EUSSO Wireless-G Adapter in Rxart Linux Desktop

Zydas 1211 chipsetAs I’m spending my holidays in Argentina, I’m helping my mother to set up her new desktop. As she has a Wi-Fi router, I had to buy her a wireless network adapter to be able to connect her new computer to the Internet.

Considering that the new desktop PC has Rxart Linux Desktop 3.2 installed, I decided to look for a Wi-Fi network card that was compatible with Linux.

After asking in several stores, I decided to buy an EUSSO Wireless-G USB Adapter (with Zydas 1211B chipset, now also called Atheros AR5007UG). This network card can work as a network station as well as an AP (Access Point) and supports protocols 802.11a/b/g with WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption.

Looking for the card, I could notice that many of the stores already know which network adapters are compatibles with Linux and furthermore, some network cards (like the EUSSO that I bought) specifies it also in its packaging. This is another sign that there is a customer segment that uses Linux and it’s not limited to those capable of hacking the devices to make them work. Included with the network adapter comes a CD with Windows, Mac and Linux drivers, with the corresponding installation manuals for those OSes.

EUSSO USB Wireless-G Adapter

In the case of Ubuntu Linux 7.10, the network card works “out of the box”, but with Rxart Linux 3.2 it has been necesary to do an extra step. As probably there are more people using this debian based distro, I’m going to explain the steps that I followed in case it is of use for someone else.

In the installation manual for Linux included on the CD, the installation is made by first compiling the drivers for your kernel to install them. But that requires installing several packages with the source code and headers from the kernel, and I wanted to avoid such a task.

So, the first thing I did was to plug in the USB network adapter and issue the following command:

lsusb

to know the Vendor_id and the Product_id of the network card:

Bus 006 Device 002: ID 0ace:1215 ZyDAS

With this information, I searched on the Internet to know if there was another way to install the drivers, but the pages that I found some good explanations (like Instalando Chipset WiFi ZD1211b (USB) en Ubuntu) also proposed to compile the sources.

So I decided to look into the system messages to see why the network card wasn’t being recognized automatically when plugged in:

dmesg

and this wew some of the messages that I got:

Feb 15 15:49:30 rxart32 kernel: usb 5-2: request_fw_file() fw name zd1211/zd1211_ub
Feb 15 15:49:30 rxart32 kernel: usb 5-2: Could not load firmware file zd1211/zd111b_ub. Error number -2
Feb 15 15:49:30 rxart32 kernel: zd1211rw 5-2:1.0: couldn't load firmware. Error umber -2

Thanks to this I could see that the driver that was being loaded was the correct one (instead of what is mentioned in the previous link and in some other pages) but what was not being found was the network card firmware. Therefore, it’s not necessary to unload the zd1211rw and replace it with zd1211b. The zd1211rw (rw means “rewritten”) just works!!

Again, I made a search on the Internet and downloaded the firmware from this link:

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=129083

Once dowloaded, y placed it on the corresponding folder (/lib/firmware/zd1211) by issuing the following commands:

tar -xvjf zd1211-firmware-1.4.tar.bz2 mv zd1211-firmware /lib/firmware/zd1211

Once I had done all this, I unplugged and plugged in again the network card and it was automatically recognized.

From this point on we can configure the wireless network as with any other wireless card in Linux. In my case, using KNetworkManager. This way, it hasn’t been necesary to install any additional package nor to compile anything to make it work with the zd1211rw driver.

You can see more information about the driver in Linux Wireless.

As always, I hope that this helps more people and I invite you to comment.

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