80% packet loss: madwifi on 11.1

This morning I upgraded my PC from opensuse 10.3 to 11.1 (both 64 bit, using install not upgrade). My wireless card is a PCI Netgear WG311T with an Atheros chip. I connect to a wireless router upstairs with WEP. On 10.3 I used madwifi (RPM), all worked fine.

On 11.1 the ath5k module detected my card and I could configure it and scan for networks (iwlist wlan0 scan) but it didn’t detect my WEP network (found some neighbour’s WPA ones though).

So I found some 11.1 64-bit madwifi RPMs and installed. In YAST I reconfigured the card choosing the ath_pci module. I could then connect as before, but I have huge problems with packet loss and internet access. A typical run of 50 pings of my router can give > 80% packet loss and some pings of several seconds. For comparison my laptop also on 11.1 but with an Intel wireless card has zero packet loss, pings typically around 2ms. Also, when the PC boots into windows the pings are zero loss, around 2ms i.e. not a hardware problem.

I’ve already disabled Ipv6 in YAST (no difference), blacklisted ath5k (no difference) and rebooted plenty of times.

So, what’s wrong here? Madwifi worked on 10.3 this morning but on 11.1 this afternoon it’s broken.

A workaround seems to be to execute (as root)

iwpriv ath0 mode 2

which forces the wireless card to limit itself to 802.11b. I’m still getting some packet loss and some pings of my router are off but it’s now working.

50 packets transmitted, 48 received, 4% packet loss, time 49257ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 3.536/63.800/609.739/130.083 ms

Whether that command has to be done on reboot I’m not sure.

My router is only connected to the internet at 1200Kb/s at the moment (ISP…) even though we’re supposed to have 8Mb ADSL, so I can’t say if 802.11b causes a slowdown. However with the limit of 802.11b supposed to be at 11Mb/s it’s still faster than my internet.

So in summary madwifi (RPM from ftp5.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/home:/drankinatty/openSUSE_11.1/x86_64/) works on opensuse 11.1 64-bit with a Netgear WG311T with WEP. ath5k didn’t find networks with WEP.


I have a wg311t and when I installed 11.0 it worked out of the box with the ath5k driver. But I noticed it was sluggish and transfer rates over my LAN were about 500kbps. I looked around for a way of installing Madwifi and found these instructions by Snakedriver

After doing what he says in this post I added Ath5k to the blacklist in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist by adding blacklist ath5k to the last line of this file. Then reboot.

Now it’s back to it’s old self :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.

This happened to me, too, with an upgrade from 10.3 to 11.1, with the same WG311T card. I installed the old ath_pci driver, and the problem went away. The ath_pci driver is using 802.11g, according to ‘iwconfig’.

I pulled the madwifi-0.9.4-1.src.rpm, applied the patches, and built from source, then re-configured.

With the ath5k driver, my response was:

glenn@DepotRd:~> ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=1233 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=1901 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=1550 ms

With the ath_pci driver, it’s much better:

glenn@DepotRd:~> ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.493 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.485 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.501 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.518 ms