How to get your atheros wifi drive to work under Centos/Linux and get that WPA working

May 18, 2009

Many times I have come across this thread on forums… many wondering how to get their wifi card (Atheros) to work under Linux (Centos) and then how to proceed to get WPA working… now here is the bundle you have been looking for.

1) Do you have an atheros card?

lspci |grep Atheros (should give you enough info)

2) Get the madiwifi tarball

Go there and download the latest tarball.


**3) Untar it **

tar -zxf  madwifi-hal-

4) Compile it

(Note: yum install gcc gcc-cc make kernel-devel) is REQUIRED** in case you do not have it yet installed**

cd madwifi-hal-

make && make install

5) Load the modules

modprobe -r ath5k (AND edit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and add blacklist ath5k to the list)

modprobe ath_pci modprobe wlan_scan_sta

[ to verify all went well ]

lsmod | grep ath

you should obtain a similar or  even more output as

ath_rate_sample ath_pci wlan ath_hal

6) Reboot (in some cases)

I know we did load the module so why the reboot fuss? with some cards a reboot would still be required… so go ahead reboot the machine

7)  Configure the card

First, do an ifconfig ath0 up if the network service didn’t bring the card up

Second… do an iwconfig ath0 scan to look for ESSID

So let’s sump up

a. ifconfig ath0 up b. iwconfig ath0 scan

So now you see your favorite wireless signal in the iwconfig output… it is using WPA, how do you connect?

8) Connect to a signal WPA protected

Let’s assume our signal ESSID (the name) is bobHouse

First we need the wpa_supplicant installed… so yum install wpa_supplicant

on the command line, type wpa_supplicant bobHouse y&NcDspHUIfReX-Y$/IH

(keep in mind y&NcDspHUIfReX-Y$/IH is our WPA key)

now, look into /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf and you should see something like

network={ ssid=“bobHouse” #psk=“y&NcDspHUIfReX-Y$/IH” psk=1ce60475894155fd6dec38082e749ccd70a29ad0452214472e9784e2f966d }

(Of course, you would have different values than the one showed here)

So now that this is verified…

type on the command line

/usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant -i ath0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf -Bw

if needed, do an ifdown ath0 and an ifup ath0 to request a new dhcp ip.

and voila.

Have the ios_supplicant command saved in a bash script and get creative…