Please forgive my ignorance, as I am still fairly new when it comes to linux under the hood!

Anyways - following up on my previous semi-related post, instead of trying a Debian testing image, I installed Debian stable and installed the latest 3.0.1 kernel via dpkg.


  1. Ran apt-get update on internet enabled computer (computer A)
  2. Transplanted /var/lib/apt/lists and /etc/apt/sources.list from computer A to new laptop with no internet (computer B)
  3. apt-get --print-uris --yes install synaptic | grep ^\' | cut -d\' -f2 > packageuri.htm to get package download URLs
  4. Downloaded the packages from computer A and copied them to computer B
  5. Installed synaptic with dpkg
  6. Ran synaptic and updated the laptop by generating a download script (feature in synaptic)
  7. Ran script from computer A, copied packages to computer B, dpkg -i *.deb
  8. Downloaded the linux-image and all related files (though apt, synaptic didn't let me install linux-image-3.0.1-* for some reason) similarly to step 3
  9. Installed files via dpkg. update-grub was run and new kernel is detected
  10. Boot into new system, still have no internet.

According to this link, installing >= 2.6.38 should allow the card to be used. Am I missing something?


  • I am currently not with computer B at the moment, but would running modprobe atl1e help? Jan 24, 2012 at 14:23
  • According to this (same card), as I understand it, you either use 2.6.32 and fiddle with the id, or use 2.6.38 and it's supposed to just work. But anyway, the modprobe could help.
    – sr_
    Jan 24, 2012 at 15:14
  • Thanks for the link, sr_. Looks like I'll be giving it a try - although I am unsure of why installing the new kernel didn't allow it to automatically work. Jan 24, 2012 at 15:40
  • The bit about apt, synaptic didn't let me install linux-image-3.0.1-* for some reason gives me pause. Are your dependencies properly satisfied? Does apt-get -f install for example return without error? Jan 24, 2012 at 19:40
  • Hi Faheem, indeed, apt-get -f install reports no errors. Jan 25, 2012 at 0:07

1 Answer 1


There are several things that can go wrong with network interface cards, no kernel support is just one of them.

I'm not currently using any Atheros card, so I don't have specific experience to share, but here goes a generic tip:

Check for messages in the kernel log (doing dmesg | grep eth in a terminal should be enough (although I remember madwifi used ath instead of eth)). (1) suggests dmesg | grep -i net

Several things may happen:

  • no networking-related messages (or just messages related to other network devices, if you have anything other than that card). This means that there is really some issue with kernel support (of course this may also mean the card is dead, but that's probably not the issue here).

  • messages related to the card, reporting, e.g., missing firmware (in which case you have to find out which package to install to get said firmware (if there's a package for it)). There may also be other errors, which will at least give you some pointers on what's the issue.

  • success messages, which means the card is working and the issue is somewhere else, in the network configuration or in the tools used to connect to the network (such as the DHCP client)

Also, note that both this page I link and one of the pages linked above refer atl1c, not atl1e.

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