After installing Debian wheezy on the N54L microserver I wanted to setup a stable WLAN connection. The stick should have out-of-the-box kernel support. First I bought a cheap ISY IWL 2000 N150 WLAN USB micro adapter (probably a branded Belkin F7D1102). I contains a Realtek chipset and although it did seem to work on my laptop with Sid running, I did not get it to work on the server. I refused to download and compile third-party software.
So I searched this site. I got the impression, that the "only" recent chipsets with reasonable support in the Linux kernel are Atheros chipsets(?). Checking the local suppliers I decided to buy a TP-Link TL-WN722NC USB stick. I've downloaded the firmware-atheros package and loaded the ath9k_htc module and voilà, the stick is running:
ath9k_htc 48534 0 ath9k_common 12728 1 ath9k_htc ath9k_hw 322112 2 ath9k_common,ath9k_htc ath 21370 3 ath9k_hw,ath9k_common,ath9k_htc mac80211 192806 1 ath9k_htc cfg80211 137243 3 ath,mac80211,ath9k_htc usbcore 128741 5 ehci_hcd,ohci_hcd,usbhid,ath9k_htc
[..] Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0cf3:9271 Atheros Communications, Inc. AR9271 802.11n Device Descriptor: bLength 18 bDescriptorType 1 bcdUSB 2.00 bDeviceClass 255 Vendor Specific Class bDeviceSubClass 255 Vendor Specific Subclass bDeviceProtocol 255 Vendor Specific Protocol bMaxPacketSize0 64 idVendor 0x0cf3 Atheros Communications, Inc. idProduct 0x9271 AR9271 802.11n bcdDevice 1.08 iManufacturer 16 ATHEROS iProduct 32 USB2.0 WLAN iSerial 48 12345 bNumConfigurations 1 [..]
To setup the connection I decided to install the network-manager package and write the configuration file myself:
[connection] id=<myID> uuid=<myUUID> type=802-11-wireless autoconnect=true [802-11-wireless] ssid=<mySSID> mode=infrastructure mac-address=<myMACADDR> seen-bssids=<myBSSIDS> security=802-11-wireless-security [802-11-wireless-security] key-mgmt=wpa-psk psk=<myPASSPHR> [ipv4] method=auto [ipv6] method=auto
[..] wlan1 IEEE 802.11bgn ESSID:"<ESSID>" Mode:Managed Frequency:2.467 GHz Access Point: <MACADDR> Bit Rate=54 Mb/s Tx-Power=20 dBm Retry long limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off Encryption key:off Power Management:off Link Quality=49/70 Signal level=-61 dBm Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0 Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:61 Missed beacon:0 [..]
The connection comes up and it seems pretty stable. After two weeks of operation there were still no connection losses or time outs. After lease time has been reached, the IP address gets renewed. And that's it! The stick runs perfectly fine for me and I'm happy with it.