Thanks so much to those above for figuring this out for me. Let me spell out the installation in a little more detail to save those after me some time.
I did this on a fresh Ubuntu 8.04 install on a Compaq Presario C770US Laptop with an ethernet cable plugged into my router.
The device string displayed by lspci -v was as follows:
First under System/Administration/HarwareDrivers disable both the Atheros HAL and the Atheros wireless thing and then reboot.
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)
Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Unknown device 137a
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
Memory at 91300000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
The kernel headers and the compiler are needed to build this driver so I started by installing build-essential. In a terminal window (Applications/Accessories/Terminal) enter:
The driver code will be downloaded with the subversion source code manager so I installed subversion:
sudo apt-get install build-essential
I needed a place to put the driver source without mixing it up with other stuff so I changed directory to my home directory:
sudo apt-get install subversion
Created a directory:
And changed to the new dirctory:
Use subversion to download (checkout) a copy of the code:
The above command failed for me at first because subversion couldn't find svn.madwifi.org
svn co https://svn.madwifi.org/madwifi/branches/madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6
Madwifi will probably have their DNS problems worked out by the time you read this. But if not then see the section at the bottom of this post titled "Cant find svn.madwifi.org" for a solution before continuing.
After the driver code is downloaded by subversion, change to the directory, which should be madwifi-hal-0.10.5.6
Run the make script to have the compiler build the driver:
Install the driver
Add the Atheros kernel module to the list of modules to be automatically loaded at boot by adding "ath_pci" (without the quotes) to the end of the /etc/modules file. I used the vi editor which I won't describe here. Gedit is probably easy to use so try:
Now you can reboot and it should work. To get it working without a reboot you need to load the module manually:
sudo gedit /etc/modules
That should do it. The little wireless button seems to always stay lit orange. When I press it it seems to disable the wireless but it still stays lit orange. WPA works for me. I assume WEP will also. I haven't tried WPA2
sudo modprobe ath_pci
CANT FIND svn.madwifi.org
If subversion has a hard time finding svn.madwifi.org then add it's IP address to your hosts file. I found this page http://madwifi.org/ticket/1982 at madwifi.org that gives the IP address 184.108.40.206 of svn.madwifi.org in one of the last messages. I tried just giving subversion the command to connect to the IP address instead of the domain name, but it failed before finishing the checkout. Edit the file /etc/hosts and add "220.127.116.11 svn.madwifi.org" (without the quotes). I added it just after the 127.0.1.1 line
Now you can continue with the subversion checkout. You should probably remove this line from your hosts file when you're done with this so that if you want to go back there some day and they've moved it then DNS will give the most recent IP address.
sudo gedit /etc/hosts