Caution: This version of this document is no longer maintained. For the latest documentation, see,

Driver for Ralink RT2500, RT2501, RT2600, and RT2500USB wireless adapters


io-pkt-variant -d ral ... &
io-pkt-variant -d ural ... &

where variant is one of v4, v4-hc, or v6-hc.

Runs on:





The driver supports PCI/CardBus wireless adapters based on the Ralink RT2500, RT2501, and RT2600 chipsets. The driver supports USB 2.0 wireless adapters based on the Ralink RT2500USB chipset. These are ported NetBSD drivers; their interface names are in the form ralX and uralX, where X is an integer.

The RT2500 chipset is the first generation of 802.11b/g adapters from Ralink. It consists of two integrated chips, an RT2560 or RT2570(USB) MAC/BBP and an RT2525 or RT2526(USB) radio transceiver.

The RT2501 chipset is the second generation of 802.11b/g adapters from Ralink. It consists of two integrated chips, an RT2561 MAC/BBP and an RT2527 radio transceiver. This chipset provides support for the IEEE 802.11e standard with multiple hardware transmission queues and allows scatter/gather for efficient DMA operations.

The RT2600 chipset consists of two integrated chips, an RT2661 MAC/BBP and an RT2529 radio transceiver. This chipset uses the MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology with multiple antennas to extend the operating range of the adapter and to achieve higher throughput.

These drivers can operate in these modes:

BSS mode
Also known as infrastructure mode, this is used when associating with an access point, through which all traffic passes. This mode is the default.
IBSS mode
Also known as IEEE ad-hoc mode or peer-to-peer mode. This is the standardized method of operating without an access point. Stations associate with a service set. However, actual connections between stations are peer-to-peer.
Host AP
In this mode, the driver acts as an access point (base station) for other cards.
Monitor mode
In this mode, the driver is able to receive packets without associating with an access point. This disables the internal receive filter and enables the card to capture packets from networks which it wouldn't normally have access to, or to scan for access points.

The and drivers support software WEP. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is the de facto encryption standard for wireless networks. It can be typically configured in one of three modes: no encryption; 40-bit encryption; or 104-bit encryption. Unfortunately, due to serious weaknesses in WEP protocol it is strongly recommended that it not be used as the sole mechanism to secure wireless communication. WEP is not enabled by default. You can also use the driver in conjunction with wpa_supplicant to provide WPA / WPA2 encryption.

You can use ifconfig to configure the and drivers at runtime:

bssid bssid
Set the desired BSSID.
Unset the desired BSSID. The interface automatically selects a BSSID in this mode, which is the default.
chan n
Set the channel (radio frequency) to be used by the driver based on the given channel ID n.
Unset the desired channel to be used by the driver. The driver automatically selects a channel in this mode, which is the default.
media media
These drivers support the following media types:
mediaopt opts
These drivers support the following media options:
-mediaopt opts
Disable the specified media options on the driver and return it to the default mode of operation (BSS).
mode mode
These drivers support the following modes:
nwid id
Set the network ID. The id can either be any text string up to 32 characters in length, or a series of hexadecimal digits up to 64 digits. An empty ID string (the default) allows the interface to connect to any available access points. Note that network ID is synonymous with Extended Service Set ID (ESSID).
nwkey key
Enable WEP encryption using the specified key. The key can either be a string, a series of hexadecimal digits (preceded by 0x), or a set of keys of the form n:k1,k2,k3,k4, where n specifies which of the keys to use for transmitted packets, and the four keys, k1 through k4, are configured as WEP keys. If a set of keys is specified, a comma (,) within the key must be escaped with a backslash.

Note: If you use multiple keys, their order must be the same within the network. These drivers can use both 40-bit (5 characters or 10 hexadecimal digits) or 104-bit (13 characters or 26 hexadecimal digits) keys.

Disable WEP encryption. This is the default mode of operation.

See also:

devn-*, devnp-*, ifconfig, io-pkt