Rt2x00 beta driver
This page describes how you can make the new rt2x00 drivers work. This page does not describe the legacy rt2500, rt2400, rt2570, rt61 and rt73 drivers derived from the original Ralink drivers. The rt2x00 driver has a few advantages over the legacy drivers: It works with all the standard tools, it is in active development as part of the kernel, and it is SMP-safe.
A lot has changed since these drivers were out-of-tree, so it's worth trying the modules (now in the main kernel package) even if the drivers have not worked for you in the past.
For help with these drivers see the rt2x00 Driver Support section of the rt2x00 forums.
Installing the driver
The rt2x00 drivers are now part of the mainline kernel. One need only load the relevant module:
The last two require a firmware file, provided by the Linux firmwares package:
pacman -S linux-firmware
Using the driver
Setting the interface up
If you have module autoloading enabled, the drivers should be loaded automatically when you boot your machine or insert the device. If this doesn't work or autoloading is disabled, load the modules manually:
modprobe 80211 modprobe rc80211_simple modprobe $driver
where $driver is one of the following: rt2500pci, rt2400pci, rt2500usb or rt61pci.
When the driver is loaded, you will have two interfaces, wmaster0 and wlan0.
Using the driver
In the case of these drivers, the order in which you configure them is important. This is the preferred, and most likely to work order of configuring the device.
ifconfig wlan0 up iwlist wlan0 scan iwconfig wlan0 essid myessid iwconfig wlan0 ap mybssid
To obtain an ip address after setup use ifconfig or dhcpcd and wep or wpa if needed.
Extra utils for wep/wpa
rt2x00 should work fine with the wpa_supplicant wext driver. It is not necessary to patch it any more.
For example, to use wpa_supplicant, try
/usr/sbin/wpa_supplicant -wB -Dwext -iwlan0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
Note that wpa_supplicant didn't work with hidden essid in my tests.
// TODO: someone please confirm that wpa_supplicant also successfully associates to open or wep-encrypted networks, I only tried WPA-PSK and read success reports about WPA-EAP
WEP works with the wireless extensions used by iwconfig. See Wireless Setup#Wireless Quickstart.
Configuring the driver for automatic startup on booting
The following is known to work for the cvs snapshot available here with the date 23-Dec-2006.
To set the driver up for automatically connecting while the computer is booting, type the following in /etc/rc.conf
wlan0="wlan0 192.168.1.102 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.1.255" INTERFACES=(lo !eth0 wlan0)
And the following in /etc/rc.local
iwconfig wlan0 channel 10 iwconfig wlan0 essid linksys iwconfig wlan0 ap 00:0c:41:a8:87:8e <-- Put your access point's bssid here