Adding support for Atheros wireless NICs (ath5k, formerly madwifi) - Debian

This is a discussion on Adding support for Atheros wireless NICs (ath5k, formerly madwifi) - Debian ; The 2.6.24 kernel includes the new ath5k module which can open up a huge class of extra wireless support in D-I. I've taken a first look at what's needed to support it. Especially as I happen to own one :-) ...

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Thread: Adding support for Atheros wireless NICs (ath5k, formerly madwifi)

  1. Adding support for Atheros wireless NICs (ath5k, formerly madwifi)

    The 2.6.24 kernel includes the new ath5k module which can open up a huge
    class of extra wireless support in D-I. I've taken a first look at what's
    needed to support it. Especially as I happen to own one :-)

    So far it has not yet been added to kernel-wedge. Adding the module itself
    is trivial, but the driver will fail to initialize correctly unless the
    following crypto modules are also available: arc4, ecb; ecb depends on
    blkcipher.

    These could of course be added to crypto-modules and nic-wireless-modules
    made dependent on that, but that would mean including ~140kB in crypto
    modules in netboot initrds, while the actually needed modules are only
    ~15kB in total.

    So, instead I suggest we create crypto-core-modules to contain these and
    have both crypto-modules and nic-wireless-modules depend on that. Problem
    with that is that arc4 and ecb are not actually very "core"...

    Alternative could be to have just blkcipher (~ 8kB) in crypto-core-modules
    and then have just add arc4 and ecb to nic-wireless-modules as these don't
    seem to be needed for other things. However this would not work in the long
    run if there are other wireless drivers/implementations that require other
    crypto modules that are also used for encrypted file systems.


    After solving that issue, I got the following for NIC selection:
    eth0: Intel Pro/100 Ethernet Controller
    wmaster: Atheros AR5212/AR5213 Multiprotocol MAC/baseband processor
    wlan0: Atheros AR5212/AR5213 Multiprotocol MAC/baseband processor (wireless)

    The first is my wired interface.
    AFAICT the second could/should be suppressed by netcfg.
    The third is the actual wireless NIC. I'm used to it being called ath0 (as
    that's what the madwifi driver used), but wlan0 does seem to be the correct
    new name.

    I could not test further as I don't have a wireless router myself.

    Cheers,
    FJP

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  2. Re: Adding support for Atheros wireless NICs (ath5k, formerly madwifi)

    On Tuesday 01 April 2008, Frans Pop wrote:
    > Alternative could be to have just blkcipher (~ 8kB) in
    > crypto-core-modules and then have just add arc4 and ecb to
    > nic-wireless-modules as these don't seem to be needed for other things.


    After some more thinking I've decided on this solution. See attached patch.

    > However this would not work in the long run if there are other wireless
    > drivers/implementations that require other crypto modules that are also
    > used for encrypted file systems.


    Such modules could legitimately be added to crypto-core, so no real problem.

    If that does happen, all arches should start using crypto-core-modules. For
    now I think it's best to just let crypto-modules pull in blkcipher on
    arches that don't have nic-wireless.


    I'll wait until tomorrow for comments, but will then upload and start a
    massbuild so that ath5k is added and all already uploaded arches are
    updated against latest kernel and l-m-e.

    Cheers,
    FJP


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  3. Re: Adding support for Atheros wireless NICs (ath5k, formerly madwifi)

    On Tue, Apr 01, 2008 at 02:44:47PM +0200, Frans Pop wrote:
    > Alternative could be to have just blkcipher (~ 8kB) in crypto-core-modules
    > and then have just add arc4 and ecb to nic-wireless-modules as these don't
    > seem to be needed for other things. However this would not work in the long
    > run if there are other wireless drivers/implementations that require other
    > crypto modules that are also used for encrypted file systems.


    This way sounds better to me. We'll see in the future if other drivers
    need other modules.

    > […]
    > After solving that issue, I got the following for NIC selection:
    > eth0: Intel Pro/100 Ethernet Controller
    > wmaster: Atheros AR5212/AR5213 Multiprotocol MAC/baseband processor
    > wlan0: Atheros AR5212/AR5213 Multiprotocol MAC/baseband processor (wireless)
    >
    > The first is my wired interface.
    > AFAICT the second could/should be suppressed by netcfg.


    This should be fixed with r52344.

    Cheers,
    --
    Jérémy Bobbio .''`.
    lunar@debian.org : :Ⓐ : # apt-get install anarchism
    `. `'`
    `-

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  4. Re: Adding support for Atheros wireless NICs (ath5k, formerly madwifi)

    Frans Pop writes:

    > On Tuesday 01 April 2008, Frans Pop wrote:
    >> Alternative could be to have just blkcipher (~ 8kB) in
    >> crypto-core-modules and then have just add arc4 and ecb to
    >> nic-wireless-modules as these don't seem to be needed for other things.

    >
    > After some more thinking I've decided on this solution. See attached patch.
    >
    >> However this would not work in the long run if there are other wireless
    >> drivers/implementations that require other crypto modules that are also
    >> used for encrypted file systems.

    >
    > Such modules could legitimately be added to crypto-core, so no real problem.
    >
    > If that does happen, all arches should start using crypto-core-modules. For
    > now I think it's best to just let crypto-modules pull in blkcipher on
    > arches that don't have nic-wireless.
    >
    >
    > I'll wait until tomorrow for comments, but will then upload and start a
    > massbuild so that ath5k is added and all already uploaded arches are
    > updated against latest kernel and l-m-e.


    Please go ahead. :-)

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