Since upgrading kernel, my WiFi no longer works, and after downgrading as an attempt to fix, not only does WiFi in-built adapter not work, but onboard Gigabit Ethernet doesn't work either.

I've checked the following:

  • USB NetGear, Inc. WNA1100 Wireless-N 150 [Atheros AR9271]
Do not work
  • 02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 10)
  • 03:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8723BE PCIe Wireless Network Adapter

I've also got my lsmod output in a pastebin here

I've checked kern.log and syslog to confirm wifi firmware is present and being loaded.

Here is pastebin of an output of some wpa_cli commands

I think perhaps the firmware might be the malfunction even though the file is there, because the device refuses (with FAIL) to give me the manufacturer or device details in wpa_cli

But strangely it does let me set country, responds to scan and list_networks (although with zero results)

Edit: lshw -C network seems to show firmware=N/A... DAMN it must be FW

1 Answer 1


So it turns out according to this (outdated branch) 4.18 has updated drivers in some inconvenient way

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) gcc g++ build-essential dkms libelf-dev git
git clone git@github.com:lwfinger/rtlwifi_new
cd rtlwifi_new/
git checkout extended
sudo make install
sudo modprobe -rv rtl8723be 
sudo modprobe -r rtl8723be
sudo modprobe rtl8723be

Before changing drivers or whilst using Network or USB wifi is what saved me. I Hope it helps someone else. And would love it if someone from Canonical and/or Debian could reach out to me, as I'd be interested in getting this into the distro(s) so others don't need to chase down the info. I'm lucky enough this wasn't my main so I just didn't use the laptop for a week, prior to solving today.


Be careful about the top link antenna selection code. You'll notice it's not in the list of commands I ran, but I just found this in the issues on the repo

  • 1
    Why install dkms and not use it?
    – Jeremy31
    Jan 6, 2019 at 22:18
  • part of their documentation, so I don't know would be an easy answer, but the driver works. If removing that part this still works, then go forth and do so
    – MrMesees
    Jan 8, 2019 at 8:54
  • If you don't use dkms, you have to recompile and reinstall for every kernel update manually
    – Jeremy31
    Jan 8, 2019 at 10:01
  • So I suppose that answers why dkms ;)
    – MrMesees
    Jan 10, 2019 at 7:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.