Update 2010.02.27: Tried using this card again, still on a Dell Inspiron 5100, but this time using Ubuntu 9.10. Works perfectly fine out of the box, upon multiple reboots, and multiple insertion/removals of the card.
I bought one of these today because I was sick and tired of the less than 1Mb/s connection I was getting on my internal Broadcom card. Having read the history of Broadcom’s lack of cooperation with the open source community, they can suck it.
This post exists simply to attest that this card worked for me directly out of the box…sort of. I disabled my internal WLAN card through the BIOS, started up Ubuntu, logged in, plugged in the card and on the spot it started searching for networks and even used all the WPA-PSK settings I had set from the previous card. I did have to re-enter my passkey several times before it retained it; it “forgot” it two or three times.
It ran beautifully. I thought all my wireless woes were forever gone and resolved to buy a few of these cards ($20 apiece). Just to make sure I was not dreaming of a day where wireless worked flawlessly in Linux, I rebooted the laptop. Then reality sunk in and everything went to hell.
Once I rebooted, the card would no longer authenticate with the wireless router. I could see all the wireless networks and I’m sure I could have connected using WEP, but my network runs WPA-PSK/TKIP. On every subsequent connection attempt the card will attempt to authenticate for 60 seconds then come back and ask for the passkey again. It doesn’t matter how many times I enter it (correctly), it will not take.
I tried a bunch of the solutions in this thread including messing around with NDISwrapper and manually compiling Linux drivers but nothing worked.
If I wanted to spend that much time troubleshooting a wireless card, I would have spent it on the internal Broadcom and saved my $20.
If you’re considering buying this card, I wish you luck. The results can be unpredictable.
03:00.0 Network controller: RaLink RT2800 802.11n PCI