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RAL(4) NetBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual RAL(4)
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by Kimmo Suominen.
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ral -- Ralink Technology IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless network driver
ral* at cardbus?
ral* at pci?
ral* at uhub? port ?
The ral driver supports PCI/CardBus wireless adapters based on the Ralink
RT2500, RT2501, and RT2600 chipsets. The ral driver supports USB 2.0
wireless adapters based on the Ralink RT2500USB chipset.
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. MIMO
will be the basis of the future IEEE 802.11n standard.
These are the modes the ral driver can operate in:
BSS mode Also known as infrastructure mode, this is used when asso-
ciating 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 sta-
tion) 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.
ral supports 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 pro-
tocol it is strongly recommended that it not be used as the sole mecha-
nism to secure wireless communication. WEP is not enabled by default.
The transmit speed is user-selectable or can be adapted automatically by
the driver depending on the received signal strength and on the number of
hardware transmission retries. See rssadapt(9) for more information.
The ral driver can be configured at runtime with ifconfig(8) or on boot
with ifconfig.if(5) using the following parameters:
Set the desired BSSID.
-bssid Unset the desired BSSID. The interface will automatically select
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.
-chan Unset the desired channel to be used by the driver. The driver
will automatically select a channel in this mode, which is the
The ral driver supports the following media types:
autoselect Enable autoselection of the media type and options.
DS1 Set 802.11b DS 1Mbps operation.
DS2 Set 802.11b DS 2Mbps operation.
DS5 Set 802.11b DS 5.5Mbps operation.
DS11 Set 802.11b DS 11Mbps operation.
OFDM6 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 6Mbps operation.
OFDM9 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 9Mbps operation.
OFDM12 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 12Mbps operation.
OFDM18 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 18Mbps operation.
OFDM24 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 24Mbps operation.
OFDM36 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 36Mbps operation.
OFDM48 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 48Mbps operation.
OFDM54 Set 802.11a/g OFDM 54Mbps operation.
The ral driver supports the following media options:
hostap Select Host AP operation.
ibss Select IBSS operation.
monitor Select monitor mode.
Disable the specified media options on the driver and return it
to the default mode of operation (BSS).
The ral driver supports the following modes:
11a Force 802.11a operation.
11b Force 802.11b operation.
11g Force 802.11g operation.
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 allows the interface to connect to
any available access points. By default the ral driver uses an
empty string. Note that network ID is synonymous with Extended
Service Set ID (ESSID).
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 will be used 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 that if multiple keys
are used, their order must be the same within the network. ral
is capable of using both 40-bit (5 characters or 10 hexadecimal
digits) or 104-bit (13 characters or 26 hexadecimal digits) keys.
-nwkey Disable WEP encryption. This is the default mode of operation.
The following firmware files are potentially loaded when an interface is
RT2500 adapters do not require a firmware to operate.
The following PCI adapters should work:
A-Link WL54H. Amigo AWI-926W. AMIT WL531P. AOpen AOI-831. ASUS
WL-130g. ASUS WIFI-G-AAY. Atlantis Land A02-PCI-W54. Belkin F5D7000
v3. Canyon CN-WF511. CNet CWP-854. Compex WLP54G. Conceptronic C54Ri.
Corega CG-WLPCI54GL. Digitus DN-7006G-RA. Dynalink WLG25PCI. E-Tech
WGPI02. Edimax EW-7128g. Eminent EM3037. Encore ENLWI-G-RLAM. Eusso
UGL2454-VPR. Fiberline WL-400P. Foxconn WLL-3350. Gigabyte GN-WPKG.
Hama WLAN PCI Card 54 Mbps. Hawking HWP54GR. Hercules HWGPCI-54. iNexQ
CR054g-009 (R03). JAHT WN-4054PCI. KCORP LifeStyle KLS-660. LevelOne
WNC-0301 v2. Linksys WMP54G v4. Micronet SP906GK. Minitar MN54GPC-R.
MSI MS-6834. MSI PC54G2. OvisLink EVO-W54PCI. PheeNet HWL-PCIG/RA.
Pro-Nets PC80211G. Repotec RP-WP0854. SATech SN-54P. Signamax
065-1798. Sitecom WL-115. SparkLAN WL-660R. Surecom EP-9321-g. Sweex
LC700030. TekComm NE-9321-g. Tonze PC-6200C. Unex CR054g-R02. Zinwell
ZWX-G361. Zonet ZEW1600.
