Connecting Bela to wifi

giuliomoro edited this page May 14, 2018 · 17 revisions

We tested Bela with a few wifi dongles. Many more dongles which are compatible with Linux will work out of the box if their drivers are included in the 4.4.113 kernel. Newer devices may require to compile the drivers for this kernel. Tested devices:

  • NETGEAR A6100-100PES AC600 802.11AC (more expensive, but better performing, requires driver setup steps below)
  • Ralink RT5370
  • Ralink MT7601U 148f:7601

Here are some steps to follow to setup your network connection with a wifi dongle.

First of all, run

$ lsusb

on the board to make sure it shows up correctly. If it does not, reboot your device. If you have an old Bela image (before v0.1) and want to use the NETGEAR A6100-100PES AC600, then first follow the steps below for driver installation. Otherwise, just go through the Network setup.

Network setup

  • Get the name of your wifi device:
ip a

One of the devices should be called wlanX, where X is a number, that is the name of your network device. If no wlan device shows up, then maybe you need to install drivers for it.

In the following we use wlan1 as the name of the interface. You should replace it with the device name you found in this step.

  • Edit the /etc/network/interfaces file following the instructions in there:

  • Run the following:

$ ifdown wlan1; ifup wlan1;
  • Verify your settings are correct by running:
$ ip a

and check that your device is working and has an IP address.

Driver setup

Note: These steps are only required for a Bela image v0.3.x if you are using the NETGEAR A6100 dongle.

Clone this repo on the board:, cd into it and run make ARCH=arm && make ARCH=arm install.


If you are searching for a battery-friendly wireless router, try the USB-powered TPlink tl-wr902ac. Among other things, it allows to reserve IP addresses for specific MAC addresses, which ensures your BELA to always show up at a pre-defined IP.

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