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If you are reading this, chances are you are running a Ralink RT2500 chipset wireless card that worked perfectly with Ubuntu Edgy and then stopped working after your upgrade to Feisty. Am I pretty close? Yeah, I feel ya, believe me. Well today, I have a solution for you that will hopefully offer you a way to get around Ubuntu’s latest wireless “fix”. In the interest of keeping this as doable as possible, I will be explaining this as straight forward as I possibly can.
How do I know if I am using a RT2500 chipset?
In Ubuntu Feisty, go to Applications, accessories, then choose Terminal. In the command line, copy and paste in the following.
If you are using a card based on the RT2500 chipset, you will see something like:
ra1 RT2500 Wireless ESSID:”blah” Nickname:”blah,blah”
Now you know that you are using a Ralink card based on the RT2500 chipset. Okay, let’s keep going.
Installing WiFi Radar.
Now because Ubuntu Feisty is using an applet called Network Manager and considering that it does not work with any Ralink based chipsets, you might as well kick it to the curb. You can safely uninstall it without any hassles.
Goto System, Administration and select Synaptic. You can use this tool to remove network-manager. If you are unfamiliar with Synaptic, use this tute for assistance.
After removing Network-Manager, you should use Synaptic again to install a program called wifi-radar. Once this is installed, now you will want to download this zip file.
Extract the file and then browse into the folder itself. Remember what the name of your interface was from the previously executed iwconfig? If not, run it again as described above and double click on the wifi-radar-ra0.conf, choose “Display”. Make sure the interface is set to Ra0 or Ra1, depending on the output of your iwconfig. Now do the same with the file named ra0-auto.sh. Remember, choose display, not run.
Connecting to your network.
Now before we even get started with making the actual connection, you should understand that without help from a Windows driver, WPA is not going to happen. Other chipsets, sure. But I have never had success with WPA and the RT2500 chipset in Linux myself. With this in mind, let’s come to grips with WEP for the time being.
Browse to your folder containing the ra0-auto.sh file. Right click on it and then go to properties, then permissions. Make sure this can be executed. From here, with the card inserted into the PCMCIA slot, double click on the ra0-auto.sh, enter your Ubuntu “sudo” password and let it run. You will eventually see the wifi-radar interface come up. You will also see a dialog come up and then need to click on the “new” button. Assuming you highlighted the correct network name, you should be able to leave the dialog options at their default settings as we are skipping WEP for the moment. Save everything and you should be connecting. The open command line (terminal window), will provide you with a behind the scenes.
Tried, but still no love.
So you tried this and it’s still not connecting? No worries, I will be back tomorrow to walk you through all the common “oops factors” that may have come up. Well that and whether or not this can be set to start up at each boot and how this works differently between Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Part 2, tomorrow.