The following CardBus adapters should work:
A-Link WL54PC. Alfa AWPC036. Amigo AWI-914W. AMIT WL531C. ASUS
WL-107G. Atlantis Land A02-PCM-W54. Belkin F5D7010 v2. Canyon CN-
WF513. CC&C WL-2102. CNet CWC-854. Conceptronic C54RC. Corega CG-
WLCB54GL. Digitus DN-7001G-RA. Dynalink WLG25CARDBUS. E-Tech WGPC02.
E-Tech WGPC03. Edimax EW-7108PCg. Eminent EM3036. Encore ENPWI-G-RLAM.
Eusso UGL2454-01R. Fiberline WL-400X. Gigabyte GN-WMKG. Hawking
HWC54GR. Hercules HWGPCMCIA-54. JAHT WN-4054P(E). KCORP LifeStyle
KLS-611. LevelOne WPC-0301 v2. Micronet SP908GK V3. Minitar MN54GCB-R.
MSI CB54G2. MSI MS-6835. Pro-Nets CB80211G. Repotec RP-WB7108. SATech
SN-54C. Sitecom WL-112. SparkLAN WL-611R. Surecom EP-9428-g. Sweex
LC500050. TekComm NE-9428-g. Tonze PW-6200C. Unex MR054g-R02. Zinwell
ZWX-G160. Zonet ZEW1500.
The following Mini PCI adapters should work:
Amigo AWI-922W. Billionton MIWLGRL. Gigabyte GN-WIKG. MSI MP54G2. MSI
MS-6833. Tonze PC-620C. Zinwell ZWX-G360.
The following USB 2.0 adapters should work:
AMIT WL532U. ASUS WL-167g. Belkin F5D7050 v2000. Buffalo WLI-U2-KG54.
Buffalo WLI-U2-KG54-AI. Buffalo WLI-U2-KG54-YB. CNet CWD-854. Compex
WLU54G 2A1100. Conceptronic C54RU. D-Link DWL-G122 (b1). Dynalink
WLG25USB. E-Tech WGUS02. Gigabyte GN-WBKG. Hercules HWGUSB2-54. KCORP
LifeStyle KLS-685. Linksys HU200-TS. Linksys WUSB54G v4. Linksys
WUSB54GP v4. MSI MS-6861. MSI MS-6865. MSI MS-6869. Nintendo Wi-Fi
USB Connector. OvisLink Evo-W54USB. SerComm UB801R. SparkLAN WL-685R.
Surecom EP-9001-g. Sweex LC100060. Tonze UW-6200C. Zinwell ZWX-G261.
The following ifconfig.if(5) example creates a host-based access point on
inet 192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 media autoselect \
mediaopt hostap nwid my_net chan 11
Configure ral0 for WEP, using hex key ``0x1deadbeef1'':
# ifconfig ral0 nwkey 0x1deadbeef1
Return ral0 to its default settings:
# ifconfig ral0 -bssid -chan media autoselect \
nwid "" -nwkey
Join an existing BSS network, ``my_net'':
# ifconfig ral0 192.168.1.1 netmask 0xffffff00 nwid my_net
ral%d: could not read microcode %s For some reason, the driver was
unable to read the microcode file from the filesystem. The file might be
missing or corrupted.
ral%d: could not load 8051 microcode An error occurred while attempting
to upload the microcode to the onboard 8051 microcontroller unit.
ral%d: timeout waiting for MCU to initialize The onboard 8051 microcon-
troller unit failed to initialize in time.
ral%d: device timeout A frame dispatched to the hardware for transmis-
sion did not complete in time. The driver will reset the hardware. This
should not happen.
arp(4), cardbus(4), ifmedia(4), intro(4), netintro(4), pci(4), usb(4),
ifconfig.if(5), hostapd(8), ifconfig(8)
Ralink Technology: http://www.ralinktech.com
The ral driver first appeared in OpenBSD 3.7 and in NetBSD 3.0. Support
for the RT2501 and RT2600 chipsets was added in OpenBSD 3.9 and in
The ral driver was written by Damien Bergamini <email@example.com>.
Some PCI ral adapters seem to strictly require a system supporting PCI
2.2 or greater and will likely not work in systems based on older revi-
sions of the PCI specification. Check the board's PCI version before
purchasing the card.
The USB ral driver supports automatic control of the transmit speed in
BSS mode only. Therefore the use of a USB ral adapter in Host AP mode is
NetBSD 6.0 December 13, 2009 NetBSD 6.0