What flavour of linux are you using?
I have some TP-Link equipment, and I use Ubuntu 10.04 with no issues.
The drivers are built into the kernel now.
Should have no problems.
For a start, plug in the device and open a terminal (applications, accessories, terminal), then type the command "lsusb" in the terminal.
This lists everything that the OS sees on the USB bus, and should tell you if the device is correctly identified.
Are you able to see available wireless connections in your network manager program?