USB to Ethernet adapter

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How-to use USB to Ethernet adapters


Tested hardware


The SMSC LAN9500 is a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 to 10/100 Ethernet Controller. The datasheet can be found here: An external EEPROM is used to store the LAN9500 configuration.

Kernel configuration

$ make linux-menuconfig
 Device Drivers  --->
    [*] Network device support  --->
        USB Network Adapters  --->
            <M> Multi-purpose USB Networking Framework
            <M> CDC Ethernet support
            <M> SMSC LAN95XX based USB 2.0 10/100 ethernet devices

Additional tools

In order to read/write the configuration eeprom of the LAN9500, Ethtool has to be used.

$ make menuconfig
 Package Selection for the target  --->
    [*] Networking  --->
            [*] ethtool


First mount the module:

# modprobe smsc95xx

then start the new ethernet port

# ifconfig usb0 up

If the message "No EEPROM present" is displayed, this indicates that no configuration file has been detected in the EEPROM. The LAN9500 will start in a default mode and the MAC address will be randomly generated by Linux. The EEPROM can be read/write by using ethtool once the module loaded

 ethtool -e usb0   # (eeprom read)
 ethtool -E usb0 magic 0x9500 offset xxx value xxx  # (eeprom write value at offset)

Additional informations concerning the EEPROM containt can be found on the SMSC web site.