Morshu9001
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:51 am

Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Thu May 15, 2014 5:26 am

I've got a Rasbperry Pi Model A. It has no ethernet port. I have a Model B as well, just not with me right now.

The latest Raspbian supported my $5 Ralink USB wifi dongle out of the box; I just had to open the Wifi Config desktop shortcut and select it. I had to dedicate that to my Raspberry Pi Model B. Now, I have purchased a generic wifi dongle for $2.88 to use on my Model A, and Wifi Config cannot detect it at all. It works fine on my brother's Dell running Windows 7 and his eMac running Mac OS X 10.4.11. I can see it with lsusb, showing up as a Realtek device, so at least I know that I need some kind of Realtek drivers.

I don't know where to start when trying to install wifi drivers on a Linux computer. I can't find anything on Google except for a really outdated, non-working script to install the drivers. I don't necessarily need a full guide, just a push in the right direction. Even if there's a solution involving apt-get, I can't use apt-get because I have no Internet connection. I DO have a Model B, so if there's something I can just install with apt-get on it, could I transfer the SD card from my Model B to my Model A? Either way, copying something onto a flash drive would be a lot easier (especially since retrieving the Model B would involve a trip to my grandma's house).

P.S. In case anyone is wondering why I went even cheaper with the second wifi dongle when I could have just bought another of the first one, it's because I couldn't find the first one anymore. Cheap eBay products with zero branding and product numbers.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 23910
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Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Thu May 15, 2014 5:58 am

Open Terminal and run the following to identify the Wireless Chipset

lsusb

post output in reply, because you will need a specific driver.
Rather than negativity think outside the box !
RPi 4B 4GB (SSD Boot) RaspiOS64 ARM64
Asus ChromeBox 3 Celeron is my other computer...

Tarcas
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:38 am
Location: USA

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Thu May 15, 2014 10:31 pm

Even if there's a solution involving apt-get, I can't use apt-get because I have no Internet connection. I DO have a Model B, so if there's something I can just install with apt-get on it, could I transfer the SD card from my Model B to my Model A?
Yes, software on both are the same, so cards are interchangeable between the A and B models.

Morshu9001
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:51 am

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Thu May 15, 2014 11:07 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:Open Terminal and run the following to identify the Wireless Chipset

lsusb

post output in reply, because you will need a specific driver.
It lists "Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:0179 Realtek Semiconductor Corp."

Morshu9001
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:51 am

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Thu May 15, 2014 11:09 pm

Tarcas wrote:
Even if there's a solution involving apt-get, I can't use apt-get because I have no Internet connection. I DO have a Model B, so if there's something I can just install with apt-get on it, could I transfer the SD card from my Model B to my Model A?
Yes, software on both are the same, so cards are interchangeable between the A and B models.
Thanks, good to know. I was just skeptical because of how badly Windows handles that.

I realized that since apt-get just downloads Debian packages and installs them, I could try saving the package and transferring it. I looked around and found this: "apt-get -d install <package name>", which saves the package to /var/cache/apt/archives. So if there's a package that installs the necessary drivers, I'll be set.

Update: I tried installing firmware-realtek using the method I described, and I still can't use my wifi dongle.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 23910
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Fri May 16, 2014 4:09 am

"Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:0179 Realtek Semiconductor Corp."

Therefore the chipset model is not recognised only the manufacturer, the identifier shows a RTL8188EUS see

http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/searc ... rtl8188eus
Rather than negativity think outside the box !
RPi 4B 4GB (SSD Boot) RaspiOS64 ARM64
Asus ChromeBox 3 Celeron is my other computer...

Tarcas
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:38 am
Location: USA

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Fri May 16, 2014 5:05 am

Thanks, good to know. I was just skeptical because of how badly Windows handles that.
As much as some people want it to be, you'll find that Linux is not like windows in a LOT of ways. Mostly good ways, but also sometimes irritating.

MrEngman
Posts: 4051
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:17 pm
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Fri May 16, 2014 11:29 am

Morshu9001 wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:Open Terminal and run the following to identify the Wireless Chipset

lsusb

post output in reply, because you will need a specific driver.
It lists "Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:0179 Realtek Semiconductor Corp."
And you can find info on drivers and installing it here and configuration info here



MrEngman
Simplicity is a prerequisite for reliability. Edsger W. Dijkstra

Please post ALL technical questions on the forum. Please Do Not send private messages.

Joe Schmoe
Posts: 4277
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Fri May 16, 2014 11:42 am

My experience with various OSes and hardware (specifically WiFi devices) is:
  • 1) With Windows, it never works out-of-the-box, but it (almost) always works once you find and install the right driver.
    2) With Linux, it usually works OOTB, but if it doesn't , you're screwed. I've never been able, in any realistic way, to install drivers and get things working on Linux.
    3) With Mac OSX, it is somewhere in between - occasionally, it works OOTB, but if it doesn't, then installing drivers sometimes works.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 23910
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Fri May 16, 2014 11:56 am

I always buy RTL8188CUS based WiFi Dongles, so much easier than searching for drivers / firmware in Linux
Rather than negativity think outside the box !
RPi 4B 4GB (SSD Boot) RaspiOS64 ARM64
Asus ChromeBox 3 Celeron is my other computer...

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GTR2Fan
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Location: South East UK

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Fri May 16, 2014 11:59 am

Joe Schmoe wrote:My experience with various OSes and hardware (specifically WiFi devices) is:
  • 1) With Windows, it never works out-of-the-box, but it (almost) always works once you find and install the right driver.
That's pretty much the complete opposite of my experience with Windows. Nearly all WiFi dongles work straight OOB, and it's become very good at going and finding the drivers all by itself and seamlessly installing them for me with a friendly pop-up informing me when it's finished if they're not. That's assuming that you don't go out of your way to buy unsupported hardware and that your PC is connected to the Internet, obviously. ;)
Pi2B Mini-PC/Media Centre: ARM=1GHz (+3), Core=500MHz, v3d=500MHz, h264=333MHz, RAM=DDR2-1200 (+6/+4/+4+schmoo). Sandisk Ultra HC-I 32GB microSD card on '50=100' OCed slot (42MB/s read) running Raspbian/KODI16, Seagate 3.5" 1.5TB HDD mass storage.

Joe Schmoe
Posts: 4277
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Fri May 16, 2014 12:51 pm

I'm assuming that by "works OOTB", you mean "once it has installed the drivers".

Which was my exactly my point.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)

Morshu9001
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:51 am

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Sat May 17, 2014 8:29 pm

In Windows 7, my brother had to use the built-in driver search tool to get the drivers. It was very easy. That being said… he and I still hate Windows :lol: But it is definitely easier to use than Raspbian.

My experience with Linux is that if it apt-get won't fix it for you, you're hosed, even if you have tutorials to help you. Let's see if I can beat my personal record.
Last edited by Morshu9001 on Sat May 17, 2014 8:40 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Morshu9001
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:51 am

Re: Using a Cheap Wifi Dongle (Realtek) in Raspbian

Sat May 17, 2014 8:34 pm

MrEngman wrote:
Morshu9001 wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:Open Terminal and run the following to identify the Wireless Chipset

lsusb

post output in reply, because you will need a specific driver.
It lists "Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:0179 Realtek Semiconductor Corp."
And you can find info on drivers and installing it here and configuration info here



MrEngman
Thanks, I'm trying this as soon as possible and will report back with the results. EDIT: Maybe I did something wrong, or it's the wrong driver for this device, but it's not working. If the driver is working, my wifi card should show up in WiFi Config (the program on the desktop), right?

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