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

Anna aschoolf at gmail.com
Sun Feb 9 22:24:10 EST 2014

USB wired ethernet adapters are quite a rather different thing from USB
wifi adapters.  Yes, most wired adapters are supported "out of the box" on
the XO-1.  They definitely have utility with certain setups.

I wanted to explore wifi adapters because, well, they're wireless.
Typically, you don't want XO-1 users to be tethered down to an ethernet
cable, particularly when the users in question are children.

Anna Schoolfield

On Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 9:02 PM, Kevin Gordon Gmail <kgordon420 at gmail.com>wrote:

> I use a startech usb2106s. I didn't have to do anything except pug it in
> and turn on to xo :-), it just worked.
> It also works on my mac, my fedora box, the xo 1.5,  and yes even windows.
> I di have to download the driver for OSX mavericks  and win 8.
> It cost $21.00
> Lsusb on the xo-1 says
> Bus 002 device 004: ID 9710:7830 MosChip Semiconductor MCS7830 10/100 Mbs
> Ether net Adapter.
> It reliably comes up as eth1,
> dmesg says
> "MOSCHIP USB-ethernet driver 2-2.1.0 eth1:register".      ETC.....
> Sent from my currently functioning gadget
>   *From: *Anna
> *Sent: *Sunday, February 9, 2014 21:31
> *To: *xsce-devel; OLPC Devel
> *Cc: *Community Support Volunteers -- who help respond to help AT
> laptop.org
> *Subject: *Re: [XSCE] Using a wifi dongle on an XO-1
> 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.
> http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Premiertek-PowerLink-PL-H5DN-3070-IEEE-802.11n-draft-Wi-Fi-Adapte/5146933/product.html
> 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:
> http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/rt2800usb
> I cloned the firmware repo:
> git clone git://
> git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.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
> hand.
> Anna Schoolfield
> Birmingham
> 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/
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