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Compiling 2.6.27 13 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux.
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Compiling your own kernel is something of a rite of passage. For me, it was convenient to update to the latest kernel in order to use those wireless drivers. Well, if you didn’t know, here’s how to do it:

– Be prepared to install some development tools if you don’t already have them. Make will throw up an error if this happens.
– Download the latest kernel source. this will be about 40 MB.
– Extract
– Run ‘make menuconfig’ to configure the kernel. But you probably don’t know how to, and just want the defaults.
– ‘make’. This will take quite a long time
– ‘make modules_install’ and ‘make install’. That’s what works for me.
– If not configured already, edit /boot/grub/menu.lst. update-grub can do this automagically.

Well, there you go. Now you’re a *real* Linux user. Can you feel the power flowing through your veins?

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Wifi working again with ath5k! 10 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Backtrack, Linux.
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Earlier this year, I bought an Acer Aspire 4315 laptop. It comes with an Atheros AR5BXB63, just like the Asus Eeepc. Initially, it came with Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10). It’s wireless was set up fine, using ndiswrapper. Upgrading to Hardy, I then lost wifi again. There was a method then, using madwifi drivers with a proprietary Atheros Hardware Adress Layer. That worked great for a time if you followed certain instructions. Then, unfortunately, that package dissapeared as the Madwifi team moved away from HAL, and focused on ath5k and ath9k. For some reason or another I reinstalled Ubuntu, losing the old setup. So, for about three months, I have resigned myself to having no wifi connection. It’s fine if you’ve just always had a cable connection.

Now, I’m pleased to report that I have been successful in installing ath5k drivers, something that failed before. The drivers are available from here. The best part of this is that the drivers are open source, so can be bundled by default.  Who knows, maybe someday we’ll have wifi working out of the box on all Linux distributions.  By the way, packet injection does not work, but Backtrack has always worked fine for me. Try not to get caught.