Using an Atheros AR242x with Ubuntu 8.10

Posted by Nick on January 31st, 2009

Lately I tried to install Ubuntu 8.10 in my one year old laptop, a Toshiba Satelite A200 (1M4). Everything in the install was very smooth, but yet I had troubles with my Wifi card. I wasn’t sure if the problem was the new network manager or something else, but while I was googling for a solution I found that no solution would work with a WPA encrypted network with no DHCP attached. Anyway if you face the same problems with Atheros AR242x and Ubuntu 8.10 follow these steps:

1. A little preperation

First of all we need to be sure that we are talking for the same thing :) Open a terminal window (Applications -> Accesories -> Terminal) and run this command:

lspci | grep Atheros

The result should look like this:

04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)

2. Let’s make this Atheros AR242x work

Now that we are sure about the hardware, you can start doing the actual installation. First of all we need to install the backports modules. Open the terminal window and execute this:

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

Then you should deactivate any proprietary driver you may using for the Atheros card. Go to System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers and deactivate the “Support for Atheros 802.11 wireless LAN cards” driver.

Now we need to install WICD as it can be configured to work with the WEXT driver. Go to Settings > Repositories > Third Party Software > Add and add the following line:

deb intrepid extras

Finally go to the terminal and run these commands:

sudo apt-key add wicd.gpg
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wicd
wicd-client -n

That’s it we are ready :) Reboot your system and wifi is on again. In order to use it with WPA encrypted networks, use the WEXT WPA supplicant driver by going in wicd, Preferences -> General settings.

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6 Responses to “Using an Atheros AR242x with Ubuntu 8.10”

  1. This does not work all the time :-(

  2. still doesnt work.
    Ubuntu 8.10/ toshiba a215-s5489.
    Same wifi you listed.No wifi networks shown.

  3. Hi Kevin,

    You don’t need to worry about this anymore. Ubuntu 9.04 works just fine with this wifi card. Have you tried it?

  4. Nope, in 9.04 x86_64 recently stopped working. Still troubleshooting.
    wifi%d: unable to attach hardware: ‘Hardware didn’t respond as expected’ (HAL status 3)
    *-network UNCLAIMED
    description: Ethernet controller
    product: AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter

    Card worked in the past with madwifi restricted drivers (injection too). Something in recent updates?

  5. actually, turns out the problem was me.

  6. vinicius


    Not for me