So I was updating and installing everything on my new dual-boot setup and noticed that Info Center (or something with its icon) was pushing me to install rtl8812au-dkms for my WiFi even though I had the one from gnab/rtl8812au already installed and working. My question is what's the difference between the two and should I install one over the other?
The biggest difference between a dkms driver, and non-dkms drivers, is that dkms drivers will automatically rebuild themselves whenever you do a
Software Update and the Ubuntu kernel gets updated. Non-dkms drivers usually stop working after a kernel upgrade, and will require a manual recompile and re-installation.
To see if you're running a dkms driver version, or not, use this
You'll see something like this...
r8168, 8.046.00, 4.15.0-36-generic, x86_64: installed rtl8812au, 5.2.20, 4.15.0-34-generic, x86_64: installed rtl8812au, 5.2.20, 4.15.0-36-generic, x86_64: installed rtl8814au, 4.3.21, 4.15.0-34-generic, x86_64: installed rtl8814au, 4.3.21, 4.15.0-36-generic, x86_64: installed
To manually determine if you're running a dkms version, look in
/usr/src and see if you see a folder of the driver software, and if it contains a
dkms.conf file, then it's a dkms driver.
~$ ls /usr/src/rtl8812au-5.2.20 clean hal Kconfig platform regdb core ifcfg-wlan0 Makefile README.md runwpa dkms.conf include os_dep Realtek_Changelog.txt wlan0dhcp
Another difference could be that the github driver patches an error, or adds more hardware compatibility. Check the version info in the README file on github.
The Synaptic rtl8812au-dkms driver version is 188.8.131.5275 from 2014.
this requires a modification to the make command in dkms.conf to:
The gnab/rtl8812au driver version is based on 4.2.2 from 2013.
A better/newer rtl8812au version is here and it's version 5.2.20.