how to switch between rt2800pci and rt2860sta

Asked by Wolfgang Kufner on 2010-11-03

You need to have both modules available in order to be able to switch. Check this in a terminal by typing:

lspci -k|grep -i network --after-context 3
03:00.0 Network controller: RaLink RT2860
 Subsystem: Foxconn International, Inc. Device e002
 Kernel driver in use: rt2800pci
 Kernel modules: rt2800pci, rt2860sta

Here, rt2800pci and rt2860sta are both available, while rt2800pci is in use.

Make a file that allows you to easily switch between the two driver modules. For this open a terminal and then open nano by typing:
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-wlan.conf
Write this two lines in nano:
blacklist rt2800pci
#install rt2860sta /bin/false

Save this (ctrl+O; return; ctrl+X).
If you now shut down and boot your system will then use the rt2860sta.

If, on the other hand, you want to make sure that the rt2860sta does _not_ get used, comment out the other line
sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-wlan.conf
#blacklist rt2800pci
install rt2860sta /bin/false
(Don't forget to save.)
If you now shut down and boot your system will then use the rt2800pci.

The "#" makes everything behind it a comment. It is ignored.

Why not just write blacklist rt2860sta?
A blacklisted module can still be pulled into use under certain circumstances. With the install rt2860sta /bin/false line we can prevent the rt2860sta from ever loading. Such stronger means have so far not turned out to be necessary with the other module.
What does this install line do?
It tells the system that whenever rt2860sta is to be loaded, the command /bin/false is to be executed instead.
What does /bin/false do?
false is a command on your system. So you can find out what it does by typing man false in a terminal.

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Wolfgang Kufner
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Please comment if you find something wrong or unclear with the above. Or fix it yourself with the "Edit question" button (top right) if you feel sure.

This is a questions forum for people having issues. I suggest you post this on the ubuntuforums.

Can this be closed as a non-question


Hi actionparsnip,

I certainly did not want to mess anything up here or distract or detract in any way. Basically I hoped the answers system could be used for this in what might be termed "creative new use". Or maybe also "preemptive answers".

The question as such is a real issue for many users. I have linked in the "Related bugs" to two of the bugs that present those who experience them with that issue.

The biggest problem with forums is that they are very different from bugs.launchpad. They need a different login and everything works different there. I am quite comfortable with launchpad but never yet posted in the forums. Other lauchpad users would not easily be able to post comments there. The question systems uses the same login and is much closer in style.

If I instead told affected people in the tracker to ask the question here and then answered it here or waited for somebody else to answer them it would not look that much different. The big downside from what I can see would be that the answer would than not be editable. That is what I found most appealing about this form. The answer can be discussed with comments and worked on and honed by editing. And that editing could be done easily by the people participating in the bug tracker. One click. The forums can not do that. Not for people whose starting point is the bug tracker. And also not in this form that might be especially suited. That way we could have a very good answer in one place and link to it, instead of having lower quality answers repeated over and over again.

Please take into account that I spend many hours in the bug tracker trying to make things better. Part of that is instructing people about how to do things and I feel that there is more repetition than there should be.
Maybe can do more than it has done up to now. Or not. But it would be a pity if something new were not done just because it has not been done befor.
On the other hand, maybe I misjudged this. I do not know much about the answer system. I do not even know what closing as a non-question entails.

Hoping for an enlightening dialog.

Wolfgang Kufner

No, its not the place to post. If you have an issue with your system then yes this is a good place to post and a handful of regulars (including myself) will endevour to help. If you have how to's or guides then the ubuntu forums is the place to post

Yes it may be a genuine issue but this is not a question, but a how to and as such is not suited to this place


I had the same performance issues on a Packard desktop with a RT2860 after upgrading to Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick).

I added the blacklist-wlan.conf file as you suggested, and it fixes the problem.


This works for me and gets my eeePC 901 running Kubuntu 11.04 working properly again. (It was OK in 10.10, but 11.05 had led to an unreliable connection and lots of packet loss.