how to get the *.deb file -- it's done by
clicking in the "Architecture" column.

Since your wireless is working, this is moot now, but others might
still need the backport so I wanted to be sure people are aware
there is a working path to the *.deb file.

> [...]
> Now I feel a bit dumb for all of this hair pulling when the solution
> was so simple.

Please don't feel that way. 8.10 shouldn't have had all the new
problems as listed in "Other known issues" at:


> I'm a happy guy now. I like ubuntu better then Mandriva. It is
> friendlier. Now I can install the packages that I like and put my
> address book in.

Super! I really like Ubuntu, too. I'm able to do all the software
development (e.g., compiles, etc.) I need/want to do, and it also
works fine for games.

Answer #6    Answered On: Dec 14    

I had everything working under ubuntu. Wireless was working fine. I thought
I would do the update thing, so I clicked on the icon on the task bar. After
downloading and installing some 248 updates, over the wireless connection,
it instructed me to restart. No more wireless. Go figure. I guess they
outsmarted themselves. Now I am back where I was. I wonder when this project
is going to stop disappointing me.

Answer #7    Answered On: Dec 14    

I suppose we're back to the "backports" again.

At this URL:


is this comment about 1/3 down:

" Are you sure you have all the Ubuntu repositories enabled in
" Software Sources and your package lists are up to date? I just ran
" that particular command as well and found the package
" "linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic" no problem.
" If you still have trouble, the package is available through the
" Ubuntu Package Search online at:

Going to the above URL, there are 3 sections:

1. Backported drivers for generic kernel image.
It's an empty package, more of a placeholder than anything else.

2. Other Packages Related to linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic

3. Download linux-backports-modules-intrepid-generic

THIS IS THE ONE YOU WANT. Look at the table in that section; there are
4 columns: Architecture, Package Size, Installed Size, and Files.

In the Architecture column, click on either "amd64" or "i386".

After clicking on "i386", you go to a new page listing mirrors from
which you'll download a *.deb file -- it's a really long filename:


so for this example assume the name is just "backport.deb"

To install it from a command line:

sudo dpkg -i backport.deb # substituting the real name for backport

The docs and forum messages claim this is all that's needed to fix
the problem. I have no way to test it (no wireless here), so we're
going to have to work on faith.

Answer #8    Answered On: Dec 14    

I reloaded ubuntu again. I got everything working again. (I'm getting good
at this) I turned off update notification. I figure as long as everything
works, why update. If it ain't broke.

I will load my preferred software again. I will load my address book again.
Everything should be fine for a while.

I don't know which update screwed up my wifi. It would be nice to know. I
looked through the list and don't see anything that specifically mentions
wifi or wireless drivers. I'll have to read each one and install it one at a

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