I just got an RPi Zero the other day and I'm finally now just able to set down with it and get it working (been too busy with my new 3D printer).

I had a wifi adapter lying around from about a year or so ago that I wasn't using on anything and I figured I could use it on the Zero. I've got everything powered up and connected but I'm having some issues getting the connection up and going.

Now let me say this before anyone asks: I am not a Linux administrator. I have used Linux as a user and as a SysAd in the past so I know how to navigate the file structure and I know a few things but don't expect me to have this incredible amount of knowledge. I researched my issue before I came here to ask and there wasn't one pertaining to my exact adapter or the things that I am experiencing on a RPi Zero.

Alright, now that that is out of the way, here is what I have for a physical layout: 5V 2A power supply to the PWR on the Zero, a 4-port USB hub that has a keyboard and mouse (separate, discrete devices) and the Netgear A6210 wifi adapter plugged into it. The 4-port USB hub is plugged into the USB port on the RPi Zero via an OTG adapter and I have an HDMI cable going from a monitor into the Zero.

I turn everything on but the wifi adapter isn't working. No problem, I figured it wouldn't be OOB ready. I open up Terminal and type in ifconfig but I only see lo. I check the service status to make sure it is up--it is. I type lsusb into the Terminal and sure enough, it lists Netgear:

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0846:9053 NetGear, Inc.

So, I know it sees it. I (pull the adapter out and then back in again and) check dmesg tail and I get:

new high-speed USB device number 6 using dwc_otg
New USB device found, idVendor=0846, idProduct=9053
New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Product: A6210
Manufacturer: NETGEAR
SerialNumber: 100

I'm not entirely sure but it seems like the Zero is talking with the adapter just fine and it wouldn't be a driver issue, right?

I saw something online about running wpa_supplicant.conf and adding SSID and password there but I can't even get the device to show up in ifconfig.

What would be the next step in figuring this out?


2 Answers 2


Over on our sister Ubuntu SE site I found this short question "is the Netgear-A6210 Wireless Adapter compatible with Linux?" which had the seemingly short answer No. It had a link to the Ubuntu forums which reported on the topic "Netgear AC1200 Dual Band Wi-Fi USB 3.0 Adapter" which is described as for "a model A6210. From searching ... found that it uses aMediaTek chipset, MT7612U (0846:9053)".

Interesting to note that the steps that someone else took involved compiling from sources but that that failed - but that person did not note that the errors seemed to actually be warnings related to "Unused Variables" - which - given it is driver software that is probably trying to present a uniform API for a range of devices, some of which may not have a use for some parameters need not necessary actually represent an error.

It might be that the source code that was used has - over a year later - been edited to remove the extraneous variables or re-written to make use of them. If not you may have to comment out those variables manually - or add -Wno-unused-variable to the gcc complier CFLAGS for a quick and dirty fix...


TL;DR - get a supported adapter.

I've suffered this with a D-Link DWA131 for which there were no kernel drivers. So whilst lsusb showed the device and 'knew' what it was, Raspbian couldn't drive it as a network adapter. I eventually cobbled together several others findings and hardwork and got it to run but it required recompiling every time the kernel was updated and misreported a number of things. The whole process is a misery since you have to get all the dependencies from elsewhere since you can't go directly. If you have a regular Pi then perhaps do all this from there using Ethernet and switch SD cards into the Zero for testing. Or use Bluetooth (if available), or USB OTG, or chroot from another Linux machine or go back to the tl;dr bit :)

Caveat: I only verified this built, installed and enabled: Not Tested

So, for yours there appears to be this which appears to derive from a MediaTek offering. You'll need to install (sudo apt-get install git build-essential raspberrypi-kernel-headers) git, build-essential and the kernel headers. Some of these look to be already installed in recent Raspbians.

I had to reboot after getting the headers (which took ages), you may not but if in the next step it complains, reboot.

Then follow the GitHub authors readme, clone the repo from github, make, install. There were a few warnings along the way and the whole process took maybe 5 minutes. Then you notionally have a driver installed. Reboot or sudo modprobe mt7662u_sta and plug in the netgear and see what happens - if it appears in ip l or ifconfig then you might be in luck, then you get to configure it in wpa_supplicant as you've already read.

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