RT73 Wireless

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Revision as of 02:18, 18 February 2013 by Fengchao (talk | contribs) (Installing the driver: Download link is dead. Not needed since kernel 2.6.25.)
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This page describes how you can make the original Ralink RT73 (aka RT2571) drivers work. This page does not describe how to make the new from-scratch drivers written by the rt2x00 project. (For rt2x00, visit rt2x00 wiki page)

Several USB WiFi dongles use this chipset, including the Linksys WUSB54GC and the Belkin Wireless G USB key (F5D7050 v3000)


RT73 has support built into the kernel since 2.6.25, the steps below may no longer be necessary.

However, some RT73 devices (eg: Linksys WUSB54GC) need to load the firmware, or they won't really work (you can find the firmware requests by dmesg command, eg: dmesg |grep rt73). So you have to install the linux-firmware package, using:

   pacman -S linux-firmware

Testing The Driver

We will now test the functionality of the driver we just installed before altering the rc.conf file. This method may also be used when the WiFi dongle is used infrequently or you prefer retaining control over the entire connection process.

There are two ways to manually configure the dongle, iwconfig and iwpriv. Note that iwpriv must be used to set the SSID when compiling against kernel 2.6.19 and above.

Note: These steps may also be thrown in a script if you prefer.

Plug your WiFi dongle into a USB port.

Make sure the device is recognized using:


You can check to make sure your system realizes it's a wireless device using:


There should be a device named rausb0 near the bottom.

Bring the WiFi dongle up using:

ifconfig rausb0 up

The rausb0 device should show up now in:


Although without an IP address since we aren't associated with an Access Point(AP) yet.

You can associate the WiFi dongle with an AP using:

iwconfig rausb0 essid <your_ESSID>

Or, if you have WEP:

iwconfig rausb0 essid <your_ESSID> key <your_WEP_key>

If you are using kernel 2.6.19 and above, the previous command will set the WEP key but not the ESSID. You must set the ESSID before the WiFi dongle will associate with an Access Point. You have to use iwpriv to set the ESSID now:

iwpriv rausb0 set SSID="<your_ESSID>"

Remember you can scan for APs using:

iwlist rausb0 scan

Finally, let the dhcpcd client get an IP address for your WiFi dongle.

dhcpcd rausb0

If everything worked you should now have network access using your WiFi dongle. If you don't, check the routes:


There should be a path to your gateway listed. If there is not, you can set one up using:

route add default gw <gateway-ip> rausb0

Non-Roaming Setup

This section is being provided as an alternative to the Setup and Boot section of the Wireless page specifically for this hardware (RT73). This method has not been tested with other devices. Additionally, it should work whether you have kernel 2.6.18 or 2.6.19 and above if the driver was built successfully.

Edit the rt73sta.dat file:

nano /etc/Wireless/RT73STA/rt73sta.dat

Replace placeholders in the file with your wireless network settings, using the README in the tarball as a guide, or using the Ralink RaConfig utility (TODO: describe RaConfig setup).

Edit /etc/rc.conf to initiate dhcp on rausb0 at bootup:

# /etc/rc.conf
INTERFACES=(lo rausb0)

This is all you have to put in /etc/rc.conf. The rest of the settings will automatically be read from rt73sta.dat on bootup.

// As of recently the reading of rt73sta.dat appears to have been removed from the driver in favour of using iwconfig and iwpriv.