Installing the ASUS PCE-N53 WIFI Card in a Machine Running SteamOS

Recently, I took the dive into building a custom SteamOS box.  So far, it’s been a fun exercise.  SteamOS basically is the Big Picture Mode for the Steam Client running on top of a debian-based Linux platform.  There are plenty of articles that go into the installation of it, so I won’t bother with that.

The main issue I see is that there is not a whole lot of support for various hardware.  In my case, I had a few-year-old ASUS PCE-N53 WIFI card that I wanted to install and use.   However, the SteamOS did not detect the card at all, thus began an adventure in research into getting it working.

The below procedure walks you through installing the drivers for the card.  To do this, you have to get into the desktop mode on the SteamOS and be familiar with the terminal.

I’m using SteamOS version 1.0 Update 161.

Installing WIFI PCE-N53 Card

Get the driver patch

ASUS has a Linux driver, but the driver is not compatible with Linux kernels under version 3.0.  There is an unsupported patch out there, it worked for me, but use at your own risk!

  1. Get the v3 patch:

http://gridlox.net/diff/rt5592sta_fix_64bit_3.8.patch

2.  Put the patch on the SteamBox in the /home/desktop/Downloads folder

In my case, I used WinSCP from a Windows Desktop.  You can use wget from the SteamOS console.

Get the ASUS Driver

  1. Download the driver from the ASUS site:

http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=11&m=PCE-N53&hashedid=F3giHhIS4hp6aWBW

Drop this in the /home/desktop/Downloads folder

Patch and Compile the Driver

To perform these steps, you need to be logged into the Linux terminal on the steamOS box.  You can do this in two ways:

  1. Log into the desktop in the SteamOS and launch the terminal
  2. Enable SSH on the SteamOS box and SSH in
  3. Log onto the SteamOS terminal

Go to the SteamOS desktop, then to the terminal

Or, alternately, SSH to the desktop shell

Install 7-zip and the make utility

sudo apt-get install p7zip-full
sudo apt-get install build-essential
  1. Unpack the driver
7z x Linux_PCE_N53_1008.zip
cd Linux
7z x DPO_GPL_RT5592STA_LinuxSTA_v2.6.0.0_20120326.tar.bz2
7z x DPO_GPL_RT5592STA_LinuxSTA_v2.6.0.0_20120326.tar

2.  Patch the driver

cd DPO_GPL_RT5592STA_LinuxSTA_v2.6.0.0_20120326/
patch -p1 < ~/Downloads/rt5592sta_fix_64bit_3.8.patch

3.  Compile

sudo make

4.  Install the compiled driver

sudo make install

5.  Rescan for the new card

sudo modprobe rt5592sta

Viola!  Now the card works. I can configure it from the SteamOS desktop network configuration utility.  Hope this is of benefit to someone out there.

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