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Joined: Oct 04 2017
Posts: 344

I need to get a usb wifi adapter for the County Weed Coordinators office.

The county has had a wired connection system all along but it has fallen into a crack. Seems no one knows anything about it at all. Doesn't fall under the ISP because it is all in the building and, of course, they didn't pay to have them service it. So now they are forced to use wifi only.

This is fine if you want to use Win all the time because all the damned things work with Win. The computer there is a dual boot and this worked fine for a while because the wired connection worked. Doesn't now and will not be fixed so the Linux install has no connection.

Has a Netgear usb adapter that uses a Broadcom chip that is not supported (bc43231 - don't recall what the actually is).

There seem to be plenty of adapters available that support Linux. What I don't know is if they support Linux without installing some crap proprietary driver that will not continue to be maintained. So I thought I would ask for some advice here.

Hopefully someone has more knowledge than I do. Pretty likely because I am still pretty much totally ignorant of wifi usage.

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Joined: Jan 06 2018
Posts: 1491

Asus.

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Joined: Jan 06 2018
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Okay, why USB? I would suggest that you use a PCI wireless card instead.

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Joined: Jan 06 2018
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https://newegg.com/products/N82E16833320040

Similar, if not identical, to the one I bought about 5 years ago. Plugged it in and it worked right from the go.

If you want to do your research (yes, should do your research as I've no idea if the one I linked even works with Linux (it almost certainly does) all I did was post the first one I recognized), then the place to start is the chipset. I don't recall if Asus makes their own chipset or not but I've never heard of Asus wireless hardware not working with Linux.

Atheros chipsets work out of the box and they're good quality. Intel also generally makes ones that work with no knob twiddling. About 6 years ago, I bought one of the first 5 ghz AC cards available. Intel posted the .bin file on their site. I dropped it somewhere in the root file system, reboot, and good to go.

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There's another thing to keep in mind. The frequency. 2.4 ghz VS. 5 ghz. The one that I posted is 2.4. I'm fairly sure, but not certain, that any 5 ghz adapter/card will also receive a 2.4 signal. Again, not certain.

Judging from what you've said about the county over the past years, I'll bet you're wireless broadcaster is 2.4 n. Still, look on the Fcc sticker on the router to be sure.

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Joined: Oct 04 2017
Posts: 158

I've never heard of Asus wireless hardware not working with Linux.

FYI:
My ASUS laptop works with Linux and it's inbuilt wifi

no problemo

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For supported wifi adaptors, check the linux wifi page:
https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/drivers

5 Ghz adapters also do 2.4 GHz, but unless they only recently placed the wireless router I doubt it transmits at 5 GHz.
If the router does support 5 GHz there is a difference between the AC and N protocols. The AC protocol is much faster than the N protocol, but on the flip side also less supported than the N protocol.

The 3 and 4 kernels ship with a lot of wifi kernel modules, covering most of the wireless adapters around.