1

For my Linux laptop, I want high-frequency-band Wi-Fi (around 5GHz) for a USB 2.0 port, but I haven't found an adapter that's Linux-ready out of the box; I've looked. Since recompiling reputedly takes maybe 2-4 hours every time, I want an adapter that doesn't need recompiling. But the only good one I found fits a PCIe slot (I'd have to order either full- or low-profile). My Dell Latitude E4300 laptop has a USB 2.0 port, not PCIe, but apparently an adapter between them would also need a driver, which I think requires recompiling the kernel. Does anyone know if a PCIe-plug-to-USB-receptacle adapter exists that does not require recompiling? Or is there another solution I'm missing? Or is it impossible? Maybe there's a method that works or maybe this can't be solved. I'm a do-it-yourselfer.

My error: I'm using two laptops. Fedora 31 is on the laptop that internally gets both frequency bands. Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS is on the machine that gets only the low band through an external adapter and I want both bands on that machine. Fedora supplies a new kernel every few days or week or so. I don't use the Ubuntu machine often, but I guess both distros update the kernel about as often.

Seen: https://superuser.com/questions/330979/adaptor-that-allows-me-to-use-a-pci-card-via-a-usb-connection, https://superuser.com/questions/1066273/is-pci-pci-e-via-usb-possible, and https://superuser.com/questions/1116149/pcie-to-usb-thunderbolt-for-graphics-card hint, I think, that the adaptation is impossible regardless of OS and I'm not using Thunderbolt; https://superuser.com/questions/923086/is-there-a-pcie-to-usb-3-0-converter hints at it more strongly; https://superuser.com/questions/1370937/pcie-ssd-on-usb seems somewhat off-point; and PCIe WWAN adapters known to work with Linux out of the box suggests that Linux did not support brand-specific nongeneric drivers 3 years ago. Similar question, closed as begun in wrong forum, at https://superuser.com/questions/1521989/want-to-adapt-pcie-device-to-fit-usb.

  • Did you check this: amazon.com/BrosTrend-1200Mbps-Wireless-Raspbian-Raspberry/dp/… It's said to support Linux out of the box. People have successfully used it with Fedora too. Also, maxing out AC1200 on USB2 is impossible. The limit is 480Mb/s. So around 40MB/s. – Natsu Kage Feb 8 at 21:09
  • That (trendtechcn.com/Product.aspx?ProductId=328&TypeId=2) requires a driver (trendtechcn.com/userfiles/…), which sounds like I'd have to recompile often, and even so it won't work at all with some Linux distros (see Amazon Q&A) including Fedora 29 (I sometimes need old distros). The driver is available only through Internet (needing another connection) and when purchase verified (see Amazon Q&A & reviews), so maybe later recompiling for future Linux kernels is unsupported. – Nick Feb 9 at 22:55
  • 1
    Problem is: every single adapter you will find that works with USB will need a driver. Especially so in an extremely complicated device such as PCIe to USB conversion. They are completely different methods of communication and drivers are needed for translation. It'll be even worse with a PCIe adapter, guaranteed. At least BrosTrend offer active support for installation on most distros. – Natsu Kage Feb 9 at 22:59
  • 1
    OK, for now. I have a USB device for the low-frequency band, and it must use a driver already in the kernel. Maybe someday someone will make a model for the high-frequency band with USB and that's compatible with the software already in the kernel. I doubt the kernel is band-specific, since internal Wi-Fi works on my other Linux laptop. By the way, 480Mb/s should be 60MB/s except for some unusual computers that use, say, 9 bits/byte. – Nick Feb 11 at 23:24
  • 1
    I was accounting for real life. USB 2.0 rarely goes over 40MB/s. Too much overhead. And yep, even windows has that issue with 5ghz wifi: not always ok with internal drivers. – Natsu Kage Feb 11 at 23:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.