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This howto shows how to install the US Robotics USB Wireless Adapter Model 5423 on Gentoo Linux, which has a Zydas ZD1211B chipset.

More Precisely
Model NumberUSR805423
Product Number64-805423-00R

The previous table is important because a number of Wireless Adapter maker change the chip inside the card without changing the product name or number. The interest of this card is that it features a Zydas ZD1211B chip, which has in-kernel support starting kernel 2.6.18, hence, the card works on x86, amd64, and ppc. However, the card will not work out of the box.

Determine the USB product ID and vendor ID

You have to lsusb | grep Robotics. The card should show up as 0baf:0121.

Edit the kernel sources

As of this writing, the USB IDs of the card are missing in the kernel sources. Thus, the zd1211rw module is unable to determine if it should manage the card or not. Therefore we have to add the USB IDs to the kernel source.

Add the following inside the block

File: /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/wireless/zd1211rw/zd_usb.c
static struct usb_device_id usb_ids[] = {
{ USB_DEVICE(0x0baf, 0x0121), .driver_info = DEVICE_ZD1211B },

Compile the kernel

Then, in the make (menu|x|gtk)config

Linux Kernel Configuration: Proper Kernel Configuration

Networking --->

 <*> Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack
   <*>Software MAC add-on to the IEEE 802.11 networking stack

Device Drivers --->

 Network device support ---> 
   Wireless (Non HamRadio) --->
     [*] Wireless LAN drivers (non-hamradio) & Wireless Extensions
     <*> ZD1211/ZD1211B USB-Wireless Support

Tip: For more info on how to compile a kernel manually go to Kernel

Get the firmware

You can get the firmware by doing:

emerge zd1211-firmware

One more precision : This USB wireless adapter works fine with Open, WEP and WPA, and works at 54Mb.

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Last modified: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 20:28:00 +0000 Hits: 7,407