I am trying to get a Belkin IEEE 802.11g USB WiFi Network Adapter to interface properly with my RPi. Upon checking dmesg it is apparent there is an issue loading the firmware for the device:

[ 1358.358571] zd1211rw 1-1.5.4:1.0: couldn't load firmware. Error number -2

So my next step was to install ralink 0.28 + squeeze. [Editor note: firmware-ralink 0.28+squeeze ?]

I used the standard dpkg command in terminal to perform the install of the firmware from the .deb file. Upon checking the firmware folder there is rl firmware files so I believe it has installed. But When looking at lsusb (after reboot) to see my devices, the Belkin is still using the old firmware [Zydas ZD1211B]. Also, I cannot seem to figure out how to force the device to load the ralink firmware.

1 Answer 1


I think you may have been following old instructions. I believe the files you are seeking will be in the firmware-nonfree package ("Non-free" because they do not completely fall within the "free" licensing scope of the Debian Free Software Guidelines, and Debian is the parent from which Raspbian is descended).

Using dpkg itself makes it more easy to mess up things with packages as it is directly responsible for manipulating them. In most cases it is safer (and easier) to use a more user-friendly front end, like: apt-get or aptitude on the RPi. Hopefully sudo apt-get update to get the details of the latest packages, followed by sudo apt-get install firmware-nonfree will get you back on track Wifi!

For what it is worth "squeeze" was Raspbian version 6.x and is, for lack of a better word an "obsolete" distribution, the next one "wheezy" is version 7.x and is still in use as the "oldstable" version, the current "stable" version is "jessie" which is what people who download Raspbian now will probably be using (existing installations will use sudo apt-get dist-upgrade to update across Major versions - though there are some additional things they may/should want to do first).

That reference to "squeeze" is what suggests to me you had out of date information!

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