Setting up a Linksys WUSB54GC WLAN adapter in Ubuntu

My Ubuntu box has always been networked via Ethernet, but lately I’ve been toying with the idea of moving the box and/or the wireless hardware to different rooms. Before doing that, I’d need to get it on the network via wireless.

I happened to have a Linksys WUSB54GC USB wireless adapter so I plugged it in and hoped that Ubuntu would magically discover it and set everything up for me. No such luck. The adapter was detected and I even ended up with new wireless interfaces – wlan0 and wmaster0, which seemed to be using the rt73usb kernel module. I attempted to configure them, but things just weren’t working. For one thing, when I did ifup on them, they attempted to get an address via DHCP, but they could not get one. I also noticed that when I tried to use iwlist to list the available channels, it came back saying that 0 channels were available.

I did a search and came upon this page. This page walks you through downloading the source code for a ralink-rt73 kernel module and building it with module-assistant. The page also provides a link to a .deb package that installs all the udev voodoo to recognize the adapter and load the kernel module. When everything is done and working, you plug in the adapter and an interface called rasusb0 is automatically created. The only problem I had was that I had to unload the rt73usb kernel module and then reinsert the adapter to get the kernel module to load and to get the rausb0 interface to be created. Once, I had the rasusb0 interface, it was pretty easy to set it up to get the wireless working. I entered the SSID and WEP key in the Ubuntu “Networking” panel and then went to the command-line to do a few finishing touches:

$ sudo iwconfig rausb0 channel 2
$ sudo ifdown eth0
$ sudo ifup rausb0
$ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=3.54 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=1.65 ms


Definitely not plug and play but not as hellish as I had imagined.

5 thoughts on “Setting up a Linksys WUSB54GC WLAN adapter in Ubuntu

  1. Sorry …I hate UBUNTU….makes my brains go BUNTU (dead end)

    There are easier ways to DEB the WiFi …cos it’s just PLUG-N-PLAY… cos I just add the add-on for PlugNPlay function.

    Thanks for the visit anyway!

  2. Actually, I got my WUSB54GC working perfectly in Ubuntu, although with a better solution than you propose. The rt2x00 project aims to make drivers for wireless cards/adapters with Ralink chipsets (like the WUSB54GC, which happens to have a Ralink “rt73” chipset).

    Check out for more information, and download a CVS snapshot of the latest rt73 driver. When paired with RutilT, a drop-in replacement for the terrible Network Manager, it works with barely any modification — very plug-and-play, the opposite of your proposed solution in this year-old blog post.

    I hope this is helpful. You may already be using this driver, I don’t know, but I highly recommend it; it saved me a lot of hair-pulling and of course, it’s open-source. Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” even recognises it as a “restricted driver” (even though it’s not “restricted” per se), and will play nicely with it.

  3. Pingback: Set up Linksys WUSB54GC WLAN adapter on Ubuntu | TurboLinux Blog

  4. Can you provide me with Linksys WUSB54G v4.0 drivers for linux? I have a debian-dsitribustion so will that driver work on it? I think it has rt2500usb drivers for my XP machine.
    Thanks in advance !
    >>>THUMBS UP<<<

  5. I plugged in my WUSB54G to my Ubuntu system, and it just worked.


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