Gutsy and Atheros - now working

Mike Leone turgon at
Tue Oct 30 03:01:21 UTC 2007

Turns out, both Derek and I were right.

Huh? Howzat, I hear you say? Well, it's like this ...

I decided, what the heck - I'll re-format and re-install from scratch. 
It'll take a couple hours (this is an 8 year old PII-400 laptop we're 
talking about; it ain't exactly a speed demon ..). So I do that, and go 
listen to the radio for a couple hours while it trundles along.

After it finishes, and boots for the first time, I see that it's telling 
me I am using an Atheros card, and that means it wants to load 
restricted drivers. "Hmm", I thought, "*that's* new - don't recall 
seeing that before". So I tell it that it's fine to load the drivers, 
and then I set about configuring KNetworkManager to use the wireless 
card, And hey! it seems to know about WPA this time ...

So I give it the WPA password, and a password for the KWallet, and away 
I went, merrily wirelessing my way.

So what was different?

The first time I installed Gutsy, I had *only* the wireless card; I had 
no wired card inserted. This time, I did have both the wired and 
wireless cards inserted during installation. Dunno why it should have 
mattered, but apparently it did. Because this time KNetworkManager 
worked right out of the gate with my Atheros-based card, including WPA 
support. And last time, that was *not* the case - there was no option 
for WPA during my first install, causing me to go and use kwlan (which 
caused me all the frequent disconnects).

So I guess having a wired card inserted during the install caused it to 
install some items that it did not install the first time? I dunno.

What I do know is that it's now all Just Working, as I had hoped it 
would (and as I guess Derek expected it would). So all that drama was 
for nothing. :-)

One last thing that still annoys me is that KNetworkManager needs to 
prompt me for my KDE Wallet password, before it loads up support for the 
card and activates it, when I log in. Anyone know how to make that just 
load up without prompting me every time I log in?

In conclusion, everything is now working for me as it should, and it was 
all resolved with the classic Windows method - reinstall from scratch. 
:-) (and to be sure to have a non-restricted NIC available during 
install, apparently). And except for the part about being prompted for 
the KDE Wallet password before the card would load, it was as smooth as 
a wireless install under Windows. Smoother, actually, since I didn't 
have to load any drivers, and there were less clicks to enter parameters 
such as SSID and WPA password.

So high kudos to Gutsy and (k)ubuntu.

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