I have a ubuntu desktop that has always connected to the network via ethernet. It's simple - eth0 is there in ifconfig, I run dhclient eth0, and I'm good to go. It's been this way for ages.

Due to wiring constraints, I need to switch over to using wifi. There is a lot of information via google, wikipedia, et al about what is possible, which chipsets are supported, which drivers support which chipsets, and tables showing a cross-section of all of that. However, today I'm looking for a recommendation of "easiest thing to plug into your computer, and have wifi0 (or whatever) in ifconfig".

I don't mind if it's PCI or USB - I was hoping for someone to tell me "Yeah, just buy this thing, plug it in, and use this program to find the AP and connect. I did it last week, and it was simple.". Sorry for such a rudimentary question - I've been clinging to the ethernet cable as long as I could. I knew this day would come.

Bonus points for it working when installing ubuntu (or any linux distro) in the installer.


  • Do you need wireless AC? If N with 150mbps max is sufficient I have had success with this amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WN725N-Wireless-Adapter-150Mbps/dp/…
    – Curtis
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 0:42
  • I think your over complicating it... Modern versions of Ubuntu, and most all other distros, have a wireless network manager as part of the standard installation and the modern kernel supports most current WiFi chipsets. For more specific information pick an adapter, find out the chipset, and look at ubuntu.com/certification/catalog/category/WIRELESS for support information, Intel based adapters probably have the best support, but most modern ones work fine. I'm also curious as to why you have to use dhclient eth0? I always just plug in the cable and go...
    – acejavelin
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 3:06
  • @curtis have you tried the AC one? I'd be happy with N only, but faster is always better, I guess.
    – Hoopes
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 13:52
  • @acejavelin thanks for that page, much better than what i was looking at before (as for dhclient, sometimes i need it, usually it just defaults to that these days though...)
    – Hoopes
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


Most modern wifi adaptors should work with little issues. My goto spare 'it will certainly work' wifi adaptor's a generic no brand 802.11 n nano adaptor - a few dozen companies make em. They universally use the same, standard ralink chipset.

This is the specific one I have, and if you want a branded one Edimax's riff on the product is certain to work. Plug it in, reboot and it should be detected.

They work with most common linux distros, there's support in kernel for ubuntu and fedora at the very least. They're also crazy cheap

However these only support the 'last gen' 802.11n standard, at the lowest speed possible. They also only support the more common 2.4 ghz, which is sometimes congested.

It will certainly work with minimal configuration.

  • Ha, for $7, can't really complain. Have you used any faster ones with any success? Thanks!
    – Hoopes
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 13:53

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