June 2, 2008

Howto enable wireless on ACER 4520 on Ubuntu Hardy

Filed under: Acer, Ubuntu — Tags: , , , — egoleo @ 7:13 am

Just today i had all my configurations for my wifi card which is
Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01) wiped of after a Hardy upgrade. So below i fixed it. But i used it also for the first time when installing Hardy fresh.

1. Open you terminal

2. Get this version of madwifi:

wget -c http://snapshots.madwifi.org/special/madwifi-hal-

3. Untar the downloaded package:

tar xvf madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007.tar.gz

4. Get inside the unpacked directory:

cd madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007

5. If you haven’t compiled anything from source before on your linux then you propably need the build essential package:

sudo apt-get update && sudo aptitude install build-essential

6. Now you can build your madwifi and install the modules:

sudo make install
sudo modprobe ath_pci
sudo modprobe wlan_scan_sta

The last 2 commands can cause some complications on some systems. If they do check your System >> Administration >> Restricted Drivers Manager and disable atheros here. Then try again.

7. Now restart your computer and you should be able to see any aviable networks in your Network Manager.



  1. […] unknown: If they do check your System >> Administration >> Restricted Drivers Manager and disable atheros here. Then try again. 7. Now restart your computer and you should be able to see any aviable networks in your Network Manager. […]

    Pingback by Video X Drivers » Howto enable wireless on ACER 4520 on Ubuntu Hardy — June 2, 2008 @ 7:16 am

  2. […] unknown: […]

    Pingback by Topic Drivers » Howto enable wireless on ACER 4520 on Ubuntu Hardy — June 2, 2008 @ 7:14 pm

  3. hi.. i have tried the samething.. i too recently purchased An aspire 4520 laptop with the same wireless configuration… i have disabled ATheron HAL , but the not the wireless Atheron which shows in the Hwardware drivers.. however my wifi isnt getting detected. can you plz help me to find out if i have missed anything?.. I also have a doubt w.r.t the wifi button itself. I am not sure whether it gets on or off.. Did u experience the same with your Aspire 4520.(64 bit Dualcore)?

    Comment by kryptos — June 21, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

  4. thanks for reminding on this issue. I think sometimes your wireless button disables itself. so after following the steps, you should reboot and try to use this command
    ifconfig and see if u see if your card is enabled. sometimes u need to keep pressing on the wireless button for a while for it to work or get enabled. let me know how it went.

    Comment by egoleo — June 22, 2008 @ 12:30 pm

  5. Hi, I was wondering if this could work on WPA/WEP connections. Will you help me on how to configure it?

    I’m using acer aspire 4520 with atheros driver. Thanks.

    Comment by rururu — July 19, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

  6. I guess so. bcos i am using same machine and it works for me and have tried on other friends machine which are using Atheros and is even sony.

    Comment by egoleo — July 22, 2008 @ 8:55 am

  7. Hi there I’ve follow ur advice & try all the command, bu it’s get error when I running “modprobe wlan_scan_sta”
    the error is “FATAL: Error inserting wlan_scan_sta (/lib/modules/2.6.24-19-generic/net/wlan_scan_sta.ko): Unknown symbol in module, or unknown parameter (see dmesg)”

    Please can u tell me how should I do? I’m still new in ubuntu(linux) Thanx for u help 🙂 Oh ya u can message me at d.dcreepiest@gmail.com

    Comment by bowo — July 25, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  8. yeah. just forget about the error. And reboot your machine. Once done with rebooting, use ifconfig and u should see ur wireless card showing. all the best. adding u to my gmail so we can also chat on it if in case.

    Comment by egoleo — July 28, 2008 @ 6:38 am

  9. hey everyone, i have a problem i keep getting an error that reads: make: *** No targets specified and no makefile found. Stop. when i try to use the make command. if anyone could help me out, i’d realy appreciate it. thanks!

    Comment by Matt T — August 27, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

  10. have you installed your compilers which are with the sudo apt-get update && sudo aptitude install build-essential package?

    Comment by egoleo — September 1, 2008 @ 5:23 am

  11. have you installed your compilers which are with the sudo apt-get update && sudo aptitude install build-essential package?
    please try that and give me feedback.

