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#1 2010-03-19 19:17:31

R00KIE
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kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

I've been using kernel 2.6.33 for a while but only today I have noticed something that I believe to be a bug.

I have discovered that connecting or disconnecting the charger from my notebook renders the wireless card inoperable (even after having a connection successfully established) until the machine is powered off and on again. Looking at dmesg I see lots of messages like this one, only the frequency differs.

ath5k phy1: gain calibration timeout (2412MHz)

Unplugging and plugging the charger didn't trigger this problem before, googling about this turns up nothing really useful (only results about older kernels), apart from downgrading the kernel (which I will do later) I have no other ideas to check where the problem may be coming from.

Let this be a warning to other Atheros card users, and now I'm curious to know if anyone else sees this behavior.

The relevant output of lspci -nn

06:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Atheros Communications Inc. AR5001 Wireless Network Adapter [168c:001c] (rev 01)

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#2 2010-03-19 20:10:11

scio
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

I know with my ath9k card, the rfkill was still broken in 2.6.32.  It caused the card to become unusable when you try to turn it off or on.  Do you happen to have a script that disables wifi when you plug in?

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#3 2010-03-19 20:25:14

R00KIE
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

scio wrote:

I know with my ath9k card, the rfkill was still broken in 2.6.32.  It caused the card to become unusable when you try to turn it off or on.  Do you happen to have a script that disables wifi when you plug in?

Not that I know of, unless it comes with some package I don't have such a thing, if you mean something from laptop-mode-tools I don't have it installed.

I did check the output of rfkill and it said exactly the same thing before and after unplugging and plugging:

> rfkill list all
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no

I think rfkill does work fine for me, I have a wireless on/off soft switch that didn't do anything until recently but now it seems to work fine (I have discovered that by accident tongue )

I do suspect however that plugging/unplugging may trigger some kernel power saving "thing" that really messes with the wireless card, but like I said before I don't know how to check that possibility.


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#4 2010-03-20 14:03:21

R00KIE
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

I have tested with kernel26 2.6.32.10-1 and things work as expected, wireless keeps working.

I have also tried madwifi with kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and when pugging the charger the wireless card stops working with just one message on dmeg: "eth0: down".

It seems like something is quite wrong with kernel 2.6.33 and wireless, for me at least with an atheros card so other users may also be affected.


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#5 2010-03-20 15:46:16

scio
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

R00KIE wrote:

I have also tried madwifi with kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and when pugging the charger the wireless card stops working with just one message on dmeg: "eth0: down".

eth0 should be your wired ethernet port, not your wifi.  ath9k has been a mess for quite a while, several kernel bug reports are open with no real solution, ath5k might be a little better, but I don't know enough to be able to help I'm afraid.

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#6 2010-03-20 16:04:33

R00KIE
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

scio wrote:
R00KIE wrote:

I have also tried madwifi with kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and when pugging the charger the wireless card stops working with just one message on dmeg: "eth0: down".

eth0 should be your wired ethernet port, not your wifi.  ath9k has been a mess for quite a while, several kernel bug reports are open with no real solution, ath5k might be a little better, but I don't know enough to be able to help I'm afraid.

I know eth0 is my wired ethernet port wink and I find it strange that this shows up in dmesg ... I'm clueless about what can be causing this, the main culprit seems to be the kernel/drivers but who knows, maybe I have something else in my system that is causing this.

Edit:
It seems like it was wicd writing that to the logs, I have uninstalled wicd, rebooted and that doesn't show up anymore. But the problem is still the same, I can connect manually but after I unplug and replug the charger wireless stops working, something like this:

turn on and connect to wireless: ok
unplug charger
ping and iwlist scan: ok
plug charger
ping any site: ok
iwlist scan: not ok, lots of messages in dmesg, only turning the machine off and on again solves the problem.

Last edited by R00KIE (2010-03-20 16:25:11)


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#7 2010-03-27 00:32:25

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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

It seems like no one has any more ideas about this or no one has the "right" combination of hardware (and software?) to stumble upon this problem so I'm not sure if I have something wrong with my system or if this is really a bug.

