[CentOS] Recommendation for a Linux alternative to Centos - ATH9K disaster

Tue Jan 25 17:49:39 UTC 2011
Always Learning <centos at g7.u22.net>

I persuaded a reluctant friend to buy a new computer. I enthusiastically
extolled the joys and benefits of Centos and promised to install it on
his new machine - dual booting with Micro$oft Windoze 7.

His super-duper new laptop arrived. Acer, AMD 4 core, fast etc. but not
as nice looking as my impressive HP DV5. The wireless refused to

After 8 hours on Saturday I could sometimes see hubs in the
neighbourhood but could not connect to my own hub using WPA2.

	iwlist wlan0 scan

produced technical details of local hubs - but still could not connect.
NetworkManager sometimes froze.

Spent many hours Googling for his wifi adaptor Altheros AR928K which
uses a driver known as ATH9K.  Many others have had a similar problem.
Kernel 2.6.27 apparently includes this driver but Centos 5.5 is 2.6.18.

On my Sony Vaio netbook I abandoned XP and installed Centos 5.5. No wifi
(yet XP had) but luckily for me I eventually discovered the Altheros
AR8132 needed ATL1E which, for Centos 5.5, means a kernel modification.
Luckily it is on Elrepo as kmod-atl1e. A quick Yum and I was connected.
Many thanks to Elrepo.  The netbook comes to life with Centos. Its now a
really usable machine. XP on a netbook was pure crap.

However ATH9K for Centos 5.5 does not exist.

This afternoon I had to tell my friend his brand new computer is
incompatible with Centos and wifi.

Please can anyone recommend a suitable Linux variant with a kernel >=
2.6.27 that is a bit like Centos ?  

Does anyone know if Centos 5.6 will be on 2.6.18 and whether it will
have drivers like ATH9K ?

Anyone any idea what kernel version Centos 6 will have ?

Thank you.

Best regards,


Centos on 2 VPS, 2 desktops, 1 laptop and 1 netbook.
Going cheap : genuine Windoze 95 and 98 installation disks :-)