IOGear GWU513 usb wireless adapter on Linux

IOGear 802.11g WiFi card happens in two flavors. Earlier version (I’ll call it v1) has ISL3880 chip and is fully¹ supported by recent kernels ( at least). Later version (v2) has GW3887 chip and would (will) be supported by the vanilla kernel¹, but its id is not added to the driver configuration.

To check if you have older or newer card you can use lsusb command. 124A:4023 is v1, while 124a:4025 is newer v2.

¹ Kernel driver needs an external firmware called SoftMAC to run. It is available from Prism Firmwares site. More information can be also obtained at (except that as of now neither mention newer GWU 513 card at all).

So to make v2 GWU513 card work, you need to:

  1. patch the kernel with add a 124a:4025 id patch and recompile it
  2. download the “Second generation device” firmware (for v1 it would be “First generation device”,
  3. put it in appropriate place at appropriate name in the system (on mine Fedora 8 it is /lib/firmware/isl3887usb_bare)
  4. load/reload p54usb kernel module (i.e. rmmod p54usb; modprobe p54usb)
  5. iwconfig should show the new card

Post Scriptum: this is an import of information that I wrote a while ago. Things might have changed since then.

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