I'm trying to get my Alfa Networks WIFI dongle (based on RT3070) to work, but it seems that the necessary package (firmware-ralink) is not availabe in elementary os. It is in the non-free debian repo. Can i add the repo and install the package? Does anybody know what i could do to get t to work? Any help is very much appreciated! Thanks


A solution to my problem: As I am unable to use the onboard and usb devices at the same time, it works to un-check the auto connect on the onboard device. Then the Alfa is able to connect to a given network.


Update: I tried to install by downloading the .deb file from the debian repo and install via apt. here is the output:

sudo apt install ./firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb 
[sudo] password for XXXX:        
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Note, selecting 'firmware-ralink' instead of './firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb'
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  firmware-ralink
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/22.2 kB of archives.
After this operation, 103 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 /home/XXXX/Downloads/firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb firmware-ralink all 0.43 [22.2 kB]
Selecting previously unselected package firmware-ralink.
(Reading database ... 305479 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack .../firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb ...
Unpacking firmware-ralink (0.43) ...
dpkg: error processing archive /home/XXXX/Downloads/firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb (--unpack):
 trying to overwrite '/lib/firmware/rt3290.bin', which is also in package linux-firmware 1.157.8
Errors were encountered while processing:
 /home/XXXX/Downloads/firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

UPDATE: here is the output of

lshw -c net; rfkill list all

      *-network               
       description: Ethernet interface
       product: 82579V Gigabit Network Connection
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 19
       bus info: pci@0000:00:19.0
       logical name: enp0s25
       version: 04
       serial: b0:99:28:cd:78:9d
       size: 100Mbit/s
       capacity: 1Gbit/s
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=e1000e driverversion=3.2.6-k duplex=full firmware=0.13-4 ip=10.42.0.182 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=twisted pair speed=100Mbit/s
       resources: irq:29 memory:e2600000-e261ffff memory:e262b000-e262bfff ioport:3080(size=32)
  *-network
       description: Wireless interface
       product: AR9287 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express)
       vendor: Qualcomm Atheros
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:0a:00.0
       logical name: wlp10s0
       version: 01
       serial: e0:ca:94:74:87:40
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath9k driverversion=4.4.0-77-generic firmware=N/A ip=192.168.10.125 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
       resources: irq:18 memory:e0500000-e050ffff
  *-network
       description: Wireless interface
       physical id: 2
       bus info: usb@1:1.4
       logical name: wlx00c0ca58180d
       serial: 00:c0:ca:58:18:0d
       capabilities: ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=rt2800usb driverversion=4.4.0-77-generic firmware=0.29 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
2: phy2: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no

UPDATE:

