Rtl8187 wireless

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This page describes how to get the rtl8187 wifi-driver working

Note: The rtl8187 driver is in the kernel (thus the driver comes with the linux package)


The rtl8187 chip is made for usb-cards/dongles

It supports 802.11(a)/b/g and the following encryptions: WEP, WPA and WPA2

The driver's source is released under the GPL

Using and testing the driver/Troubleshooting

Make sure that you have loaded the rtl8187 module with

modprobe rtl8187

Then run

dmesg | grep rtl8187
You should see some output like this
 usbcore: registered new interface driver rtl8187 

If you see that line everything should be OK

Using the driver

If everything is right, you should have two new interfaces: wlan0 and wmaster0 If you do not see wlan0 just run

ifconfig wlan0 up

To list all available wifi-networks just run

iwlist wlan0 scan

For more information about configuring your wifi-network see here: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wireless_Setup#Setup_and_Boot

What to do if your connection always times out?

The open source driver suffers from a lot of tx excessive retries and invalid misc errors for some unknown reason, resulting in a lot of packet loss and it keeps disconnecting, some times instantly.

Adjusting with iwconfig options

Lowering the rate

The solution can be found in this thread: http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=299642

Just set the rate to 5.5

iwconfig wlan0 rate 5.5M auto

Fixed option should ensure, however, it doesn't change the rate on its own, thus making the connection a bit more stable:

iwconfig wlan0 rate 5.5M fixed 

Alternativelly find the $POST_UP option and append the above options to your profile config file:

POST_UP="iwconfig wlan0 rate 5.5M fixed"

Try various rates until you get the optimal setting, with no disconnection. In this case 12Mbits, as shown bellow:

POST_UP="iwconfig wlan0 rate 12M fixed"

Now calling;

netfcg2 -c <wireless profile>

or

  netcfg-menu 

and choosing your profile works without extra commands.

Lowering the txpower

You can try lowering the transmit power as well. This may save power as well:

iwconfig wlan0 txpower 5

or even as low as 0. Valid settings are from 0 to 20, auto and off for the stock kernel driver.

Setting rts and fragmentation thresholds

Default iwconfig options have rts and fragmentation thresholds off. These options are particularly useful when there are many adjacent APs or in a noisy environment.

The minimum value for fragmentation value is 256 and maximum is 2346. In many windows drivers the maximum is the default value:

iwconfig wlan0 frag 2346

For rts minimum is 0, maximum is 2347. Once again windows drivers use maximum as the default:

iwconfig wlan0 rts 2347

Compat-wireless-patched

The Linux Wireless project provides frequent stable releases of patched drivers for the latest kernels. These drivers fix the "fixed-channel -1" issue, whilst providing better injection. For further information and installation procedures please read the Wireless_Setup#compat-wireless-patched article.

Using Ndiswrapper

If everything else fails, then you are left with using Ndiswrapper. Ndiswrapper takes Windows RTL8187 drivers and uses them to enable your card.

Install ndiswrapper

pacman -S ndiswrapper

Download the Windows drivers

wget http://db.tt/4NB0HbF6

Extract the drivers

unzip ndiswrapper.zip

Unload the rtl8187 module

modprobe -r rtl8187

Remove any previously installed drivers (if any)

ndiswrapper -r net8187b

Install the new drivers

ndiswrapper -i ./ndiswrapper/net8187b.inf
ndiswrapper -m
depmod -a

Make sure that it is installed

ndiswrapper -l

Try now loading the module

modprobe ndiswrapper

Kernel log shouldn't indicate any errors

dmesg | tail

If all steps are successful it should be visible now in the iwconfig interfaces list

iwconfig

Add ndiswrapper to the MODULES array in /etc/rc.conf

MODULES=(... powernow-k7 ndiswrapper ...)

Blacklist rtl8187 in /etc/modprobe.conf.d/rtl8187.conf

blacklist rtl8187

Proceed to connect as you normally would.

Note: You may still have issues with disconnections, but in this case setting rates, rts and fragmentation thresholds actually work

Misc Links