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Linksys WMP600N wireless N ethernet card in Linux...it does work

Posted 05-09-2012 at 03:48 AM by vik
Updated 08-28-2013 at 10:45 AM by vik

Update: with kernel 3.9.11 I've had good luck with rt2800pci (driver in the Linux kernel) instead of Broadcom's rt2860sta driver. I can also connect to 5GHz networks with this driver.

If you can't/don't want to update your kernel to a later version, here are your options:
  • Stay with the same kernel version and utilize backports to use a newer driver with an older kernel. This is the new name for compat-wireless. See here: https://backports.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Main_Page.
  • Download Broadcom's rt2860sta driver from their site. I have not tried it in a long time: the last time I tried it with kernel 3.5.2 it caused hard locks after a few minutes. No idea if it works now.

Here's all you need to do:
First, install the firmware. For Gentoo it's rt2860-firmware and Debian it's firmware-ralink. Reboot or
Code:
modprobe -r rt2800pci
modprobe rt2800pci
To test:
Code:
ifconfig -a (should see a wlan0 entry)
ifconfig wlan0 up (shouldn't see any errors)
Now we just need to configure the card to connect with the network. There are several ways to do this: use NetworkManager, use wicd, or configure the network manually. As STDOUBT pointed out, if you don't have X you can also use an ncurses version of wicd named wicd-curses. I'll just explain how I configured my network manually. I have a WPA2 network and a hidden SSID.

In Debian you can do everything in /etc/network/interfaces.
  • wpa_passphrase <ssid>
  • type in your wifi password
  • copy the encrypted password (hex characters following psk=) and save for later
  • edit /etc/network/interfaces (omit all <> in the following code as well as comments in parenthesis). One thing to remember is that Debian uses '-' not '_' in this file, so it's wpa-driver not wpa_driver.
  • static IP:
    Code:
    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet static
    wpa-driver wext
    wpa-ssid <ssid>
    wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
    wpa-psk <encrypted_password_from wpa_passphrase>
    wpa-scan-ssid 1 (only need this line if SSID is hidden)
    wpa-group CCMP TKIP
    wpa-pairwise CCMP TKIP
    wpa-proto WPA RSN
    address <your_static_ip>
    netmask <your_netmask>
    broadcast <your_network_broadcast_address> (usually last octet is .255)
    gateway <your_router_ip>
    dns-nameservers <ip_addresses_of_name_servers_separated_by_spaces_or_router_ip>
  • dhcp:
    Code:
    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet dhcp
    wpa-driver wext
    wpa-ssid <ssid>
    wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
    wpa-psk <encrypted_password_from wpa_passphrase>
    wpa-scan-ssid 1 (only need this if SSID is hidden)
    wpa-group CCMP TKIP
    wpa-pairwise CCMP TKIP
    wpa-proto WPA RSN
  • /etc/init.d/networking restart or just reboot

in Gentoo:
  • edit /etc/portage/package.use (the default use flags may be fine, I'm not sure)
    Code:
    net-wireless/wpa_supplicant dbus eap-sim fasteap gnutls wps -ssl
  • emerge wpa_supplicant
  • wpa_passphrase <ssid>
  • type in your wifi password
  • copy the encrypted password (hex characters following psk=) and save for later
  • edit /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
    Code:
    ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=wheel
    network={
            priority=1
            scan_ssid=1 (for hidden networks)
            ssid="YourSSID"
            proto=WPA2
            key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
            group=CCMP TKIP
            pairwise=CCMP TKIP
            psk="wpa_passphrase_encrypted_password"
    }
  • edit /etc/conf.d/net
    Code:
    modules="wpa_supplicant"
    wpa_supplicant_wlan0="-Dwext"
    config_wlan0="<ip> netmask <netmask> brd <broadcast_network_address>"
    routes_wlan0="default via <router_ip>"
  • edit /etc/resolv.conf:
    Code:
    nameserver <nameserver_ip_or_router_ip>
  • setup everything for automatic startup:
    Code:
    cd /etc/init.d
    ln -s net.lo net.wlan0
    rc-update add net.wlan0 default
  • try it out with /etc/init.d/net.wlan0 start
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