VIA VT6656 devices
This page describes how to enable support for WiFi devices based the VIA VT6656 chipset on Debian systems.
vt6656_stage is a module produced by the vt6656 vendor driver, supporting wireless LAN devices based on the VIA VT6656 USB chipset. Supported devices are listed at the end of this page.
The driver is included in Debian Linux kernel images for x86 since linux-2.6 2.6.32-31 (part of the Debian 6.0.1 point release). Non-free firmware is required (vntwusb.fw), which is available in the firmware-linux-nonfree package.
For support of VIA PCI wireless LAN chipsets (e.g. VT6655), see NDISwrapper.
Add a "non-free" component to /etc/apt/sources.list, for example:
# Debian Squeeze/6.0 deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian squeeze main contrib non-free
# aptitude update && aptitude install firmware-linux-nonfree wireless-tools
Connect the device to your system. The vt6656_stage kernel module is automatically loaded for supported devices.
Verify your device has an available interface:
Configure your wireless interface as appropriate.
Examine the kernel ring buffer (dmesg(1)) to verify required firmware is loaded by the driver. Lack of firmware is the usual reason for the "SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory" error message.
Ensure the firmware-linux-nonfree package is installed, then reload the kernel module:
modprobe -r vt6656_stage ; modprobe vt6656_stage
The page HowToIdentifyADevice/USB explains how to identify a USB device.
The following list is based on the alias fields of modinfo vt6656_stage in Debian 2.6.32 (2.6.32-41) kernel images.
USB: 160A:3184 VIA Technologies, Inc. VIA VNT-6656 [WiFi 802.11b/g USB Dongle]