[XSCE] Using a wifi dongle on an XO-1

Anna aschoolf at gmail.com
Sun Feb 9 21:31:18 EST 2014

I've got another dongle - this one has the Ralink chipset.  Searched my
email, seems I got it from Overstock.com back in 2010 with a gift card.  A
bit pricey at $25, though.
Don't go off and buy that thing, I'm not endorsing it, it's just what I
happen to have on hand.

Just like the Atheros dongle, to get it to work on the XO-1 was just a
matter of finding and downloading the firmware for it, then putting the
firmware into /lib/firmware.

I'm on yet another XO-1 with a dead internal wifi chip, all that shows up
natively is loopback.

Here's the lsusb output for the dongle:
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 148f:3070 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT2870/RT3070
Wireless Adapter

Google quickly pointed me here:

I cloned the firmware repo:
git clone git://

Poked around in the linux-firmware dir and found rt2870.bin and
rt3070.bin.  Cp'd those two files to /lib/firmware on the XO-1, inserted
the dongle, then checked out Network Neighborhood.  Yep, saw AP circles.

Powered up the other XO-1 with "broken" wifi I was playing with last night,
the one with the Atheros dongle.  Yep, the buddy icons show up in Network
Neighborhood (since both devices are on the same LAN).  Tested the chat
activity just to be completely sure Sugar collaboration over the LAN works
with dongles.

I've previously used this Ralink dongle on my Mint desktop with dnsmasq and
hostapd to create an AP.  It also supports Monitor mode, just like the
Atheros dongle.

-bash-4.2# iw list
Wiphy phy0
    Supported interface modes:
         * IBSS
         * managed
         * AP
         * AP/VLAN
         * WDS
         * monitor
    software interface modes (can always be added):
         * AP/VLAN
         * monitor

I'd like to thank who ever it was who thought it was a good idea to include
support for wifi dongles in the OLPC kernel.

But one of the issues with using wifi dongles on Linux (just Linux in
general, nothing XO specific) is that it can be rather hit or miss when you
try to shop for them.  It's often not obvious which chipset you'll end up
with.  Spending more money doesn't mean it will be compatible.  Will the
chipset be supported?  Will it do what I need it to do?  (Monitor mode, AP
mode, etc.)  I got *really* lucky in that the only two dongles I've ever
purchased just so happened to be supported with all the modes I could want
or need.

Anyway, I'm really thrilled to be able to resurrect a couple of XO-1 units
with dead internal wifi with the external wifi dongles I already had on

Anna Schoolfield

On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM, James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org> wrote:

> Lots of valuable information in this thread, but so sad that devel@ is
> not copied.  Why not?
> An adapter that does monitor mode is indeed critical to my
> understanding of problems.  I've one here.
> --
> James Cameron
> http://quozl.linux.org.au/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/attachments/20140209/20f6023e/attachment.html>

More information about the Devel mailing list