Beaglebone Black Wifi Managed and Master mode

I know there are several threads regarding wifi but many of these are outdated so thought I’d start a new thread, asking if anyone has been successful adding USB WiFi to debian 3.8.13-boneX where they are able to connect to existing access points AND configure the wifi to act as an access point (master mode) using hostapd.

If you have been successful with both modes, I’d really appreciate you sharing which USB adapter you used and specifically the chipset.

To date I have been using the RT5370 chipset with very reliable communications in both client (managed) and ap (master) mode - my issue is supply of these USB devices and I am looking for backup solutions.

If we can collect sufficient info I will update wiki with this info to assist other users.


Not using debian, but ubuntu 15.04 with hostapd in bridge mode, in the 5GHz wifi band:

~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 15.04
Release: 15.04
Codename: vivid

~$ uname -srpo
Linux 4.1.3-bone15 armv7l GNU/Linux

~$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 148f:5572 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT5572 Wireless Adapter


Thanks Nuno, I’ll take note of chipset. Unfortunately in my case I can’t chance upgrading to 4.x yet.


First of all, get iw;
iw is a new nl80211 based CLI configuration utility for wireless devices. It supports all new drivers that have been added to the kernel recently.
The old tool iwconfing, which uses Wireless Extensions interface, is deprecated and it’s strongly recommended to switch to iw and nl80211.

Just make sure that the chip you are planning to use is compatible with the AP Mode.
Look at this table for reference:

Please note that if you want to use the AP in the 5Ghz range, set the regulatory domain for your country (iw reg set XX).