Using VIA CPU
I had a strange problem with enabling WPA/WPA2 with madwifi and hostapd on a epaTEC etc 3851 (VIA Nehemiah 800MHz CPU) running Debian 4.0r2.
I did everything according to the manuals (madwifi, wpa-supplicant, hostapd), but wpa wouldn't work. I had some strange problems while compiling ath_pci, but in the second or third try it compiled without problems.
After looking at a similiar problem described here (http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/6/12/104) I switched from linux-image-686 (which is the debian default) to linux-image-386. After recompiling ath_pci.ko everything worked as supposed without any problems!
I hope this helps someone!
I guess the underlying problem is some strange misbehaviour of the VIA cpu. It should be 100% i686 compatible, but from this experience I would bet it isn't...
This may not be relevant to the issue, but VIA C3 CPUs have different capabilities as displayed by /proc/cpuinfo. Here's the contents of /proc/cpuinfo from tow different motherboards, both with C3 CPUs:
# more /proc/cpuinfo processor : 0 vendor_id : CentaurHauls cpu family : 6 model : 7 model name : VIA Samuel 2 stepping : 3 cpu MHz : 797.839 cache size : 64 KB fdiv_bug : no hlt_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 1 wp : yes flags : fpu de tsc msr cx8 mtrr pge mmx 3dnow bogomips : 1599.32
Here's the output from another motherboard:
# more /proc/cpuinfo processor : 0 vendor_id : CentaurHauls cpu family : 6 model : 9 model name : VIA Nehemiah stepping : 8 cpu MHz : 1002.351 cache size : 64 KB fdiv_bug : no hlt_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 1 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr cx8 sep mtrr pge mov pat mmx fxsr sse up rng rng_en ace ace_en bogomips : 2007.22 clflush size : 32
Notice the difference in the flags section. Some of the flags indicate the CPU can execute a particular instruction (e.g. cmov) or class of instructions (e.g. sse).