I recently purchased an RTL8188CUS wireless usb adaptor which does not seem to work out of the box.

Ubuntu 12.04 32bit Network manager knows it's there and can detect available Networks however it is incapable of connecting.

A driver download for this device is available from here

Unfortunately I have no idea how to install this driver.

If someone could tell me the necessary commands I would be most grateful.


Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0bda:8176 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8188CUS 802.11n WLAN

Result of sudo lshw -C network

       description: Wireless interface
       physical id: 1
       bus info: usb@1:7
       logical name: wlan2
       serial: 00:0f:12:82:0b:3a
       capabilities: ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=rtl8192cu driverversion=3.2.0-35-generic-pae firmware=N/A link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
  • Please edit your question to add the card details from: lsusb.
    – chili555
    Jan 5, 2013 at 17:10
  • @Aditya I thought it best to include the full link for the download so everyone realised it is a drop-box link, as many might view this as being untrustworthy. Jan 5, 2013 at 17:27
  • Please see my answer here: askubuntu.com/questions/236600/…
    – chili555
    Jan 5, 2013 at 19:24
  • @chilli555 Thankyou very much that worked for me. Sorry I could not upvote it as I do not have enough rep. Jan 5, 2013 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


In Ubuntu you should never have to deal with drivers. If you do, then it's a bug (or you should upgrade). In this case, I think it's LP Bug #852190. Specifically, avoid downloading drivers from 3rd party websites - it's not easy usually, potentially insecure and usually not targeted towards Ubuntu.

Just do:

sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-cw-3.6-precise-generic

and reboot. This newer so-called compat-wireless driver is provided as a package in Ubuntu for your convenience.

You would have come to this step also when following my guide:

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