Need help configuring wireless NIC

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If you managed to managed to find a driver for my USB wireless dongle, and it is now correctly recognized by the kernel. However, you don’t know how to configure it.

Ask yourself some things:  How did you install the driver that you found?. What is the output of “/sbin/ifconfig -a” does it list the wifi device i.e. wlan0 ?

Do “ethtool –driver ” to find the driver associated with your wifi network interface.

In my case I get the following output:

# ethtool --driver wlan0
driver: ath9k
version: 3.2.0-1-amd64
firmware-version: N/A
bus-info: 0000:02:00.0
supports-statistics: no
supports-test: no
supports-eeprom-access: no
supports-register-dump: no

Usuall the NetworkManager detects all the active network interfaces and presents the devices. In your case, I suspect the wifi device is not being initialized.


4 thoughts on - Need help configuring wireless NIC

  • Basically, I did this (following the advice of Ned Slider, from another

    # yum –enablerepo=elrepo-testing kmod-compat-wireless
    # modprobe usb8xxx

    Namely, on the there is a list of
    drivers corresponding to various devices. My device is

    # lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 006: ID 1286:1fab Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. 88W8338
    [Libertas] 802.11g

    so I did a search on the site for “1286” and found two relevant modules,
    usb8xxx and libertas. Modprobe-ing usb8xxx loads the following:

    # lsmod
    Module Size Used by
    usb8xxx 13926 0
    libertas 105931 1 usb8xxx
    libertas_tf 12514 0
    mac80211 234108 1 libertas_tf
    cfg80211 164625 2 libertas,mac80211
    rfkill 15242 1 cfg80211
    compat 16607 2 mac80211,cfg80211
    lib80211 4194 1 libertas

    When I plug in the device, /var/log/messages says:

    Mar 27 08:10:30 CicaMaca kernel: usb 1-2: new high speed USB device using
    ehci_hcd and address 7
    Mar 27 08:10:31 CicaMaca kernel: usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=1286,
    Mar 27 08:10:31 CicaMaca kernel: usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1,
    Product=2, SerialNumber=0
    Mar 27 08:10:31 CicaMaca kernel: usb 1-2: Product: 54M USB Wireless NIC
    Mar 27 08:10:31 CicaMaca kernel: usb 1-2: Manufacturer: Tenda..
    Mar 27 08:10:31 CicaMaca kernel: usb 1-2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice

    which is basically the same information as found in dmesg. The device is
    correctly recognized, as far as it goes.

    No, ifconfig lists only my two wired ethernet devices (eth0, eth1), and the
    openvpn virtual ethernet device (tap0). No mention of anything wireless.

    What should be? There isn’t one associated to the wireless NIC, or I
    am unable to find it. I tried the following methods:

    # ifconfig -a
    # lshw -C network
    # rfkill list
    # iwconfig

    None of these report anything except my three wired devices (if at all).

    I vaguely understand that all these utilities are querrying the kernel for the
    info about hardware, but the kernel does not seem to be exposing it (or
    requires some non-automatic initialization). I tried looking at various places
    under /proc (to see if I can read something manually), but I found nothing,
    and TBH I don’t quite know where to look.

    The NetworkManager does indeed give “some” indication that there is a wireless
    device, but it doesn’t tell much. When I do a “service NetworkManager
    restart”, this is the only relevant thing I recognized about wireless from

    Mar 27 08:24:24 CicaMaca NetworkManager[30454]: WiFi enabled by radio
    killswitch; enabled by state file
    Mar 27 08:24:24 CicaMaca NetworkManager[30454]:
    WWAN enabled by radio
    killswitch; enabled by state file
    Mar 27 08:24:24 CicaMaca NetworkManager[30454]:
    WiMAX enabled by radio
    killswitch; enabled by state file
    Mar 27 08:24:24 CicaMaca NetworkManager[30454]:
    Networking is enabled
    by state file

    Everything else is about eth0, eth1 and tap0 devices. I can provide full logs
    if you think I missed something.

    I am almost out of patience with this, and I’m already considering buying
    another wireless card, or rather a wireless router which can act as a client
    to another wireless router, so that I can connect the computer via wired
    ethernet. I’d prefer not to waste any money on this, especially if it is just
    a software configuration issue, but I also need the damn thing to start working
    sooner than later.

    Btw, the device is working properly under Windows, and it used to work
    properly under Linux with ndiswrapper. But current ndiswrapper fails to work
    (or even fails to compile) on current CentOS, so my only option is to try a
    native Linux driver from kmod-compat-wireless.

    If there is any way to make this work without throwing money at the problem,
    I’d appreciate to know. Also, if there isn’t a way to make it work (in the
    next couple of days), I’d appreciate to know that as well. In that case, can
    you recommend any wireless device for a desktop machine which would work
    painlessly under CentOS? There might be a small chance I can buy it somewhere.

    Thanks for helping out! :-)

    Best, :-)

  • Hi Marko
    if your WLAN interface does not show up in ifconfig or in “ls -l
    /sys/class/net/ ” then
    when you plug in your WLAN interface

    if you say you cannot bring to work ndiswrapper because its compilation
    fails, then you are in bad luck.

    I once had a similar problem with a D-Link card (featuring the adx
    TI-chip). What I did: I waited until a new version of ndiswrapper was
    available, compiled this one, and off I went.


  • That ndiswrapper issue should hopefully be fixed now with the
    kmod-ndiswrapper-1.57-1.el6 release. It at least gives you that option
    should the native driver prove fruitless.

  • Indeed, the new ndiswrapper works perfectly! :-) The compat-wireless looks
    promising, but it still seems rough around the edges, and I needed a working
    solution asap, so… ;-)

    Thanks for help!

    Best, :-)