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Warning: This page is mostly obsolete, see WifiDocs/Driver/prism2_usb instead.


This howto will setup wireless networking using the Netgear MA111 wireless USB adapter or many other wireless USB adapters which use the WifiDocs/Driver/prism2_usb driver. This card is pretty easy to setup since Ubuntu 5.10, as the driver module is present in the kernel.

The Prism2 chipset was one of the first wireless devices to work in linux. Unfortunately, that means that it never became part of the wireless tools infrastructure that was being developed at the same time and does not work in the same way as all the other wireless cards.

  • IconsPage/note.png There are apparently two versions of the card floating around, this method will work only with the v1 (or no version number) of the Netgear MA111 card. See the vendor product page.

Check driver is loaded

First, plug in your MA111 USB wireless card and see if it is detected and the appropriate modules are loaded. Open up a terminal and execute the following command

$ lsmod | grep prism
prism2_usb    xxxxx           0
ieee80211     xxxxx           1 prism2_usb
usbcore       xxxxx           3 prism2_usb,ohci_hcd

If you see an output similiar to this, your card has been detected and appropriate modules loaded. If not, you probably have a card with a different chipset than prism2_usb.

You can try to manually load the driver by issuing the following command

sudo modprobe prism2_usb

If you do indeed have a prism2_usb device that is not automatically enabled, alias the wlan0 to the prism2_usb device. In Ubuntu 5.10, do this by adding the following to /etc/modprobe.conf. In Ubuntu 6.06, do this by adding the following to /etc/modprobe.d/wlan (only if needed):

alias wlan0 prism2_usb

Install needed package

Since the driver does not support wireless extensions completely, we have to install the following package. You will find this package on the install cd. If you installed from the Ubuntu 6.06 Desktop (live) CD, you will have to add the repository on that CD to your package manager's list. It is as simple as inserting the CD and clicking on the box that appears on your Ubuntu desktop to do this. Alternatively, from the command line, you can run

sudo apt-cdrom add

If you installed your Ubuntu system from the Ubuntu 6.06 Alternate (install) CD, these packages are already part of your repository list, and you do not have to add them to your list again.

sudo apt-get install linux-wlan-ng

Edit interfaces file

Open up the file /etc/network/interfaces in your favorite text editor. Add the following lines to it (replace your_essid and xx:xx:xx:xx:xx with your network name and WEP key):

auto wlan0 # Remove or comment out if you don't want it to start at boot

iface wlan0 inet dhcp # If you want dhcp for wireless. Otherwise replace "dhcp" by "static" and see "man interfaces"
     wireless_mode managed
     wireless_essid your_essid
# Comment out the lines below if you don't have wireless encryption. See /usr/share/doc/linux-wlan-ng/README.Debian
     wireless_enc on
     wlan_ng_key0 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
     wlan_ng_authtype opensystem

See screenshot: shot.png

Ready to go

Unplug/replug your wireless card or reboot your system. After it boots up, check if your wireless works. The network connection should be made automatically every time you insert the device. You may try to enable the connection by hand by issuing the following commands:

sudo ifup wlan0

This should ensure that you are connected to the network.

CategoryHardware CategoryNetworking CategoryWireless

WifiDocs/Device/NetgearMA111 (last edited 2013-12-13 20:56:54 by knome)