February 16th, 2008


Using ndiswrapper in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon to configure Atheros AR5006EG wireless card...

...on a Toshiba Satellite Pro A200

There don't seem to be any native drivers available for this card in Ubuntu, so to get it to work one needs to use ndiswrapper which implements windows APIs in the Linux kernel, allowing windows drivers to be used. Unfortunately it isn't as simple as using the package manager to install ndiswrapper, as this doesn't install the kernel module properly/at all [my understanding of kernel modules isn't all it should be]. You'll need to download and compile ndiswrapper, but it doesn't compile under the out of the box Gutsy install and when you try to load the kernel module you get a fatal error. I found that to get round this, you need to update kernel headers. To do this, I did:

> sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

> sudo apt-get install dh-make fakeroot gcc-3.4 build-essential

Then I downloaded the latest ndiswrapper source and extracted/compiled it:

> tar xvzf ndiswrapper-x.xx.tar.gz
[replacing the x.xx with the version number in the file you downloaded]

> cd ndiswrapper-x.xx

> make distclean clean

> make

>sudo make install

At this point, diswrapper should be installed, so now you need to set it up with the windows driver

The first thing to do is to stop the madwifi drivers loading at boot time to avoid a potential conflict. To do this, add the line:

blacklist ath_pci

to the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

Now you need to grab the driver from this page. I used version Download the file, and cd into the directory you dowloaded it into, then install the driver in ndiswrapper:

> sudo ndiswrapper -i net5416.inf
[if you downloaded a different version of the driver, the filename may be different, but there should be only one .inf file in the zip file]

Now save the ndiswrapper config files:

> sudo ndiswrapper -ma && sudo ndiswrapper -mi

and that should be it. Now, when you reboot the wireless card should be recognised, and clicking on the network icon at the top of the screen should present a list of wireless networks detected.

Obsessed with the Press and Quilombo Digital were incredibly helpful in this whole process.