Ralink RT61, Edgy and Nvidia … again

Okay, I’m not going to call this the final version yet, but I think I have it nailed down. Yeah, I know: That’s what I said about my last two RT61 posts. This is starting cold, from a clean server installation of 6.10 off the Xubuntu alternate CD. Bear with me; here we go:

  1. Install build-essential, unzip, linux-386 and linux-headers-386. linux-386 is what we’re really after here, since we have to jump to the kernel that has integrated Nvidia support. linux-generic is the default, and so when we get the proprietary drivers, it’s going to switch to that anyway.
  2. Reboot to get the 386 kernel.
  3. Now copy the Ralink RT61 drivers and firmware packages to your machine. See the original howto by judgekaster for links. Put them on USB or something (even a floppy; they’re small) and move them across.
  4. Now make the target directory with sudo mkdir -p /etc/Wireless/RT61STA. The -p option creates the parent directories, which is something judgekaster’s howto doesn’t mention. So if you were getting errors at that step, that’s why.
  5. Decompress the firmware next, with unzip RT61_Firmware*.zip. Change into the directory it makes.
  6. Copy all the .bin files to that target directory with sudo cp *.bin /etc/Wireless/RT61STA/ … don’t forget the trailing slash.
  7. Now decompress the drivers, with tar -zxvf RT61_Linux_STA_Drv*.tar.gz. I’m using splats so you don’t have to worry about version numbers changing.
  8. Change into the new directory, then into the Module directory.
  9. Make sure you’re using the 2.6* kernel makefile with cp Makefile.6 Makefile. Actually, I think that’s the default, but don’t take the chance. It only takes a second to type it.
  10. sudo make all
  11. Copy that rt61.ko file to its new home with sudo cp rt61.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/ … don’t forget the trailing slash.
  12. Now sudo depmod
  13. sudo modprobe rt61
  14. sudo reboot

Now, with any luck, that ra0 interface should show in iwconfig. I know, I promised it before and didn’t deliver, but this time I’m very sure. From this point you can switch to the repositories and abandon your CD, if you like. Since you’re already on the 386 kernel, you won’t have to redo this entire business when you install nvidia-glx. Again, I’m not using the rt61sta.dat file, since I only use WEP-64 encryption, and that’s easy to configure in my startup script. Okay, I’m going to test it once more, just to be sure. But this time I’m very confident.

Edit: I reversed the order slightly (to what you see here — drivers then firmware), and it worked clean on the first try for me. I don’t know why it was necessary, but having the firmware in its awful /etc/Wireless/RT61STA/ directory before running depmod or modprobe might have something to do with it. Either way, it’s been tested and worked. Yay!


2 thoughts on “Ralink RT61, Edgy and Nvidia … again

  1. Vorondil

    Thanks so much for this! I was messing around with the module that came on the Ubuntu 6.10 Alt CD with no luck. But grabbing the stuff from the ralink site and doing the above worked like a charm!

    Thanks again,

  2. Pingback: Like I need a hole in my head « Motho ke motho ka botho

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