Debian Sarge on IBM X40 howto - Part 6: Wireless (Take 2)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I found out that I had been using a completly wrong driver for my wireless card. The juice for my card is a Multiband Atheros Driver for WiFi (MADWIFI). I found a Debian specific driver compile guide on their homepage.

It is a good guide but for Debian users with less tech-knowlegde and rutine it misses a few things IMHO. I have addressed the problems I ran into here.

A part from the packages mentioned in the guide I was missing shareutils (providing uudecode), lib6-dev and sysutils to follow the guide and avoiding error messages ofcource. The missing uudecode was beginning to give me grey hair (in an age of 24 that is not a good sign). The warning (error) message was hidden in the output code many lines before the make-file actually worte ‘Error’ and exited:

apt-get install sharutils lib6-dev sysutils

I’m using Debian pre-compiled kernels (at the writing time a 2.6.7-1) which tricked me a bit. I used the make-kpkg --append-to-version "-686" --revision 2.6.7-1 which is wrong!

Instead use (look in guide to know where and when):

make-kpkg --append-to-version "-1-686" --revision 2.6.7 --config old configure
make-kpkg --append-to-version "-1-686" --revision 2.6.7 --added-modules madwifi modules_image

Writing this post in my weblog on my laptop sitting in my bed without any wires connected at all - Now everything is forgiven and forgotten.

Debian Sarge on IBM X40 howto - Part 5: CPU frequency scaling

This was quite easy:

apt-get install cpufreqd
apt-get install gnome-cpufreq-applet

Finally add the applet to the GNOME panel.

Make sure that the acpi module is loaded in order to get cpufreqd to run, because without cpufreqd no frequency scaling will happen.

Now when ever you pull the power for your laptop the frequency will be scaled down to 66% until the system requires the recources. This can be cunfigured in /etv/cpufreqd.conf.

Debian Sarge on IBM X40 howto - Part 4: Wireless

I was really nerveus about getting wireless to work…

Update, 24. July 2004, an hour later: Well it was bound to be an impossible mission from the start. The computer dosn’t even have an Intel fucker of not supported death wireless card I thought it had :) What a waste of time.

I have an Atheros (AR5212 802.11abg) card instead.</i>

After googeling I found that my wireless card is an Intel 2200BG which at the time of the writing of the guides I found wasn’t supported very well, but the linked to the ipw2200 site on SourceForge developing the Linux driver. But what the hell - I’ll give it a try… it might work.

There is a few requirements for the driver to work:

  • The kernel have to be a 2.6 kernel and have “CONFIG_NET_RADIO” enabled (CONFIG_NET_RADIO=y). This is all okay if you are using a precompiled kernel from the Debian Sarge archive. I used kernel-image-2.6.7-1-686 and the corresponding kernel headers.
  • Wireless tools is needed an is apt-getable with the following:

    apt-get install wireless-tools
  • Source code for the driver downloadable from SourceForge
  • Firmware for the wireless card downloadable from the projects website

To compile the source code you also need the packages gcc and make. For a more detailed howto consult the project website.

Now compile the source code:

debian:~# tar xzvf ipw2200-0.2.tgz
debian:~# cd ipw2200-0.2
debian:~# make

Unpack the firmware files to /usr/lib/hotplug/firmware:

moprobe firmware_class

If this isn’t loaded you will get an error like this “-1 Unknown symbol in module

and finally run :

insmod ipw2200.ko

Well I didn’t get any errors… now I have to figure out how this works :) Step 2… test that it is actually working.

dmesg dosn’t detect any new ahrdware when I load the modules, so I don’t think that it is working?!

Debian Sarge on IBM X40 howto - Part 3: Enable framebuffer

The IBM X40 seems to like using framebuffer so might find it usefull to put the following in you grub /boot/grub/menu.lst

# kopt=root=/dev/hda3 ro vga=771

Notice the vga=771

Whenever you install a new kernel and grub-update is run the “vga=771” will automatically be appended to every entry in the menu.lst Now you don’t have to enter it manualy everytime you install a new kernel.

Debian Sarge on IBM X40 howto - Part 2: Battery monitor

After I had a console which worked correctly I installed the usual stuf like: ssh less modconf emacs21

Then I installed GNOME with the following

apt-get install x-windows-system gnome-core gdm

… and waited a little.

Autoconfiguring my harware didn’t work but after replacing the /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 with the content from a guide found on it worked like a charm.

Now I wanted a graphical battery indicator and I added “Utility” -> “Battery Charge Monitor” to my GNOME panel. But an error occured after adding it to my panel: “Can’t access ACPI events in /var/run/acpid.socket!”

apt-get install acpid

Solved the problem.