Rt2x00 beta driver
This page describes how you can make the new rt2x00 Beta drivers work. This page does not describe the legacy rt2500, rt2400 and rt2570 drivers derived from the original Ralink drivers.
At the time of this writing, only the rt2560 PCI and PcCard chipsets (rt2500pci driver) are known to work in Open, WEP or WPA (PSK and EAP) mode. So far, there are no success stories with rt2400pci, rt2500usb and rt61pci drivers. If you succeed in using these drivers, please add a comment here.
// Currently the rt2500/2570usb adapter component is still in development. It should work and associate with an AP, then gain an IP from DHCP but the connection works intermittantly. NDiswrapper is recommended until fixed.
// 03/09/2007 - rt2x00-cvs version 20070826-1 works pretty well with my rt61 PCMCIA card. Successfully used with WPA2 through wpa_supplicant, and speed is fine for using 2 Mbit DSL. Networkmanager sometimes causes problems with it though, so perhaps it's best to use the Arch networking scripts for now.
The rt2x00 drivers are supposed to work with SMP kernels, but I did not test this myself. Please add comments here if you were able to use the driver with an SMP kernel.
There are still many issues with this driver. Many people experienced crappy speed. To help solve these issues, everyone who is willing to test the new driver should look at the rt2x00 BETA Testing 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:
pacman -S rt2x00-rt71w-fw
pacman -S rt2x00-rt61-fw
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.
ifconfig wlan0 up iwlist wlan0 scan iwconfig wlan0 essid myessid iwconfig wlan0 ap mybssid
Is the preferred, and most likely to work order of configuring the device. From there you can use ifconfig or dhcpcd to get an IP, 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 should work with the Wireless Extensions used by iwconfig.
// TODO: Some please confirm that this works
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