OpenSUSE 11.0 64 Bit - Atheros ath5k driver problems

I have a problem with Atheros WLAN drivers with OpenSUSE 11.0 64 bit that is installed on a Acer Aspire 4530 with AMD - Athlon X2 64 bit processor.

The installation of OpenSUSE 11.0 64 bit kept hanging and I got around the problem by mentioning “brokenmodules=ath5k” in the boot options. This adds ath5k (the openSUSE default for atheros WLAN) in the blacklist file of modprobe.d.

Now, the system works fine without WLAN and connects to network through wired ethernet. However, system hangs when I open “Network Settings” (hangs at a point when it tries recognizing hardware). Hence I am not able to make any changes to the network settings.

I googled this issue and found one suggestion to install madwifi (ath_pci) package to enable WLAN. When I did this and rebooted the system, there was a kernel panic and the system wouldn’t boot. I had to load the install CD and delete the madwifi package (through upgrade installation) to recover the system back.

Could someone help me in solving this issue of Atheros WLAN drivers for OpenSUSE 11.0 64 bit?


My first reaction is that it would be easier to install 11.1.

If you prefer not to do that, I would suggest compiling madwifi from source rather than from a package.

mattm3a, thanks for the response. Is this a resolved issue in 11.1?

I don’t know the specific model of Atheros card you have, so I can’t guarantee upgrading will work. You can test a live CD to see if 11.1 fixes this without installing.

I do know that the ath5k driver in 11.0 was extremely buggy. I never got it to work correctly on multiple machines. Madwifi did not play as well with 11.0 as it did with 10.3. There is no longer significant development work going into madwifi, so the source of this problem was never tracked down. For standard wireless client usage, the ath5k driver in Suse 11.1 (kernel 2.6.27) has worked well for me.