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How to Set Up the Ralink RT5370 WiFi Dongle on Raspian

June 13, 2013


Make sure you have the latest Raspbian Operating System (OS) installed on your Raspberry Pi. You can download the latest version of NOOBS here and follow the discussion of installing NOOBS on your Raspberry Pi here. Then plug your WiFi Dongle in!


Once installed, we'll then need to make sure we've got the latest firmware drivers by running the following commands (make sure you've got an internet connection - this won't work without!):

sudo apt-get update

(This updates the list of available packages and their versions, but it does not install or upgrade any packages.)

sudo apt-get upgrade

(This actually installs newer versions of the packages you have. After updating the lists, the package manager knows about available updates for the software you have installed.)

sudo apt-get autoremove

(This will then remove all of the reduntant packages after the latest upgrade)


Check and make sure your wifi dongle has installed correctly (LSUSB):


This will list all the connected USB devices.

The line your looking for is:

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 148f:5370 Ralink Technology Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adaptor

If it's there, it's been installed correctly! Note. your Device Number and ID will vary, it's the "5370 Ralink Technology Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adaptor" bit you need to see!

You can also use (LSMOD)


This shows which kernel modules (e.g. drivers) are currently loaded. You're looking for the rt2800usb, rt2800lib etc. modules. If they're there - then they're working :) It should look something like:

rt2800usb              14940  0 
rt2800lib                55351  1 rt2800usb
rt2x00usb              11215  1 rt2800usb
rt2x00lib                42335  3 rt2x00usb,rt2800lib,rt2800usb
mac80211             273413  3 rt2x00lib,rt2x00usb,rt2800lib
cfg80211              184163  2 mac80211,rt2x00lib
crc_ccitt               1522  1 rt2800lib


We then need to set up the dongle to connect to our network.

To do this, we are going to edit the wpa_supplicant.conf file. First of all, backup this file:

sudo cp /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf.bak

Note: To restore your backup file simply replace the current conf with the backed up version:

sudo cp /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf.bak /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Now we can edit the file:

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

If this is the first time you have edited this file, then you should see the following:

Now to connect to your wireless network. Simply add the following (no spaces between network={):

        ssid="<SSID of your wifi network>"
        psk="<the password for this network>"

Once you have edited the file, save and close the file.

Now we need to stop wlan0:

sudo wpa_action wlan0 stop

Then load it back up with the new wpa config:

sudo ifup wlan0

After wlan0 has come back up, check to see if you have connectivity:

sudo wpa_cli status

If you can see an ip_address, chances are you have succesfully connected to your wifi network!!

Tags: ralink, dongle, wifi Last update: September 11, 2015

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