I've been trying to figure out which update started causing problems and I still believe it is related to the kernel. I can trigger this when using kernel 2.6.32.10 but it takes a few tries (with kernel 2.6.33 it usually takes just one connect/disconnect).

With kernel 2.6.32.9 it seems to work fine, at least I did connect and disconnect the charger a few times and issued wireless scans and things kept working. As a reference here's how I've been testing this:

I use wicd to manage my connections so I just turn the machine on and wait until I get an IP. After having an ip clear dmesg with 'dmesg -c'.

Issue a wireless scan and check for dmesg errors with 'iwlist wlan0 scan ; dmesg' and optionally add a ping to the gateway to check that the wireless connection is indeed working.

Unplug the charger from the notebook and issue another scan, if that didn't trigger the problem, plug the charger and scan again. Plug and unplug the charger a few times and issue a scan at each change.


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#8 2010-03-31 03:53:49

flamelab
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

Does anybody know (or have a link to a mailing list thread i've missed) about why the .33 kernel is staying on [testing] ?

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#9 2010-03-31 23:06:27

Anonymo
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

flamelab wrote:

Does anybody know (or have a link to a mailing list thread i've missed) about why the .33 kernel is staying on [testing] ?

I would like to know this as well

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#10 2010-04-01 06:17:40

flamelab
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From: Athens, Hellas (Greece)
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

Hmm, from what I see on the mailing list these days, there seem to be issues with NFS, KMS, UMS and correspondent packages (for example, latest mesa for new dri2 protocol). So I guess that's why they are reluctant.

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#11 2010-04-01 19:17:31

broch
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

have you tried to disable power saving options (for wireless not in general)?

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#12 2010-04-01 19:27:07

R00KIE
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

broch wrote:

have you tried to disable power saving options (for wireless not in general)?

As far as I can tell, power saving doesn't work yet because I get this:

> iwconfig wlan0 power off
Error for wireless request "Set Power Management" (8B2C) :
    SET failed on device wlan0 ; Operation not supported.

Also I've been doing some more testing and I can also trigger this problem with kernel 2.6.32.9, but it takes a few more tries than with newer ones. For now I'm using 2.6.32.8 which _seems_ to work fine (none of my attempts to make it stop working succeeded).

I'll report this upstream and see what happens.


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#13 2010-04-01 20:19:39

broch
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

I believe, that the power saving feature is enabled in the kernel by default. I disabled it because I has some issues with this option. Whether your card is affected, I don't know but this feature is set (working or not). I don't have installed Arch kernel, but I checked published kernel26 config and power saving option is enabled. If so, you may try to disable it.

As I mentioned, I don't know if your card is affected.

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#14 2010-04-01 21:59:37

R00KIE
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

Hmm ok, I can give it a try, could you specify which power saving configuration option you are talking about? I did grep through the options and didn't find anything that looked related to the wireless ....


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#15 2010-04-01 23:20:29

broch
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

Networking support -> Wireles -> cfg80211 -> enable powersave by default (CONFIG_CFG80211_DEFAULT_PS)

this is the option to disable.

I hope it will work.

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#16 2010-04-02 17:41:34

R00KIE
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

I've tried disabling powersave and it did help a little bit but I still get a hanged card if I perform a scan after being associated with an access point, so the problem is still there and I believe it is a bit more complicated than just that, but it doesn't hurt to try smile


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#17 2010-04-02 19:26:20

Anonymo
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

flamelab wrote:

Hmm, from what I see on the mailing list these days, there seem to be issues with NFS, KMS, UMS and correspondent packages (for example, latest mesa for new dri2 protocol). So I guess that's why they are reluctant.

I've been waiting for 2.6.33 because my PCE-N13 Asus network card does not work with 2.6.32.  It works with .33 though.  Bug 15686 submitted at https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=15686

Last edited by Anonymo (2010-04-02 19:37:36)

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#18 2010-04-05 16:43:59

R00KIE
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Re: kernel26 2.6.33.1-1 and ath5k

I have reported this odd bug upstream https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=15693


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