the output of iwlist scan
    wlx00c0ca58180d  Scan completed :
             Cell 01 - Address: 5C:F4:AB:09:D3:B3
                  Channel:1
                  Frequency:2.412 GHz (Channel 1)
                  Quality=31/70  Signal level=-79 dBm  
                  Encryption key:on
                  ESSID:"Internet_B0"
                  Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                            24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                  Bit Rates:6 Mb/s; 9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s
                  Mode:Master
                  Extra:tsf=000001d780c847a5
                  Extra: Last beacon: 4132ms ago
                  IE: Unknown: 000B496E7465726E65745F4230
                  IE: Unknown: 010882848B962430486C
                  IE: Unknown: 030101
                  IE: Unknown: 2A0104
                  IE: Unknown: 2F0104
                  IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1
                      Group Cipher : CCMP
                      Pairwise Ciphers (1) : CCMP
                      Authentication Suites (1) : PSK
                  IE: Unknown: 32040C121860
                  IE: Unknown: 0B050200140000
                  IE: Unknown: 2D1AAC181FFFFF000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
                  IE: Unknown: 3D1601000400000000000000000000000000000000000000
                  IE: Unknown: 7F03000008
                  IE: Unknown: DD860050F204104A0001101044000102103B0001031047001097527829238BBD6979A4F2FC6944A83B102100094D69747261537461721023000C564D47313331322D423330421024000C564D47313331322D4233304210420007393633363847571054000800060050F20400011011000C564D47313331322D42333042100800020084103C000101
                  IE: Unknown: DD090010180202000C0000
                  IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101800003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
             Cell 02 - Address: 00:4F:62:26:BB:95
                  Channel:11
                  Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
                  Quality=35/70  Signal level=-75 dBm  
                  Encryption key:on
                  ESSID:"Atelier-3"
                  Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                            9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                  Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                  Mode:Master
                  Extra:tsf=00000024b85df320
                  Extra: Last beacon: 4612ms ago
                  IE: Unknown: 00094174656C6965722D33
                  IE: Unknown: 010882848B960C121824
                  IE: Unknown: 03010B
                  IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                  IE: Unknown: 32043048606C
                  IE: Unknown: DD0700E04C01020300
             Cell 03 - Address: F0:9F:C2:2A:5B:AD
                  Channel:11
                  Frequency:2.462 GHz (Channel 11)
                  Quality=51/70  Signal level=-59 dBm  
                  Encryption key:on
                  ESSID:"Atelier-2"
                  Bit Rates:1 Mb/s; 2 Mb/s; 5.5 Mb/s; 11 Mb/s; 6 Mb/s
                            9 Mb/s; 12 Mb/s; 18 Mb/s
                  Bit Rates:24 Mb/s; 36 Mb/s; 48 Mb/s; 54 Mb/s
                  Mode:Master
                  Extra:tsf=0000015f1a1f93b8
                  Extra: Last beacon: 4612ms ago
                  IE: Unknown: 00094174656C6965722D32
                  IE: Unknown: 010882848B968C129824
                  IE: Unknown: 03010B
                  IE: Unknown: 050400010004
                  IE: Unknown: 2A0100
                  IE: Unknown: 3204B048606C
                  IE: Unknown: DD180050F2020101000003A4000027A4000042435E0062322F00
                  IE: Unknown: DD0900037F01010000FF7F
                  IE: Unknown: DD1300156D00010100010227E58106F09FC2295BAD
  • Are you sure it isn't another issue? Please include results from terminal for lshw -c net; rfkill list all – Jeremy31 May 15 '17 at 15:21
  • no, you are right... i'm not so sure about that. i will update my question – nodFlindors May 15 '17 at 16:03
  • It appears to work as it isn't disabled or blocked. Does it find any networks? iwlist scan – Jeremy31 May 15 '17 at 17:21
  • It does. Updated the question! – nodFlindors May 15 '17 at 20:57
  • also from the WIFI menu i can click on any available wifi to make it connect, but it simply doesn't connect. when i disable the built in PCIe WIFI module in the menu, both are disabled. – nodFlindors May 15 '17 at 21:11

Use dpkg to install .deb packages. In your case,
sudo dpkg -i firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb

  • 1
    Thanks for the suggestion. The error i get: (Reading database ... 305479 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to unpack firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb ... Unpacking firmware-ralink (0.43) ... dpkg: error processing archive firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb (--install): trying to overwrite '/lib/firmware/rt3290.bin', which is also in package linux-firmware 1.157.8 Errors were encountered while processing: firmware-ralink_0.43_all.deb – nodFlindors May 7 '17 at 11:04

This is likely an issue caused by Network Manager enabling wifi power management on its own, to disable do

sudo sed -i 's/wifi.powersave = 3/wifi.powersave = 2/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
systemctl restart network-manager.service

  • I tried to change the powersave settings to 3,2,1 and 0 with no positive effect. But I found a workaround. I can not switch off the onboard card because both get switched off, but i can turn off auto connect for this device so they will not interfere. Then the alfa adapter does connect and I can use it. Thank you for your help!! – nodFlindors May 17 '17 at 12:12
  • You can blacklist the kernel module for the internal wifi card and then it will be ignored echo "blacklist ath9k" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/blkath9k.conf – Jeremy31 May 17 '17 at 12:14
  • But it will make the onboard card completely unavailable, no matter if the usb device is present or not!? And I'd rather have the flexibility to use one or the other! :) – nodFlindors May 17 '17 at 12:21

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