Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Installing Edimax EW-7318Ug Wireless USB Dongle in Ubuntu 9.04

I recently installed Ubuntu 9.04 on an old Dell Latitude laptop and wanted it to be wireless capable. This laptop did not have inbuilt wireless capabilities so I wanted to get a USB dongle for it. I thought most wireless USB dongle would just plug'n'play with Ubuntu but as it turns out this one did not. If you are looking to buy a dongle, do a bit of research first to find one that is known to 'just work' as it should be as simple as plugging it in and it gets detected and just works. As it turned out, either I did not do my research well enough or my hardware was just being funny as this dongle did not just work. One thing I had going for me though was the manufacturer listed it as Linux compatible. Here is a page listing known working devices for Ubuntu. Anyway, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but this is basically how I got it working. Firstly, check it was being recognised ok with:
lsusb
If it is recognised ok, check:
dmesg
to see if any errors occured when it was plugged in. Perhaps check dmesg before and after plugging it in. On mine I had some lines like this:
[ 613.008118] usb 1-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 3 [ 613.310683] usb 1-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice [ 613.431044] phy2 -> rt2500usb_init_eeprom: Error - Invalid RT chipset detected. [ 613.431057] phy2 -> rt2x00lib_probe_dev: Error - Failed to allocate device.
This indicated that it was using rt2500 drivers which were invalid. So I blacklisted the rt2500 driver by adding 'rt2500usb' to the end of /etc/modprobe/blacklist.conf Next I went and got the latest rt73 driver from Ralink. I installed this following the readme instructions that came with it. I didn't bother with the included wpasupplicant as this was already installed by Ubuntu. Once the driver had compiled I had to execute:
sudo modprobe rt73
Then I executed:
sudo ifconfig rausb0 inet up
to bring the interface up. Next it got a bit wierd... in the end after making sure everything was updated and upgraded it finally worked. A reboot was necessary and helpful. Finally Network Manager detected my network and allowed me to connect. Hope this is of a bit of use to someone.

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