open source wifi dongle?

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FernandoV
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Joined: 03/22/2019

Hi,

Can somebody recommend me a usb wifi dongle with an external antenna socket, that would work on trisquel (libre driver) ?

Because I have a nice big external wifi antenna, but so far I have tried three dongles without success on trisquel (all three were advertised as "works with linux").

An ebay link would be totally appreciated.

nadebula.1984
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Joined: 05/01/2018

Any ath9k-htc model should work with free firmware. You can try to find wikidevi.com on web archive. With the site down I can no longer search for devices based on ath9k-htc.

Beware that the USB WLAN adapters bearing the same commodity name but with different hardware revisions are different hardware. And their chipset can vary a lot.

And don't ask for "free/libre drivers" any more. Practically almost every WLAN card has free/libre drivers. But most of them don't work without non-free firmware. Keep in mind that driver and firmware are different.

(Once someone else asked me for a WLAN card with free driver. I gave him a Realtek one. He asked me why it didn't work on a free distribution. I replied "you asked for a card that had free driver, not a card that didn't require non-free firmware to work".)

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

"(all three were advertised as "works with linux")"

They may be dependent on proprietary firmware, as nadebula.1984 mentioned.

Check out the FSF's RYF program. It seems to contain 3 with external antennas.

https://ryf.fsf.org/categories/wireless-adapters

IrishUSA
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Joined: 12/03/2016

Heh, lingered too long over my post and you beat me to it.

IrishUSA
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Joined: 12/03/2016

I realize what follows isn't exactly what you're looking for, since you already have the antenna, but any port in a storm, perhaps? Also since you mentioned having a big antenna, this product has an antenna upgrade available to take you from the included 5dBi antenna to a 9dBi one, kicking the price from $45 to $59.

So at the risk of recommending the obvious and/or already attempted, how about this?

https://www.thinkpenguin.com/gnu-linux/penguin-wireless-n-usb-adapter-w-external-antenna-gnu-linux-tpe-n150usbl

In terms of compatibility, it's specifically listed as being compatible with Trisquel 6, 7, and 8; says it requires neither proprietary drivers NOR firmware (acknowledging nadebula.1984's post); and has the Free Software Foundation "Respects Your Freedom" Certification.

More links:

https://ryf.fsf.org/categories/wireless-adapters

https://www.thinkpenguin.com/catalog/wireless-networking-gnulinux

FernandoV
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Joined: 03/22/2019

What about this one?:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atheros-AR9271L-802-11n-150Mbps-USB-Wireless-WiFi-Adapter-Wifi-Antenna-for-Win/352856112189?hash=item5227dcfc3d:g:EkAAAOSwU2Jdz-h-

It has a same chipset ( Atheros AR9271 ) like the one from FSF page you recommended:

https://tehnoetic.com/TET-N150HGA

But it costs $13 instead of $80.

Yes, sorry for the driver/firmware mix up.

I think libre devices shouldn't be so expensive, for everybody could use it.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

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Joined: 07/24/2010

The AR9271 chipset works with Trisquel's kernels. I have had a USB adapter with that chipset for years.

loldier
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Joined: 02/17/2016
andyprough
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Joined: 02/12/2015

I have that exact same one - it's a workhorse, been using it for years.

FernandoV
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Joined: 03/22/2019

Thanks guys, just ordered, will report back when it comes.

FernandoV
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Joined: 03/22/2019

Reporting in.

So I received this dongle: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Atheros-AR9271L-802-11n-150Mbps-USB-Wireless-WiFi-Adapter-Wifi-Antenna-for-Win/352856112189?hash=item5227dcfc3d:g:EkAAAOSwU2Jdz-h-

I can confirm that it works on Trisquel, but the reception is very poor. Even with external antenna the reception is worse than laptop integrated. Maybe my unit is faulty. And this dongle disconnects very often, probably because it needs more power than laptop usb port is supplying, I could use it only in externally powered USB hub. BTW, the build quality is also very poor.

Maybe people should buy from technoetical, although units there are overpriced a bit.