Linksys WMP54G v4.1 on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy (step-by-step)

Live forum:


31-08-2008 00:23:35

I read the "IMPORTANT READ BEFORE POSTING!!!" article and I totally
understand that the developers and forum admins support drivers and
not distributions.

I don't see any harm in my posting about how I was able to get my
Linksys card working under Ubuntu though and I think it could help
some people out if they have the same symptoms.

I'm sure this info will be redundant to experts but I think it can
help out regular users because it consolidates info I had to gather
from multiple sources over several days.


I was setting up a computer with a new Linksys WMP54G wireless card
and I found that it did not work out of the box under Ubuntu 8.04. My
symptoms were complete lockups of the system accompanied by blinking
keyboard lights which I later found out signifies a kernel panic.

Searching on the web I found this bug report which matched my symptoms
https// ... bug/200142

That referred me to this thread that implied that a fix could be found
in the 2.6.25 kernel series.
http// ... eral/12948

I updated my system to the latest version of all the packages
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Afterwards I still only had a 2.6.24 kernel
$ dpkg -l | grep -i linux-image
ii linux-image-2.6.24 2.6.24-19.41 ...

I tried to download and compile my own kernel but I ran into other
issues and my box didn't seem to boot properly.

I found a recommendation to stick with the kernels provided by the
distribution as they have the configuration settings expected/needed
by the distribution and the standard applications.

I looked up the latest stable version of the kernel at and
found it to be 2.6.26, so I then searched the Ubuntu packages site for
a 2.6.26 kernel
http// ... age-2.6.26

The only results were for Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid but I decided to try it
so I downloaded and installed the generic version
$ wget http// ... 7_i386.deb
$ dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.26-5-generic_2.6.26-5.17_i386.deb

After rebooting I tried my wireless as follows and it still didn't work.
$ sudo ifup wlan0

Looking at the console output I saw the following
phy0 -> rt2x00lib_request_firmware Error - Failed to request Firmware.
firmware requesting rt2561s.bin
error loading '/lib/firmware/rt2561s.bin' for device '/class/firmware/00000108.0' with driver 'rt61pci'

Searching the forums at produced this posting
which described my symptoms but otherwise didn't help because it just
said to search the forums rather than linking to a solution

I tried searching the forums but the search function doesn't seem to
work very well for me because I wasn't able to find much for the
obvious search of "Failed to request Firmware". Instead I searched via
google and found this thread which gave me the missing info

The key is that the newer drivers require you to download the firmware
separately. The main download page is
http// ... Linux.html

I downloaded and installed the specific firmware that I needed as follows
$ wget http// ...
$ unzip
$ sudo cp RT61_Firmware_V1.2/rt2561s.bin /lib/firmware

After that I was able to bring up my wireless w/o issue. I rebooted
and the wireless came up w/o any intervention needed and I haven't had
any kernel panics since (about 2 hours so far).

My specific wireless card information is as follows
$ sudo lspci -v
0108.0 Network controller RaLink RT2561/RT61 802.11g PCI
Subsystem Linksys WMP54G ver 4.1
Flags bus master, slow devsel, latency 64, IRQ 11
Memory at ff8f0000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable)
Capabilities [40] Power Management version 2


01-09-2008 23:31:46

Same exact problem; solution worked for me using Debian lenny on the 2.6.26-1 kernel (7/1/08).

I guess I didn't get the memo about firmware being packaged separately either.

<grumble grumble...>

After manually copying the firmware, I stumbled upon a package in synaptic called "ralink-firmware" or something similar, with all of the binaries neatly packed up for the rt61 and others.


14-09-2008 10:00:39

Perhaps this issue should be filed at Surely the ralink driver packages should at least suggest the firmware packages?


15-09-2008 18:54:44

You can try, but maybe the package isn't "suggested" as it may come from another repository, for legal reasons. I know we, at rt2x00, have a deal with Ralink, we can't ship the firmwares ourselves.


15-09-2008 21:20:48

I know we, at rt2x00, have a deal with Ralink, we can't ship the firmwares ourselves.[/quote3eyd4jph]

Actually that is not true, it is perfectly legal for us to ship the firmware.

It was previously not legal for us to do so, since Ralink didn't provide any licensing with their firmware,
but half a year ago we requested a license from them and they added a very nice license to the firmware.

Basically it says
- Don't reverse engineer the firmware
- Feel free to redistribute the package

In fact Fedora has already updated their package management systems and include the firmware,
for Gentoo this has also happened or the package is still pending.


15-09-2008 21:22:00

P.S. This license probably isn't acceptable by Debian since it still means it is closed source firmware, which they don't like.


16-09-2008 18:02:27

Ok, thanks for the update ).


18-09-2008 18:03:25

They don't like it, but they do have a "non-free" repository which is an official part of the distribution, AIUI, intended for exactly this sort of thing.


18-09-2008 21:21:20

If it's there, that's why the package is not listed as "suggested" by the driver package, as I don't think that kind of cross repository reference to non-free is possible, or accepted by debian policies.


19-09-2008 14:26:22

Right. That would make sense. I guess the closest thing would be to mention it in the package description, then.


19-09-2008 16:47:06

Sure, or simply move the whole thing in a single package in non-free, it's less than ideal but the driver is completely useless without the firmware.