USB network adapter installation

A neighbor wants to install openSUSE on an older HP desktop. The 12.3 and
13.1 rc2 live DVDs boot but there is a hardware issue with network access.
She uses CenturyLink (was Qwest) DSL with their Actiontec modem/router The
network connection is via a USB stick that came with the router. lsusb shows
it as:

CODE

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 1668:1200 Actiontec Electronics, Inc. [hex] 802AIN
Wireless N Network Adapter [Atheros AR9170+AR9101]

I was able to connect to that router vis the usb from a Win 8 session on my
home box (her house is close enough that I get a good signal from my office)
so it’s safe to assume that all the hardware is functional.

Looking up the AR9170 shows that kernel support for this device was
deprecates somewhere back around 2.6 but my 12.3 system does have the
ar9170-1.fw and ar9170-2.fw in lib/firmware. This may well be a holdover
from years of updates going back to oS 10.1 or so but the firmware files are
at least present.

What do I need - besides the firmware - to make this usable? I assume that
I’ll need to build the driver and install it via modprobe but I’d like to
get the process down here before I do it with her hovering over my shoulder.
Given the imminent release of 13.1 that sounds like the best bet to shoot
at.


Will Honea

Please hold off until I move to Wireless forum.

Thank You,

On 11/07/2013 02:06 PM, Will Honea wrote:
> A neighbor wants to install openSUSE on an older HP desktop. The 12.3 and
> 13.1 rc2 live DVDs boot but there is a hardware issue with network access.
> She uses CenturyLink (was Qwest) DSL with their Actiontec modem/router The
> network connection is via a USB stick that came with the router. lsusb shows
> it as:
>
> CODE
> -------
> Bus 001 Device 004: ID 1668:1200 Actiontec Electronics, Inc. [hex] 802AIN
> Wireless N Network Adapter [Atheros AR9170+AR9101]
> ----
>
> I was able to connect to that router vis the usb from a Win 8 session on my
> home box (her house is close enough that I get a good signal from my office)
> so it’s safe to assume that all the hardware is functional.
>
> Looking up the AR9170 shows that kernel support for this device was
> deprecates somewhere back around 2.6 but my 12.3 system does have the
> ar9170-1.fw and ar9170-2.fw in lib/firmware. This may well be a holdover
> from years of updates going back to oS 10.1 or so but the firmware files are
> at least present.
>
> What do I need - besides the firmware - to make this usable? I assume that
> I’ll need to build the driver and install it via modprobe but I’d like to
> get the process down here before I do it with her hovering over my shoulder.
> Given the imminent release of 13.1 that sounds like the best bet to shoot
> at.

The new driver for that device is named carl9170. It is built into the openSUSE
3.11 kernels in 13.1. I do not have any older kernels to check if it is in
openSUSE 12.3, but I would expect it to be there. The firmware you need is named
carl9170-1.fw. I do not have the device, but the firmware is on my system. I
think that means that it is in the kernel-firmware package.

I suggest you read through these links and add any more info you can.

https://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/wireless/410319-getting-your-wireless-work.html

https://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/wireless/391535-my-wireless-doesnt-work-primer-what-i-should-do-next.html

Thank You,

jdmcdaniel3 wrote:

>
> I suggest you read through these links and add any more info you can.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/ctzx2am
>
> http://tinyurl.com/d2zywcf
>
> Thank You,

Thanks, James - wasn’t sure which was best group to post to. Anyway, Larry
provided an answer in the original group so now the fun begins. For ease of
reference I’ll summarize the config info:

CODE

lspci
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 1668:1200 Actiontec Electronics, Inc. [hex] 802AIN
Wireless N Network Adapter [Atheros AR9170+AR9101]

modprobe -l carl
kernel/drivers/net/wireless/ath/carl9170/carl9170.ko

openSUSE 12.3 and 13.1rc2

KDE desktop


As it happens the carl9170 driver, which Larry identifies as the one needed,
is shown by modprobe as being in the 12.3 3.7.10-1.16-desktop kernel which
means it should be picked up. No such luck. Using the kinfocenter, the
system sees the device as a usb mass storage device rather than a network
interface. Rebooting to force a clean hardware scan doesn’t chamge the
situation. From James’ references, dmesg | grep firmware produces no output
with 12.3 while under 13.1 it does show the info on the firmware load for
the other wifi card which is a PCIe minicard. It may be an anomaly between
12.3 and 13.1 but the PCIe device does work.

Neither oS version recognizes the usb device as a modem - an obvious result
if the firmware binary code isn’t loading. The only references I see to the
usb device is as a generic mass media device for the Actiontec manf. with
the assigned device id.

Where do I go to from here to get this thing at least recognized as a
network device??


Will Honea

On 11/07/2013 09:53 PM, Will Honea wrote:
> jdmcdaniel3 wrote:
>
>>
>> I suggest you read through these links and add any more info you can.
>>
>> http://tinyurl.com/ctzx2am
>>
>> http://tinyurl.com/d2zywcf
>>
>> Thank You,
>
> Thanks, James - wasn’t sure which was best group to post to. Anyway, Larry
> provided an answer in the original group so now the fun begins. For ease of
> reference I’ll summarize the config info:
>
> CODE
> -------
> lspci
> Bus 001 Device 005: ID 1668:1200 Actiontec Electronics, Inc. [hex] 802AIN
> Wireless N Network Adapter [Atheros AR9170+AR9101]
>
> modprobe -l carl
> kernel/drivers/net/wireless/ath/carl9170/carl9170.ko
>
> openSUSE 12.3 and 13.1rc2
>
> KDE desktop
>
> ----------
>
>
> As it happens the carl9170 driver, which Larry identifies as the one needed,
> is shown by modprobe as being in the 12.3 3.7.10-1.16-desktop kernel which
> means it should be picked up. No such luck. Using the kinfocenter, the
> system sees the device as a usb mass storage device rather than a network
> interface. Rebooting to force a clean hardware scan doesn’t chamge the
> situation. From James’ references, dmesg | grep firmware produces no output
> with 12.3 while under 13.1 it does show the info on the firmware load for
> the other wifi card which is a PCIe minicard. It may be an anomaly between
> 12.3 and 13.1 but the PCIe device does work.
>
> Neither oS version recognizes the usb device as a modem - an obvious result
> if the firmware binary code isn’t loading. The only references I see to the
> usb device is as a generic mass media device for the Actiontec manf. with
> the assigned device id.
>
> Where do I go to from here to get this thing at least recognized as a
> network device??

