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Have to reinstall wireless driver after kernel updates
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Description

After every kernel upgrade I have to reinstall my wireless driver from source. After the kernel upgrade, no adapters show and a modprobe 8723au doesn't return anything. After reinstalling the driver and a reboot I'm good till the next kernel update. This was an issue before the release of clr-boot-manager and is still an issue afterward.

Hardware info:
Lenovo Yoga 13 20175

Source code for the driver that I'm currently using:
https://github.com/lwfinger/rtl8723au

It looks like the wireless chip is integrated in with the USB controller as seen here from the lshw output:

 *-usb:1
             description: USB controller
             product: 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 1a
             bus info: pci@0000:00:1a.0
             version: 04
             width: 32 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm debug ehci bus_master cap_list
             configuration: driver=ehci-pci latency=0
             resources: irq:16 memory:e0421000-e04213ff
           *-usbhost
                product: EHCI Host Controller
                vendor: Linux 4.9.18-10.lts ehci_hcd
                physical id: 1
                bus info: usb@1
                logical name: usb1
                version: 4.09
                capabilities: usb-2.00
                configuration: driver=hub slots=2 speed=480Mbit/s
              *-usb
                   description: USB hub
                   product: Integrated Rate Matching Hub
                   vendor: Intel Corp.
                   physical id: 1
                   bus info: usb@1:1
                   version: 0.00
                   capabilities: usb-2.00
                   configuration: driver=hub slots=6 speed=480Mbit/s
                 *-usb:0
                      description: Generic USB device
                      product: USB2.0-CRW
                      vendor: Generic
                      physical id: 3
                      bus info: usb@1:1.3
                      version: 39.60
                      serial: 20100201396000000
                      capabilities: usb-2.00
                      configuration: driver=rtsx_usb maxpower=500mA speed=480Mbit/s
**                 *-usb:1
                      description: Wireless interface
                      product: 802.11n WLAN Adapter
                      vendor: Realtek
                      physical id: 4
                      bus info: usb@1:1.4
                      logical name: wlp0s26u1u4i2
                      version: 2.00
                      serial: 00e04c000001
                      capabilities: usb-2.00 bluetooth ethernet physical wireless
                      configuration: broadcast=yes driver=rtl8723au ip=192.168.2.13 maxpower=500mA multicast=yes speed=480Mbit/s wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn**

Full lshw output here:
https://pastebin.com/LwVtU2nW

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That's not actually a bug as such. Prior to the CBM managed kernel - there was no retention of the currently running kernel. Now there is. You'll still have to recompile it for each kernel though,
unless you get it into our kernel package by default (linux-lts) or as a package in the repo, so that we push the updates.

peterhavener updated the task description. (Show Details)Mar 28 2017, 3:40 PM

I'm confused why you say its an issue after clr-boot-manager. You haven't had any CBM managed updates yet, you've only just moved from the broken system to the new system. It would've remained broken for that initial transition, unavoidable.

peterhavener added a comment.EditedMar 28 2017, 3:47 PM

Ikey, thanks for the ridiculously fast response! Being a newbie at this, how would I go about getting this added into the linux-lts package?

Ping me again in around 2hrs because I'll definitely forget, but we'll look at getting this managed in the kernel itself, save you having to go through this rigmarole every time

Hey Ikey, tried to catch you on IRC yesterday. This is definitely not a high priority, as you mentioned I can keep compiling it when I update. If you get the time and integrate it that would be fabulous. Thanks

This comment was removed by peterhavener.
This comment was removed by peterhavener.

Did we ever resolve this or not I can't remember. I remember IRC ping follow up..

Hey Ikey, no we didn't. I'm still reinstalling after every kernel upgrade.

moriel5 added a subscriber: moriel5.EditedJul 24 2017, 12:31 PM

From what I can see, recent Realtek drivers sources seem to have been getting more and more unstable (and as a result, the drivers seem to be less stable as well, on both Linux and Windows (perhaps also on Mac? I don't have Hackintosh installed, so I have no idea) however thanks to some posts on the Solus Forums, and an article I had gotten to from Linux Today, I have found a GitHub repository, headed by lwfinger, where there are attempts to fix those issues.

GitHub repo: https://github.com/lwfinger/rtlwifi_new

I'll try helping out there, and posting here updates (not regularly, I am pretty horrible at that).

