Buy a Wifi extender that supports wired clients, use your motherboard’s LAN port

Longer version

Vanity led me to install a vertical GPU mount in my desktop. This meant my specifically-purchased-for-Linux-compatibility PCI-E x1 802.11n adapter would no longer fit in the case.

Linux and Wifi have a tenuous relationship. Few Wifi chipsets provide native Linux drivers and manufacturers may not properly list the chipset their product contains. Using wrapped Windows drivers can be problematic.

Adding USB to this doesn’t help. Even running Windows, USB Wifi devices can have issues: failure to appear as a network device, delayed appearance, complete driver failure. Multi-USB chipset motherboards complicate things further.

Linux (and Windows) and wired networking have a great relationship. If only I could link my built-in Ethernet port to a Wifi extender via a cable. The last time I tried this, in 2005 with an Xbox 360, it didn’t work.

It works now. Many (most?) recent-ish Wifi extenders explicitly support wired clients. Prices start around US$25 for 802.11n, US$35+ for 802.11ac.

I happened to have a relatively recent (2014) extender lying around. It works perfectly and will continue to work perfectly with the various OSes I run on the box. Happy day.