    Comment by egoleo — September 1, 2008 @ 5:24 am

  12. Please make sure you have installed this package sudo apt-get update && sudo aptitude install build-essential. Let me know what happens

    Comment by egoleo — September 1, 2008 @ 5:25 am

  13. i trade this command:
    tar xvf madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007.tar.gz

    for this one:
    tar xvf madwifi-hal-

    ty for help

    Comment by edenilson — October 15, 2008 @ 11:56 pm

  14. Hello.

    Thank You for that tutorial.
    I have done all like You told and it WORKS.
    But, i have one issue. After every restart i have to enable wireless by giving last 2 command from tutorial to enable wireless.
    I have a button to enable wireless on my ASUS X51RL but it does not work from linux. I have heard that i can assingn some script to keycode on keyboard but i dont know how 🙂
    Anyway i’m only interested in enabling wireless on system start by auto, not by hand.
    Thanks for this tut

    Comment by noizo — October 19, 2008 @ 7:51 pm

  15. This tutorial works but i agree with Noizo, How do i set it to auto from system boot?

    Comment by roak417 — October 30, 2008 @ 6:03 pm

  16. I am having the same problem mentioned above with the WiFi on/off switch. I just updated to 8.10 and installed “linux-backports-modules-2.6.27-7-generic” which contains the ath5k module, which I am understand supports the AR242x chipset.

    The kernel sees the device (dmesg):

    07:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)

    but neither ifconfig nor NetworkManager doesn’t see it.

    When I booted my previous Aspire, the WiFi interface was active by default, and a rather bright orange LED embedded in an on/off button at the front of the notebook indicated this.

    But with my 4520, pressing the WiFi button has no effect. I would expect an LED to go on and off as well as the device becoming visible as a network device.

    Anyone have any ideas for me?

    Comment by Colin Brace — November 10, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  17. Hi again ogoleo,

    According to a guy on the ubuntu list, the WiFi on this notebook can only be switched on and off in Vista using the Acer software:


    Any help you can offer in getting to the bottom of this would be most helpful.


    Comment by Colin Brace — November 11, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  18. i dont know what that means but what i can say is that, i can switch it off and on. and it works fine for me.

    Comment by egoleo — November 17, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

  19. Yes, with ubuntu 8.10 with latest update, the wifi button is not working. I don´t know how to make this works….

    Comment by pakpenyo — January 21, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  20. Have an Acer Extensa with wireless not working. I tried the above but the file downloaded seems not to be a tar file. Here is what I get:

    acer@alexx:~/tmp$ tar xvf madwifi-hal-
    tar: This does not look like a tar archive
    tar: Skipping to next header
    tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
    acer@alexx:~/tmp$ file madwifi-hal-
    madwifi-hal- HTML document text

    Also rather more obviously instructions 2 & 3 are using different file names?

    Comment by alexx — May 25, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

  21. bump

    Just checked again and still getting the same problem on loading either madwifi-nr-r3366+ar5007.tar.gz or madwifi-ng-r2756+ar5007.tar.gz. Any help? The files seem tiny, only 918 and 938 bytes.

    Comment by alexx — June 1, 2009 @ 5:07 am

  22. That’s very nice
    thank’s alot 4 your article


    Comment by ada — August 27, 2009 @ 4:31 am

  23. Acer AOD250-1197 10.1-Inch Blue Netbook
    great netbook, substandard os
    The computer itself is great. I love that its compact and has plenty of battery life. The touchpad is the least annoying of any laptop I’ve ever used. The windows 7 starter operating system, however is not. its a highly abbreviated version created for emerging markets in third world countries. There’s so much lacking. you cant even put up a picture on the desktop background. Save your money and buy the XP version. I wish I did.

    Comment by love acer — December 23, 2009 @ 4:58 am

  24. For all of those who might still have problems with this laptop wireless connection: ubuntu 10.10 supports this wireless card out of the box, however there is a problem with the soft button, which enables the wireless card. I have made a script, which does it for you. All you need to do is bind this script with the wireless button using the gnome "Keyboard Shortcuts" preference tool:

    DEVNO=$(rfkill list wifi | cut -c 1-1);
    SOFTBLK=$(rfkill list $DEVNO | grep -o "Soft blocked: yes");
    HARDBLK=$(rfkill list $DEVNO | grep -o "Hard blocked: yes");
    if [ "$HARDBLK" = "Hard blocked: yes" ];
    echo "You're screwed...";
    if [ "$SOFTBLK" = "Soft blocked: yes" ];
    echo "trying to unblock...";
    STATUS=$(sudo rfkill unblock $DEVNO);
    echo "trying to block...";
    STATUS=$(sudo rfkill block $DEVNO);

    Comment by Windwaker — February 12, 2011 @ 11:32 am

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    Comment by AndresFAW — March 20, 2014 @ 7:26 pm

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