So far, I have counted at least three Realtek network cards (and their submodels) with extremely buggy drivers (courtesy of the network sources provided by Realtek): rtl8188, rtl8211 (my driver is the rtl8211ae), and rtl87223.

Update: Well, this was fast.
2.4Ghz works without a single issue on my rtl8211ae now, even with sleep.
5Ghz test shall be done soon.
I'm am running the latest code from the aforementioned GitHub repo, and I had already mentioned my 2.4Ghz test there (through ForkHub on my phone), so I expect the improvements to arrive sooner or later to the mainline kernel.

Update 2: No disconnections on 5Ghz either, although I have reduced internet speeds (streaming a Linus Tech Tips YouTube clip on 5Ghz does so at anywhere from a fifth to a half speed of 2.4Ghz, the network speed is rather inconsistent (it does settle occasionally for a really short time, though), unlike 2.4Ghz, where after sometime in which it had settled (for a short time) on ~22Mbps or ~12Mbps (on a ~36Mbps connection, no less), it had finally settled (this time for real) on ~15Mbps.
I shall be comparing this to wired in a few moments.

Update 3: On wired, after about 12-15 seconds, where the network speed fluctuated slightly, from ~22990-~30000Kbps, the network stabilized and stayed at 30013Kbps.

miwilc added a subscriber: miwilc.Aug 12 2017, 3:53 PM

If it helps @ikey Debian already has "realtek-firmware" ( https://packages.debian.org/sid/firmware-realtek ) package that provides support for Realtek wifi and bluetooth.

ikey added a comment.EditedAug 12 2017, 4:02 PM

@miwilc its just a subpackage split of the same package we have (linux-firmware) - we have those firmware files already

moriel5 added a comment.EditedOct 16 2017, 8:31 PM

Sorry about the extremely late post, however since kernel 13.1, I have been having so many issues of issues with my RTL8821AE, that it had been rendered almost useless (I had to use my phone as a USB wireless adapter), and ever since kernel 13, I am unable to compile lwfinger's drivers for it (I'll be posting this on his GitHub page when I have the time).
Ironically, my WiFi connection was stable, if extremely weak, on kernel 13 itself, though (it seems that kernel 13.7 may have brought kernel 13's relative stability, with the same weak reception, though).

Update: I had retested, and it appear that I had tested kernel 4.13 when I had thought that I was testing kernel 4.13.7.
I had retested, and the result: the RTL8211AENF (it appears that I have an M.2 card, not the old kind of miniPCI Express card) kept on disconnecting every few seconds, and would not reconnect without a reboot, upon which it would disconnect once more on Kernel 4.13.7.
On kernel 4.13, none of this had happened, without a single disconnection (although I did have reduced reception, and a slow network transfer rate very often).

Currently I am posting this from a Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-131) (Which the internal sound card still does not work on Solus, while it does on a custom kernel for Arch), since it has such a great WiFi card (Intel Wireless AC 7260).

I have reached the point where I am considering either cancelling my warranty (I have ordered an Intel Wireless AC 7260 (it would appear that I had bought the wrong kind of card, so you can scratch that) for my Lenovo IdeaPad 300-15 from Hong Kong, via eBay ), selling my laptop and buying a Dell Vostro 3568 (with an AMD R5 m420X and ~6-8 hours of battery life (on an easily replaceable battery, too) to boot (The Lenovo IdeaPad 300-15 barely manages 3-4 hours when new, and under minimal load (plus the battery is connected directly to the motheboard)), or waiting for Dell to release new Vostro models with the 8th gen Intel processors and seeing whether they are cheap enough for my rather limited budget (after selling my Lenovo IdeaPad 300-15, of course) (or perhaps, if AMD's new mobile CPUs will be worthy, perhaps a laptop with one of those).

JoshStrobl moved this task from Backlog to Networking on the Hardware board.Oct 26 2017, 2:25 AM

As I had posted on https://dev.solus-project.com/T2842, all seems well with the RTL8211AENF on the latest kernel, I have an Intel Wireless-AC 3165 now (although I am keeping the RTL8211AENF for testing).

DataDrake closed this task as Resolved.Oct 8 2018, 11:16 AM
DataDrake claimed this task.
DataDrake added a subscriber: DataDrake.

All three of the variants of the 8723 listed in that github repo are officially listed as supported here for both kernels:

https://cateee.net/lkddb/web-lkddb/RTL8XXXU.html

That's good to hear, and I think that it may be time to close this thread now?