Rtl8187 wireless

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

Note: The rtl8187 driver is included in vanilla 2.6.23!

The rtl8187 chip is made for usb-cards/dongles

It supports 802.11(a)/b/g and the following encryptions: WEP and WPA - At the time of this writing, I don't know if WPA2 is supported or not.

The driver's source is released under the GPL

Installing the driver

If you are on 2.6.23 or above you have to enable CONFIG_RTL8187 in your kernel-config.

You can check if this option is enabled in your current kernel by executing:

zcat /proc/config.gz | grep CONFIG_RTL8187

If it outputs




then your kernel includes the rtl8187 driver

If you are using anything lower than 2.6.23 you can choose between the following methods:

Compiling the module from the source-code

No HOWTO yet

Patch your 2.6.22 kernel

Note: if you are already running 2.6.23 or later this is not necessary anymore - just enable the Realtek 8187 USB support in your kernel-config

At first you have to get the kernel-sources After that you'll need to download two patches: one for the rtl8187 driver and one for EEPROM_93CX6 (rtl8187 requires EEPROM_93CX6-support)

Save the following link as EEPROM_93CX6.patch (download it to your harddisk with wget -O EEPROM_93CX6.patch $URL):


Then save the following link as rtl8187.patch (download it to your harddisk with wget -O rtl8187.patch $URL):


Now extract your kernel sources, cd into the kernel-source directory and run

patch -Np1 -i $path/to/EEPROM_93CX6.patch
patch -Np1 -i $path/to/rtl8187.patch
make menuconfig
Now activate:
 Device Drivers  ---> Misc devices  ---> EEPROM 93CX6 support 
(I compiled it directly into the kernel with [*]) Then go to:
 Device Drivers  ---> Network device support  ---> Wireless LAN  ---> Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11) -> Realtek 8187 USB support 

(I compiled this as module [m])

What if you can't find "Realtek 8187 USB support" in the kernel config menu?

Don't panic - make sure you activated EEPROM 93CX6 support
 Device Drivers  ---> Misc devices  ---> EEPROM 93CX6 support 
and the Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack (mac80211)
 Networking  ---> Wireless  ---> Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack (mac80211) 

Now you can save your kernel-config and start compiling After a reboot the module rtl8187 should be available. You can load it like this:

modprobe rtl8187

You can also add rtl8187 to the MODULES-section in your rc.conf

If you want to add rtl8187 support 'The Arch-Way' make sure to add "patch -Np1 -i ../foo.bar" to your kernel-PKGBUILD

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 don't 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 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

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