Getting the rtl1892eu WiFi chipset to work on linux

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Recently upgraded to Xanmod kernel 5.15 stable and noticed that the drivers for a lot of Realtek WiFi chipsets have been mainlined.

My desktop doesn’t have WiFi and the few times I need to tether, this has usually proved to be an exercise in frustration. I went through a lot of dongles on amazon India but never did find anything cheap that would 'just work'. A few are marked as 'Linux compatible' or 'Raspberry PI' compatible but that just seems to be a way to jack up the price.

Eventually, I settled on a Realtek dongle I had lying around the house that had an esoteric 8188fu chipset. These dongles are cheap and work well enough in a pinch - if you could get them to work. Thankfully, I found this repository. After adding the PPA, the dongle did work albeit a few nitpicks - it used to run hot, spam kernel message log and in general manage 20 - 30 Mbps at most and so on. Anyway, sufficient for me to tether once or twice a month when my ISP conked out.

Back to topic - noticed the mainlining of Realtek drivers and decided to get a 2T2R dongle…​ Amazon India had Tenda U3 Mini Wireless N Adapter (Black) and one of the reviews mentioned that it was working on Kali linux - ok…​ promising and not too pricey - so got it.

It came yesterday and I stuck it in and guess what - no dice…​ connection spotty and even when it showed as connected, it seemed flaky and pages wouldn’t load or get stuck…​ speed test reported something in between single digit mbps and would drop to kbps or worse…​ :sigh:

Anyway - given that the previous driver from kelebek333 had been my mainstay for so many years, decided to give it a shot -

# I already had the ppa added
sudo apt install r8192-dkms

# blacklist the in kernel rtl8xxxu driver
echo "blacklist rtl8xxxu" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

a quick reboot and now WiFi shows a 70Mbps connection

A related 'I wish' - in case anyone knows their way around NetworkManager:

  1. Set wireless tether as highest priority network - if that’s connected - all traffic should go through it

  2. Set wired as next highest

  3. Use home wireless as least

I’ve tried playing with NetworkManager’s priority field but it doesn’t do what I want. For now, it’s just switching the interfaces on and off when my wired network goes down.