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Zybot + USB WIFI Adapter (RALink 5370)

Sharat K


Regarding: Zybot Project
I am having an issue getting the USB WIFI Adapter to successfully connect to the internet.
What is working:
        1) Micro SD card Prepared for Boot on Zybo
        2) Successfully able to boot and login to linaro
        3) Connected a 4:1 USB hub to the USB port on Zybo and all ports are working
              - Tested this by connecting 1 mouse on all 4 ports, (one at a time) and the mouse works on all 4 ports
        4) Camera is working fine, (motion is installed, server scripts copied to init.d and permissions changed)
        5) Able to view Camera feed through IP Address but that address is issued through eth0 NOT wlan0
        1) RA Link RT5370 USB Wi-Fi Adapter - linked for image
              - This adapter works flawlessly when I connect it to my PC.
        2) Zybo, powered via 5V DC wall-wart power supply
        3) Logitech C120 Webcam
Note: Instead of connecting the zybo via HDMI, I have connected it to my router via Ethernet and am using SSH to send instructions
In order to illustrate the problem: (lets look at the responses from terminal....)
        1) When I type 'lsusb' (utility for displaying information about USB buses in the system) --> I get screenshot 1
               - As you can see here, the WIFI adapter is detected fine
        2) When I type 'ifconfig' --> I get screenshot 2
        3) When I type 'lsmod' --> I get screenshot 3
               - No kernel modules are installed
        4) when I type 'sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces' --> I get screenshot 4
               - which is detailing how I want the network interfaces to be set up
        5) when I type 'sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf' --> I get screenshot 5
               - Which is detailing the credentials of my network (you can see my password, it doesn't bother me)

I am able to stream from the camera successfully through the wired internet connection (screenshot 2 shows that I have a valid IP address)
The problem is getting the USB Wi-Fi Adapter to show up in 'ifconfig' so that I can use it for streaming. Doing so will allow me to detach the Zybo from the router's Ethernet connection and use it cord free on a battery pack.
Please tell me how to set up RT5370 USB Wi-Fi properly on Linaro (for Zybo) and also connect to any network of choice






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Dear Digilent,

Thanks for taking the time to write back. I am sorry for the delay as I was sorting out other issues in my project. Fortunately, it is nearly complete!

The last issue to resolve is the WIFI Adapter Issue. I tried to follow the procedure that you pointed me to, but I could not successfully build the kernel (new one in which the Ralink driver support is enabled)

As mentioned earlier, I am working with the Zybo Board, so after cloning the linux-digilent folder onto my local machine (see screenshot 1)

I proceeded to make the kernel by entering the command "make ARCH=arm digilent_zed_defconfig" (according to instruction) (see screenshot 2)

Since i am actually working with the Zybo i decided to enter "make ARCH=arm digilent_zybo_defconfig" (see screenshot 3)

But both commands return errors and i am unable to proceed further. I am primarily running Windows 10 Pro 64Bit, Vivado 2015.4 Webpack and I installed Ubuntu recently and don't have permission to run Vivado on this OS. (This means i can not install ARM GNU tools from Xilinx)

Since the link that you sent me in the previous post aims to build a new kernel (zImage); I am kindly requesting you to spare me the convoluted process of setting up the toolchain and building the kernel for the zybo. Please send me the kernel (built and tested) for Zybo configured to boot linaro. (as done in the zybot tutorial)

Thank you for you cooperation,





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I just checked the kernel source, it looks like the kernel for the zybot demo should already have the correct drivers installed. Are you using the binaries included with this download?:


If not, please try using those binaries. If that doesn't fix the problem, please reboot the zybo (with the wifi adapter already installed) and then execute dmesg at the terminal. Copy the output into a file and please attach it to your next post. 


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I'll admit I haven't used a Linaro image in a while, but I used to start by finding an armhf image here that seemed suitable for my needs: https://releases.linaro.org/debian/images/ . Here is one that is an example of a good, light-weight desktop that is built around Ubuntu 16.04 LTS: https://releases.linaro.org/debian/images/alip-armhf/16.04/linaro-jessie-alip-20160428-22.tar.gz . Then I would do the following to get it to work with my Petalinux system:

1) Set the root file system to "SD" using petalinux-config. Follow the instructions here to do this, but stop before you get to the "dd" command: https://github.com/Digilent/Petalinux-Zybo-Z7-20/blob/master/README.md#configure-sd-rootfs .

2)Download the root fs from Linaro and extract it 

3)Copy the contents of the extracted archive to the second partition of your SD card using "sudo rsync -a". The root of second partition should look like a standard Linux root filesystem if done correctly (/lib, /usr, /home, /mnt, /media, ...). 

4) Execute "sync" to ensure all data is copied to the SD card, then unmount both partitions and eject it from your computer. 

In my experience that used to work most of the time, but you need to make sure you are using a kernel that is pretty close to the one that is expected to be packaged with the image. Also, you will need to manually copy over any kernel modules you need from petalinux.

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