I've been getting an issue since upgrading to 2.6.39 in Natty from the Kernel-PPA repository.

When I do a sudo update-initramfs -u I get the following error message.

update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-2.6.39-0-generic-pae
W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/rtl_nic/rtl8105e-1.fw for module r8169

I did notice that firmware wasn't in the allocated directory. Does anyone know where to get the firmware files for this.

9 Answers 9


Do sudo apt-get install firmware-realtek and the problem should be solved

  • Is this a real package? On my 11.04 system, apt-cache show firmware-realtek returns a message saying the package doesn't exist.
    – djeikyb
    Aug 10, 2011 at 0:53
  • 9
    This package is in the Debian repos - it is not in the Ubuntu repos - so the answer is only applicable to Debian not Ubuntu.
    – fossfreedom
    Oct 24, 2011 at 19:37
  • 1
    You will also have to add access to the non-free repositories. Debian 9 guide: blog.programster.org/debian-9-install-raeltek-firmware Sep 9, 2017 at 9:01

There's a solution at http://www.davidgis.fr/blog/index.php?2011/05/06/800--resolu-solved-w-possible-missing-firmware-lib-firmware-rtl_nic-rtl8105e-1fw-for-module-r8169. Essentially you need to do:

git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/romieu/linux-firmware.git
sudo cp -r linux-firmware/rtl_nic/ /lib/firmware/

and then sudo update-initramfs -u works without errors.

  • Cheers I'll check it out. May 11, 2011 at 4:08
  • 2
    This repo is now fatal: remote error: access denied or repository not exported: /pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/romieu/linux-firmware.git. I get this error now on 14.04 with 4.4.1 kernel.
    – Patryk
    Feb 27, 2016 at 22:05
  • 1
    Is there an updated siolution for this as neither this nor Alex's answer's work Nov 5, 2020 at 10:03

I had the same problem whit Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS. Today I have tested, but the old "git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/romieu/linux-firmware.git" is a broken link.

I have searched the new git url for dowload the firmware of realtek. The commands that I have tested (and works very well) are:

git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git
sudo cp -r linux-firmware/rtl_nic/ /lib/firmware/
sudo update-initramfs -u


rm -rf linux-firmware

For deleting the directory that git has downloaded.


Perhaps a better answer is to install linux-firmware package and if necessary linux-firmware-nonfree package.


Recently I have faced the similar issue, but when I have followed the Rocko method, the link is broken. So it was not making it download the linux-firmware.

Also I have tried to do: sudo apt install firmware-realtek, still it didn't worked out.

After searching it online, found a new link of git. git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git

Steps to follow:

  1. Download the linux-firmware: $ git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git

  2. copy the missing firmware to /lib/firmware: $ sudo cp -r linux-firmware/rtl_nic/ /lib/firmware/ $ sudo cp -r linux-firmware/i915 /lib/firmware/ (In my case i915 was also missing)

  3. update the initramfs: $ sudo update-initramfs -u

Note: After update, if still see that, some of the firmware are missing, then search it in linux-firmware and copy those folders into /lib/firmware.


It seems that the linux firmware package is corrupt, I solved this issue in ubuntu 13.04 by

sudo apt-get purge linux-firmware


sudo apt-get install linux-firmware

For Debian, I run the following command, and it really works:

apt-get install linux-firmware-nonfree

The file /lib/firmware/rtl_nic/rtl8105e-1.fw is in the package firmware-realtek

You need to run following command. Open terminal Ctrl + Alt + T :

sudo apt-get install firmware-realtek

for me my server have rtl8125a but the firmware-realtek package do not include it. but I found it in kernel site; so this is how I solve it:

wget --quiet https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git/tree/rtl_nic/rtl8125a-3.fw
mv -f rtl8125a-3.fw /lib/firmware/rtl_nic/
update-initramfs -u

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