This device is one of those that originally presents itself as a USB storage
medium so that the Windows drivers are shipped with it. After they are
installed, then it is mode switched to become a network device. I have no idea
what it will take to switch it, but the keyword is modeswitch. You should also
make certain that the usb_modeswitch and usb_modeswitch-data packages are installed.

Larry Finger wrote:

> This device is one of those that originally presents itself as a USB
> storage medium so that the Windows drivers are shipped with it. After they
> are installed, then it is mode switched to become a network device. I have
> no idea what it will take to switch it, but the keyword is modeswitch. You
> should also make certain that the usb_modeswitch and usb_modeswitch-data
> packages are installed.
>

That’s what I need. Next problem is that this device does not show up in any
of the usb_modeswitch data files, which accounts for why it is not being
setup. Searched on the manufacturer’s name(s) and the ID # returned by
lsusb with no luck.

Any idea how to get the necessary info for adding this device to the list?
CenturyLink/Qwest supplied it but have been notably unhelpful.


Will Honea

On 11/08/2013 03:05 PM, Will Honea wrote:

> That’s what I need. Next problem is that this device does not show up in any
> of the usb_modeswitch data files, which accounts for why it is not being
> setup. Searched on the manufacturer’s name(s) and the ID # returned by
> lsusb with no luck.
>
> Any idea how to get the necessary info for adding this device to the list?
> CenturyLink/Qwest supplied it but have been notably unhelpful.

If you have access to a Windows real or virtual machine, you could set up the
code that dumps USB traffic. It would be a pain, but you could extract the code
that causes Windows to switch it.

Larry Finger wrote:

> If you have access to a Windows real or virtual machine, you could set up
> the code that dumps USB traffic. It would be a pain, but you could extract
> the code that causes Windows to switch it.
>

Sounds like a real project that would require running the monitor code early
in the boot cycle. I might be able to get the monitor set up and running
then plug in the dongle. The only other way would to hack into the Win
driver code.

I’m thinking it would be MUCH easier to have her just buy a new wireless
card that is supported!


Will Honea

On 11/08/2013 03:20 PM, Will Honea wrote:

> Sounds like a real project that would require running the monitor code early
> in the boot cycle. I might be able to get the monitor set up and running
> then plug in the dongle. The only other way would to hack into the Win
> driver code.
>
> I’m thinking it would be MUCH easier to have her just buy a new wireless
> card that is supported!

A good unit would be
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB2-0-High-Power-500mw-RTL8187L-G-54Mbps-802-11b-g-Wireless-WiFi-Adapter-card-/230666694462?pt=US_USB_Wi_Fi_Adapters_Dongles&hash=item35b4ce6f3e
for $12.95 with free shipping. That one needs no external firmware. It is
802.11g, not 802.11n, but that might not make much difference to her.

Larry this is such a good suggestion, you should consider adding it to one of your stickies. While not every one can afford to buy a new adaper, finding one that works with Linux is easy and ofter very cheep and way less trouble in the long run. I would be happy to help and add it to any post in the wireless forum you have. Anyway, give it some thought.

Thank You,

Hi Will. I note that the ‘lsusb’ output you reported showed the device was already in wireless mode (1668:1200). Did you try loading the driver manually?

modprobe carl9170

then observe kernel message to make sure firmware is found and loaded.

If this works, then consider adding to modules loaded at boot.

Here’s a good Debian Wiki reference concerning this hardware

https://wiki.debian.org/ar9170usb

jdmcdaniel3 wrote:

>
> lwfinger;2596585 Wrote:
>> On 11/08/2013 03:20 PM, Will Honea wrote:
>>
>> > Sounds like a real project that would require running the monitor code
>> early
>> > in the boot cycle. I might be able to get the monitor set up and
>> running
>> > then plug in the dongle. The only other way would to hack into the
>> Win
>> > driver code.
>> >
>> > I’m thinking it would be MUCH easier to have her just buy a new
>> wireless
>> > card that is supported!
>>
>> A good unit would be
>> ‘USB2 0 High Power 500mW RTL8187L G 54Mbps 802 11b G Wireless WiFi
>> Adapter Card | eBay’ (http://tinyurl.com/lpfdx8z)
>> for $12.95 with free shipping. That one needs no external firmware. It
>> is
>> 802.11g, not 802.11n, but that might not make much difference to her.
>
> Larry this is such a good suggestion, you should consider adding it to
> one of your stickies. While not every one can afford to buy a new
> adaper, finding one that works with Linux is easy and ofter very cheep
> and way less trouble in the long run. I would be happy to help and add
> it to any post in the wireless forum you have. Anyway, give it some
> thought.

Just ordered one - it’s worth the cost+shipping just to avoid the hassle.
Thanks for the link. I can see quite a few of these as a bunch of folks over
at the church have laptops that have blown the internal units in their
laptops so this will simplify life in several ways. I’ve already moved a
bunch of XP lappies to openSUSE for the same reason.


Will Honea