Monday, June 14, 2010

Ubuntu LTSP over WIFI - TP-LINK TL-WN422G

Couple days ago, I received the two Wireless USB adapters I had ordered. They are both from the same manufacturer, just different speed specs and model numbers and both came with antennas. The model numbers are TL-WN422G and TL-WN722N. The really fun part began when I attempted to load them on my Linux laptop.

I had bought them because I read somewhere that they used Atheros chipset which was also in my laptop's built-in wifi adapter. I had successfully tested LTSP over wifi on my laptop after customizing the initial ramdisk. So, I thought, eh, should be a piece of cake to repeat the steps using USB adapters. Bad judgment. While the built-in wifi adapter used "ath5k" module to work, these two needed "ath9k_htc" module. Now, "ath9k" was stable and packaged with the Linux distribution, however, at the time of this article, "ath9k_htc" was still under development and was not packaged with the operating system. What more? A firmware binary was needed to be present on the computer in order for the adapters to work, a situation I was hoping to avoid.

I did some researching on and found the right driver modules. After spending few uneventful hours trying to figure out the driver installation on my laptop and on a VM, I was finally beginning to make some progress. Then I started working on customizing the initial ramdisk by packaging the wireless drivers and activating them during the init process. Again, after spending few more very frustrating hours with it, I was able to load the module, load the firmware, activate the wireless adapter, and join the wireless network with WPA security.

The modified LTSP client now hangs while trying to load the network shares. If I recall correctly, I had encountered this in my prior attempts and should be able to fix the issue without wasting too much time.

Progress on this topic can be followed on the following pages:
Unfinished business: Ubuntu LTSP over Wifi
Ubuntu LTSP over Wifi (Continued)
Ubuntu LTSP over WIFI - TP-LINK TL-WN422G
Ubuntu LTSP over WIFI - TP-LINK TL-WN422G - Update


  1. would you post a step-by-step process how to make TP-LINK TL-WN422G works on ubuntu please. it's really frustrating to configure it. thanks

  2. Batik, I installed the following package: linux-backports-modules-wireless-<version>
    <version> is your kernel release of the current installation which you can find using this command
    uname -r
    The package contains some experimental drivers, including those for TP-LINK and may cause your other wireless adapters to not function.
    Additionally, you may need to run the following command to activate the module
    sudo modprobe ath5k
    I hope this is helpful