Ubuntu: USB FastE or GigE that “just works” with Linux 2.6 kernels



Question:

I am trying to find a USB FastEthernet or GigabitEthernet that works without recompiling Debian Squeeze or Ubuntu Oneric.

So far, I have tried the following USB GigE adapters:

  • Belkin F4U047-RS
  • Sabrent USB-NT20
  • Linksys USB300M
  • Apple MC704ZM/A

When I inserted them in a Debian Squeeze machine, all of them would show up as an interface in dmesg; however, I could never get them to actually link up with an ethernet switch. I was using a cable that was known-good, and I was using an ethernet port that worked with the on-board GigE jack.

I know I can recompile and get the Linksys USB300M working; however, I have to get interfaces up quickly for any random linux server in our lab (which are mostly Debian / Ubuntu).

Throughput is really a low priority for these, the need is mostly just basic network connectivity when I fire up a new motherboard, and the on-board GigE isn't recognised for whatever reason; other times, I may need a spare interface for a quick firewalling project.


Solution:1

Fast Ethernet USB adapters are widely available and should be for a couple of years at least. For example, the majority of USB network adapters at Newegg.com are still Fast Ethernet :-)

Among those, I would highly recommend the D-Link DUB-E100 as something I have personally used and that works out-of-the-box; it has in-kernel drivers. I see that it now comes in two revisions, A and B, but the internal chipset should be identical.

From the official Linux-USB page, the module is usbnet and the supported chipset is the ASIX AX88172. Alternative adapters mentioned there include the Hawking UF200 and Netgear FA120.


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