Netgear A6120 Wireless on Ubuntu 18.04 (4.15 kernel)

I recently installed and upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04 as my primary desktop OS and had a fun time figuring out the driver situation for my Netgear USB wifi stick. While there isn’t an official Linux driver, there is an open source driver available on github that continues to be worked on in various branches.

After a few attempts of going down different paths that ultimately didn’t make a different (eg. recompiling the kernel from source), I started over and made sure I had updated all the background tools and packages necessary to compile the driver for the wireless chipset. This seemed to be the key difference in getting it to work vs bashing your head against the wall wondering why you still have a Cat5 cable snaking around your house.

So if you’re going down this road, here are a few steps:

0. Update. Upgrade. Update. Make sure you have the latest 4.15 kernel, make sure to restart and then run the update and upgrade commands again to make sure you get all the updated versions.

1. Clone from this fork: https://github.com/kaduke/Netgear-A6210/tree/port-to-4.15, making sure to checkout the right branch. If you try to build from the master branch, it will likely not succeed.

2. When you run the make command the first time, it will probably fail because you’re missing at least one package required to compile. Install and update that package, and then run make clean<, and then run make again. Repeat as many times as necessary.

3. Don't try to mess with the DKMS Install.

4. You may need to restart, and then unplug and plugin the USB device for it to show up.

Ultimately, the best route is to not go down this route. If you have the option, buy a different wireless connection device with better / more linux support.