Problems with RTL8188EU based WiFi NIC

Aleksandar Kuktin akuktin at gmail.com
Wed Feb 5 15:21:55 PST 2014


>On Mon, 27 Jan 2014 23:53:00 +0100
>Aleksandar Kuktin <akuktin at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> You know, LFS would probably benefit if there were something like a
> lfs-hardware list, where people would talk about running LFS on all
> sorts of exotic, strange, unusual, corners-were-cut-in-making-of-this,
> windows-only and just plain broken hardware.
> 
> Right now I have a very peculiar problem.
> 
> [blah blah blah] [yada yada yada]
> 
> The questions: does anyone have any idea on how to proceed?

Install Mint and try it out with Mint.

> [blah blah blah]
> 
> Does anyone perhaps have an idea what Mint has and a barebones BLFS
> does not? I keep thinking I am missing something that big distros
> (yes, Mint is big now :) ) have.

Depends on how "barebones" do you get. In my case (as it turns out),
very.

Today, I burned a Mint 16 LiveCD and tried my USB WiFi with it. When I
plugged it into a vanilla system, it didn't work, as expected. I then
installed the hacked driver, tried again and to my utter amazement, it
worked like a charm. So.. I fiddled a bit with it and it was the system
log that gave me my big clue. Network Manager was using Wireless
Extensions (and not nl80211) to run the NIC. So, I went back to my
system, saw that I did, infact, compile the Wext fallback into the
kernel and focused on the userland. A short search found that
wpa_supplicant can be built with the Wext driver (among others) but I
never did that because I made a design choice to only use nl80211 on my
system. So, then I rebuilt wpa_supplicant and tried again. And it
worked!

Or so I thought. See, in doing all this, I accidentally gave
the wrong command line switch to wpa_supplicant and it used the wrong
NIC - my burned Broadcom! I only noticed it a few minutes later, when I
saw that the wrong blinkenlight is shining. But there it was - the
supposed dead NIC was working properly. A quick test verified that the
USB WiFi was also working properly, now that Wireless Extensions had
been installed on all levels of the stack.

So there. Now you know another place where to look if your NIC isn't
working.

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