Sackville-West Clan Wiki/ tech/ Linksys WUSB11 2.8

Configuring the Linksys WUSB 11 v 2.8 wireless adapter

This is the beginning of what may be a longer term project to get wireless working in my house. I'm not a fan of wireless -- I think it's generally kludgy, unreliable and slow. This has been reinforced by my experiences on the road (see our trip) with my new laptop.

But, I have this laptop and a desire to be moderately more accessible to the family while working. So I've decided to try and get wireless rolling and rather than crack the case to put in one of the Belkin cards I've got lying around, I'm going to try to get this USB adapter working.


Part 1

Most of the available info on the web is from a couple years ago, which I usually find encouraging. If there's no noise about it, then maybe it just works now? Nope.

I'm using at76c503a-source which originally comes from

I've aptitude install'ed the package and it drug in atmel-firmware as well.

This package is designed for use with module-assistant. Building it should be easy:

m-a a-i at76c503a

but it fails with

make[3]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.22-2-k7' 
  CC [M]  /usr/src/modules/at76c503a/at76_usb.o
/usr/src/modules/at76c503a/at76_usb.c: In function ‘at76_ieee80211_to_eth’:
/usr/src/modules/at76c503a/at76_usb.c:3379: error: ‘struct sk_buff’ has no member named ‘mac’
/usr/src/modules/at76c503a/at76_usb.c: In function ‘at76_ieee80211_fixup’:
/usr/src/modules/at76c503a/at76_usb.c:3430: error: ‘struct sk_buff’ has no member named ‘mac’
/usr/src/modules/at76c503a/at76_usb.c: In function ‘at76_rx_monitor_mode’:
/usr/src/modules/at76c503a/at76_usb.c:3856: error: ‘struct sk_buff’ has no member named ‘mac’

that's a problem. But I only have the linux headers installed and not the full source. I'm going to pull that down and try again, or maybe grep for those structures and see if I can figure it out. meanwhile, I'll email the maintainer and see what I can find...

Part 2

So, not to be deterred, I downloaded the upstream tarball from berlios. Lo and behold, it compiled and works just fine... go figure. So I filed a bug_report against the source package at debian. The maintainer was quick to respond that the package needed upgrading to the newest version quite badly. A little back and forth and he is working on getting updated after I confirmed that it builds just fine against the debian kernels.

Long story short, the upstream sources work fine for this adapter, and a fix will be in debian soon.

Part 3

So this adapter works just fine, but has some shortcomings. The firmware required to operate it is very restrictive and won't let you do lots of nice things (like wpa!). So I think this adapter will get relegated to the trash heap at some point. Or maybe get added to a kid computer at some point. It has decent power and works well throughout the house, but its limited to 11Mbps (802.11b I think) and doesn't deal well with some of the settings on the laptop.