[arch-releng] Iwlagn driver issue

Keith Hinton keithint1234 at gmail.com
Wed May 12 15:46:41 CEST 2010

Hi list,
I'm using the very latest ArchCD (not the official Arch disk as that is not accessible-and I'm a blind comptuer user, but Chris Brannon's TalkingArch project.)
He produces snapshots using Archiso and some other tools and provides the accessibility-but it is identical otherwise  beyond including some other packages to the netisntall CD.
His latest snapshot uses kernel 2.6.33.
For more information for those Arch users who are unaware of his project, please type:
Arch Linux for the blind into the search box of the Arch wiki.
You'll find links to download the CD and such there, and learn more about what it is.
Or visit:
One of the probles I'm having and this is why I mentioned the kernel on Chrises snapshot is this:
I have an Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN wireless internal card in this laptop.
While this card does have support via the entry driver iwlagn, I have a problem.
When I boot the CD Rom, and run lsmod, one of the loaded modules is, iwlagn.
However, despite this being the case, guess what fello Archers?
No wireless wlan0 interface, in fact:
Lo no wireless extentions.
Eth0 no wireless extentions.
Then it returns the shell. if using his CD that would be: root at Archiso.
So then, I have to type the following and yes the wifi-5000-Ucode file is already on the Arch CD under /lib/firmware:
rmmod iwlagn
modprobe iwlagn
And only after typing  this does the itnerface finally show up to ifconfig and other such tools.
I find this extremely disconcerting, as wireless networking is the only available option to me.
While Arches kernel (again) 2.6.33 on the CD created wlan0 after rmmodding and modprobing again, I am concerned that if I isntall Arch that the same actions will be required in an isntalled environment, and I absolutely refuse to rmmod iwlagn modprobe iwlagn each and every time at a root shell just to create wlan0.
I therefore have not installed Arch at this time because of this very thing.
Does anyone (a kernel maintainer) or anyone else who has this type of card specifically an Intel Link Wifi 5000-based chip or my case:
Intel  WiFi Link 5100 AGN card have an explination for me behind what is happening here?
Is it Arches Udev system?
Is there a flaw in the Archiso system or something that would cause this?
Is there an effective solution that will force wlan0 to be present on an installed environment  without needing to modprobe this thing?
I shouldn't need to be modprobing anything.
Thanks for any specifics that you folks can provide.
I can't send any backtraces, or bugs to you folks, because there are none that are generated-this is just what happens on the CD.
I won't install Arch at all until I know specifically why this happens in the first place, (and please note)
Another blindness-accessible CD (though not Arch)
GRML, using kernel 2.6.33 as well at time of writing this eamil to you folks, automatically creates wlan0.
I find it troubling as Chrises CDs are produced with the latest Archiso improvements, and I am pretty sure that the build has nothing to do with it.
Something is obviously wrong then with the udev system that ArchLinux has used all these years, or something else.
The radio does have a hardware switch, but is always turned on.
And no, windows never disables the radio.
The only time this happens is if I allow the battery in the laptop to die entirely then only then would I need to press the hardware switch.
So I am not understanding what's going on.

I am going to CC this to the Arch-Releng folks as well, I'd like as much feedback from as many people-I am no Linux exbirt by any means-and am only an end-user of Arch-no programmer.
So I do not know why this occurs.
Is it my computer in particular?
Or have you folks encountered situations where this type of thing has happened before?
Or, am I just having a random bad day with Arches kernel.
Although this is quite reproduceable on my box with that card.
Strange that GRML though has no such problem and automatically has wlan0 already there with identical kernel version and same module as Arch, iwlagn.
Thanks again!

Regards, --Keith.

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