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rtl8xxxu on debian kirkwood

Posted by Nilas 
rtl8xxxu on debian kirkwood
October 26, 2020 07:14AM
Hi everyone,

Let me start by saying that I appreciate the Debian Kirkwood kernel&rootfs package a lot and find it very helpful.
So here's the thing, I'm running the NSA325 successfully in my home network but the wife didn't like my cable clutter and made me move the NSA325 to another room that doesn't have ethernet.
I had a USB wifi stick lying around that I am using right now, it's the TPlink WN821Nv4 which is based on the RTL8192CU chipset. I use the rtl8192cu driver built into the kernel which runs okayish but not quite perfect. I googled a lot and read that the rtl8xxxu driver might work better, but it's not built in the kernel package (it's seems to be available for the Oxnas package though). So I wonder if anyone has ever played with this driver on a kirkwood machine and could point me to compile instructions. Alternatively, would it be possible to include this driver in the next kernel release for kirkwood?

Thanks so much in advance
Re: rtl8xxxu on debian kirkwood
October 26, 2020 09:37AM
I have an Oxnas setup but this may be of interest, not sure it would work on your machine though:)


Hope it points you in the right direction!

learning is living! Echowarrior108

device pogoplug-pro v3

Debian GNU/Linux bullseye/sid \n \l
Linux version 4.14.180-oxnas-tld-1 (root@tldDebian) (gcc version 8.3.0 (Debian 8.3.0-6) ) #1 SMP PREEMPT Fri Nov 15 04:12:45 PST 2019
Re: rtl8xxxu on debian kirkwood
October 26, 2020 01:37PM
I've had good luck with both the rtl8812au and rtl8821cu chipsets on kirkwood. Both chipsets support AC and are 433mbps which is about all the USB bus capacity. Some of the 8821cu devices have coexisting Bluetooth radios so they makes a nice single solution device for wifi and BT. I usually compile using githubs for Raspberry Pi 3, google searching will bring up some of the most popular ones.

The source for the rtl8812au I use is: rtl8812au source on github
And for rtl8821cu, I use: rtl8821cu source on github

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/2020 06:46PM by LeggoMyEggo.
Re: rtl8xxxu on debian kirkwood
October 26, 2020 04:34PM

> Alternatively, would it be possible to include
> this driver in the next kernel release for
> kirkwood?


I'm testing the new kernel (5.9.1+ for release), so I could see if I can inlcude rtl8xxxu in the config.

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bodhi's corner
Re: rtl8xxxu on debian kirkwood
November 17, 2020 12:56PM
Thank you guys for your suggestions. It's been a while but I wanted to report back as I think I've found a solution to my problem. I couldn't find a repository of the rtl8xxxu driver that would compile right away but I found a modified 8192cu driver that lists my device as compatible. This driver improved my wifi speed but the connection would always hang after a couple of minutes. I played with the energy savings parameters but nothing was effective. After further testing I found that the wifi adapter would become pretty hot and google revealed some reports of overheating issues. I removed the plastic case and positioned the adapter in front of the NSA325's fan but it didn't improve much. Then, inspired by this repository, I modified the above 8192cu driver to decrease the txpower by a fixed offset (if I understand things correctly the value I used should reduce by ~50%). And this finally seems to be stable now (without compromising speed in my setup). What a hassle...
Re: rtl8xxxu on debian kirkwood
November 17, 2020 03:48PM

I forgot to put this info in the release notes :)

I've configured the rtl8xxxu dirver into the new kernel linux-5.9.3-kirkwood-tld-1-bodhi.tar.bz2.

You can give it a try to see if it is stable, then you don't need to run any extra binary.

Forum Wiki
bodhi's corner

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