Saturday, May 29, 2010

ath5k: Orinoco ComboCard 11A/B/G in Linux (Mint 9 'Isadora,' Ubuntu 10.04 'Lucid')

I discovered that my Orinoco ComboCard no longer worked when I upgraded from Ubuntu 9.10 to Linux Mint 9. The reason for this is that the ath5k kernel module does not recognize the ComboCard's PCI device ID. According to lcpci -nn:

03:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications Inc. Device [168c:0200] (rev 01)

As of Linux kernel version 2.6.32, the ath5k driver does not seem to support 802.11g on the Orinoco ComboCard 11A/B/G. However, 802.11A works splendidly with this card, assuming that the driver is told to recognize it as a valid target.

In order to convince the Atheros driver to work with my card, I created the file /etc/modprobe.d/ath5k.conf :
install ath5k /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install ath5k && { echo '168c 0200' > /sys/bus/pci/drivers/ath5k/new_id ; }
I performed the following to append ath5k to the list of modules to be loaded at start-up:
echo ath5k >> /etc/modules
This is so much easier than modifying the kernel module code to recognize the PCI device ID of the card!

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