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Old 10-10-2011, 06:42 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2011
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Ralink RT61 wireless pci ubuntu 10.04 compatibility


I am having little luck geting my RaLink RT61 wireless PCI card to work on my Ubuntu 10.04 server LTS (latest kernel) i386 box. I have read the endless "how to's", ralink's and serialmonkey, but seem to be going round in circles. If any of you gurus can put me out of my misery that would be fantastic!

So to recap I just re-built my ubuntu 10.04 LTS server from scratch (the box is going remote so need wireless) and then dist-urgraded. Serialmonkeys site states that the rt2x00 driver is now included in the linux main code branch, sure enough the lib's, o's, bin's and ko's all appear in the kernel directory out of the box. So an obvious question here is do I need any other driver's/firmware on top of the ubuntu ISO image - it's unclear to me.

I then ran the following to check the card:
lspci -n
01:07.0 0280: 1814:0301

lspci (I notice here there is no "rev")
01:07.0 Network controller: RaLink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI

ifconfig -a
wlan0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:a1:b0:26:10:f2
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 B) TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID: off/any
Mode:Managed Access Point: Not-Associated Tx-Power=0 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr: off Fragment thr: off
Power Management: off

iwconfig wlan0 mode ad-hoc
iwconfig wlan0 ESSID netname

wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:"netname"
Mode:Ad-Hoc Frequency:2.412 GHz Cell: Not-Associated
Tx-Power=0 dBm
Retry long limit:7 RTS thr: off Fragment thr: off
Encryption key: off
Power Management: off

ifconfig wlan0 up
SIOCSIFFLAGS: Device or resource busy

dmesg | tail
[14092.436013] phy0 -> rt61pci_load_firmware: Error - MCU Control register not ready.
[14092.436560] phy0 -> rt2x00pci_regbusy_read: Error - Indirect register access failed: offset=0x00002100, value=0x23308d4c

So if this is the only problem I am getting some sort of firmware load failure owing to the MCU not being ready, has anyone got any ideas on this? Perhaps I am just missing some really simply steps earlier on? I found one other hit on google on this "MCU" but no one ever got back to the guy... I hope I will be more lucky on this forum!

Many thanks...
Old 10-10-2011, 08:16 AM   #2
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Have a look at this link


This user downloaded a firmware file called
from here -->

So it appears you need firmware. What I don't know is if the firmware is included in 10.04 or not.
It appears the end result is you wind up with a file called
. You could search your system to see if you already have it. You could also look at Synaptics pkg man to see if there is/are any firmware packages for this card not installed.

If not, download the firmware, and see if you can run make to produce it.
Old 10-10-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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Registered: May 2011
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Hi camorri,

Thank you for your reply.

This is mostly a path I have already taken, the ralink bz2 (zip) source pack doesn't compile and needs some tweaking .. I didn't get all the way. Half way through (pulling teeth) I thought it can't be this hard and became confused because most of the files are already there in the kernel branch from serialmonkey which, they say, supersede those from ralink. 6 of one half a dozen of the's all very confusing, I have looked for a "how to" on serialmonkey's site but it seems not to be .. a real oversight. Maybe it's the case that serialmonkey's drivers are not fit for purpose for RT61 and the ralink ones are the ones to persevere with... frankly I'm clutching at straws! I'll try and compile the ralink source pack again... I've already wasted two days on this.. I guess I'll give it another 2 then go and buy a different card!

Old 10-11-2011, 04:26 AM   #4
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Ubuntu 10.04 should support your card out of the box. I can say this with absolute certainty because it supported the same card in my machine. I would suggest you download the driver package, it is called firmware-ralink in Debian, and install it using Gdebi, reboot the machine and see how it is.
Old 10-11-2011, 05:24 AM   #5
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Well I have got a lot further, thank you for your help; the wirless card can now see my AP but I can't actually connect yet which is probably down to my /etc/interfaces file perhaps.

In the end it turned out to be an address collision in the boot up sequence with my Adaptec 2110s scsi raid controller. It is bizare all the forums on this RAID controller tell you that you need to blacklist 'dtp_i2o' so that 'i2o_core' gets a chance to claim the resources first. This was even raised as a sporadic bug years ago. However, upon closer inspection of the /boot/initrd.img-2.6.33-34-generic-pae file

zcat /boot/initrd.img-2.6.33-34-generic-pae | cpio -ivdm

it turns out that it contains /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf whereby it is actually blacklisting 'i2o_core' ... the very driver that you want to use. Once I had repacked initrd* with "blacklist dpt_i2o" (I omit the sudo...)

find . | cpio --quiet -o -H newc | gzip -9 > /boot/initrd.img-2.6.33-34-generic-pae

and rebooted the dmesg buffer ring looked much cleaner and behold rt61pci was now able to load the firmware ... out of the box!

So now when I "iwlist scan" I see my wireless access point. @K3lt01, in what mode are you running yours, ad-hoc or managed, also what revision is your card for interests sake...? Do you have a sample interfaces file you use? I tried the following without success....

auto eth0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wireless-essid APname
wireless-mode managed

I want to get the wireless working with WPA but initially I guess I should check sucess without any encryption...?

Many thanks ...
Old 10-13-2011, 01:39 PM   #6
Registered: Oct 2010
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if you are using the:
iwconfig wlan0 essid APname

you can check it even if your /etc/network/interfaces file isn't configure correctly, this file is for ifup command.

of course try first without any security.
Old 10-17-2011, 05:02 AM   #7
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Well, I finally got the rt61 fully working with WPA2, AES encryption. I include the steps below for anyone that is interested, thank you for your replies..

1. Update "/etc/network/interfaces" file to include the wireless interface

# The primary network wireless interface
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp

2. Update the permissions on it, depends on your security outlook i guess!

sudo chmod 0600 /etc/network/interfaces

3. Create file "wpa_supplicant.conf" for the WPA wireless security implementation daemon wpa_supplicant which is installed by default on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS server

sudo touch /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

4. Update the permissions on it.

sudo chmod 0600 /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

5. Create the encrypted psk key based on the AP ssid key

wpa_passphrase B...blah...6 BD..blah..5C

-> the output will be a string of ascii which needs copying
into the psk=.... in the .conf file below without " ", if
you are going to use plain text and not encrypt the key
then it must be in " ", i.e. psk="DB..blah..5C", psk plain
text key must be between 8 - 63 characters

6. Update the wpa_supplicant.conf for the desired configuration

N.B. scan_ssid=1 needed for AP's that hide themselves ....
bssid ensures restriction to certain AP


# 802.11b
frequency=2412 # channel 1
#frequency=2437 # channel 6
#frequency=2462 # channel 11
#frequency=2484 # channel 14
# 802.11g/n
#frequency=2412 # channel 1
#frequency=2432 # channel 5
#frequency=2452 # channel 9
#frequency=2472 # channel 13

7. Create file pre-up_wpa_supplicant into /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/

wap_supplicant -B -iwlan0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf -Dwext\
exit 0

8. Update the permissions on it.

sudo chmod 0500 /etc/network/if-pre-up.d/pre-up_wpa_supplicant

9. Create file post-down_wpa_supplicant into /etc/network/if-post-down.d/

killall -q wpa_supplicant
exit 0

10. Update the permissions on it.

sudo chmod 0500 /etc/network/if-post-down.d/post-down_wpa_supplicant

Steps 7-10 enable the service to start when the server is booted.

That's about it (hope I haven't made any typos), the above worked for me on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS server.

Hope it helps ....!


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