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Thread: HOWTO: RT2500, etc. wireless cards

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Kubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    HOWTO: RT2500, etc. wireless cards

    Dapper Drake users should take a look at this thread if this one doesn't work. This guide was tested with Feisty Fawn, Gutsy Gibbon, and Hardy Heron.
    To all RT73 users, please also see this post. Thanks to Kiefer Rodriguez for this solution.

    Please post to this Launchpad bug report with all of your specs, if you have problems with a Ralink based wireless adapter.

    This is a simple guide for all Ralink based wireless adapters and everyone who wants to replace the Linux driver with "ndiswrapper" (e.g. because you want to make use of either Network Manager or WICD).


    • Get the latest version of the Windows driver for your card from Linksys' website or from the CD that came with your device (whatever vendor).

    • Install "ndiswrapper" package with working internet connection (Ethernet):
      sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils-1.9

    • Install "ndiswrapper" package without working internet connection (alternatively, install it via Synaptic/Adept):
      sudo apt-cdrom add
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install ndiswrapper-common ndiswrapper-utils-1.9

    • Load new driver module (may not be necessary any longer, but does no harm either):
      sudo depmod -a
      sudo modprobe ndiswrapper

    • Add the module to "/etc/modules" to have it load automatically:
      echo 'ndiswrapper' | sudo tee -a /etc/modules

    • Create alias directive:
      sudo ndiswrapper -m

    • Pick a valid Ralink driver based on the chipset of your card (you might blacklist all of them if you are not sure):

    • Blacklist Ralink driver:
      echo 'blacklist <your_ralink_driver>' | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

    • Now unzip the driver archive you have just downloaded (e.g. in your home directory):
      unzip <driver_archive>.exe

    • Now find the right driver in the resulting folder & deploy it (folder should also contain other driver files i.e. .cat, .sys):
      sudo ndiswrapper -i <your_ralink_driver>.inf

    • Make sure it has installed correctly:
      ndiswrapper -l

    • The output should yield something like this:
      rt2500usb : driver installed
      device (13B1:000D) present (alternate driver: rt2500usb)

    • Last but not least open this file...
      sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces

    • ...and add these 2 lines if they are not there yet [also try without adding them if Network Manager does not pick up the card & reboot]:
      auto wlan0
      iface wlan0 inet dhcp

    You can now safely delete the extracted driver files & folders. Then reboot the computer and see if you can connect using your favorite networking applet (e.g. Network Manager, WICD, Wifi Radar, etc.).

    Feedback is - as always - appreciated.

    30/09/2007: Minor fixes.
    07/10/2007: Expanded "blacklist".
    20/10/2007: Added missing part concerning "interfaces" file.
    22/10/2007: Load module "ndiswrapper" at boot.
    23/10/2007: Enhanced blacklist.
    07/11/2007: Bug fix for Network Manager.
    12/11/2007: Updated blacklist & module section.
    13/01/2008: Launchpad bug report.
    15/04/2008: Update for Hardy.
    17/04/2008: RT73 note.
    Last edited by wieman01; July 5th, 2008 at 07:27 AM.


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