[SOLVED] Trouble configuring a Realtek USB wifi stick. Won't go UP, then treated as ethernet.
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Trouble configuring a Realtek USB wifi stick. Won't go UP, then treated as ethernet.
I have a new USB dongle wireless adapter, Realtek 8178 (uses 8192CU driver). Frustratingly enough, I had it working, then I changed something. All I did was change its NAME="wlan1" to NAME="wlan0" (and comment out the line for the old wlan0 device) in /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules. Then (after restarting) I tried to configure it using ceni (which worked before, when it was wlan1). When I tried now, it said something like,
ifconfig unable to set wlan0 UP.
Then I tried, in ceni, removing the configuration, to start over. After that, it seems to think the wifi adapter is an ethernet adapter. Typically ceni shows a list of hardware like:
eth0 ethernet [address] [device name]
wlan0 wireless [address] [device name]
But now it shows wlan0 and the Realtek device, OK, only with "ethernet" instead of "wireless." When I select it and try to configure, it does not scan for wifi networks, it tries to connect a wired network.
My system is Debian Squeeze / antiX, with a liquorix 2.6.35 kernel. I compiled & installed the drivers from a CD that came with the adapter. (Maybe I could have gotten firmware-realtek working, but I didn't try that.) Everything was working until I changed one little name key, which normally you are allowed to change.
Regarding the Debian firmware-realtek package: I tried with a recent live CD (Antix 13 full), and it looks like there are severe connection stability issues, using that package with the usb wifi dongle I have. Ceni shows my network at first, but it disappears after I attempt to connect.
Probably the driver from Realtek is my best bet. I have another partition where I can try a fresh Linux install. So I'll try that, using a wired connection to start out with.
One thing I forgot to say yesterday, I did make another change, which could have been what broke it: I uninstalled wicd (and wireless-tools with it), at the same time I changed that name key (to wlan0). I did that because I though ceni would be enough, and would keep things more simple. SO, I will also experiment with putting wicd back.
Last edited by garrettderner; 06-18-2013 at 09:50 AM.
Reason: additional thought
After I put back wicd (& wireless-tools with it), the Realtek wireless device showed up properly as "wireless" again, in ceni. I was able to configure it.
For some reason it took two reboots, before it would work properly. After the first reboot, ceni showed the adapter as "wlan1", and wicd crashed. After the second reboot, the device shows up as "wlan0" the way I expected. There must have still been some memory of "wlan1" somewhere unknown to me.
It has been working for half an hour. So far so good! I'll see whether it stays stable for longer periods; if so I will mark this Solved.
As I had hoped, the system still suspends and resumes OK, and reconnects to the network when it resumes.
That's using the driver supplied by Realtek.
As for the package, firmware-realtek, I had no luck. I tried it (version 0.36+wheezy) from a fresh install with Mepis 2.6.36 and with Liquorix 2.6.32 kernels, and also from a live CD (antiX Luddite) with a Mepis 3.8 kernel.
Last edited by garrettderner; 06-19-2013 at 05:53 PM.
Reason: add version number
Seems solved (& pretty reasonable for a $7 ebay purchase)
OK, I am feeling satisfied that this Realtek rtl8178 (better known as RTL8192) b/n/g usb wireless adapter works OK, as long as I use the factory driver, along with Wicd (or wireless-tools, at least). Good enough, for something for $7 on ebay. I imagine probably someday the Debian driver will work, too.
I looked at the documentation that come with the adapter, and it does say that the driver uses wireless-tools. So all the trouble was because I removed that.
Last edited by garrettderner; 06-20-2013 at 11:11 AM.
Reason: add note about docs & wireless-tools and product id.