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Install rtl88x2ub WiFi adapter drivers on Ubuntu 20.10

Łukasz Wolnik
React / React Native / JavaScript / IoT developer
Updated on ・1 min read

Ubuntu 20.10 based distros do not support the rtl88x2ub Wifi USB adapter out of the box.

Internet connection via Bluetooth

There's a catch 22 when installing a rtl88x2ub WiFi adapter driver. First you need to download it from the Internet but your Linux is not ready to connect to a WiFi.

Instead of using another PC to download a driver and copy to a USB flash drive simply use Bluetooth tethering on your mobile:

  • buy a Bluetooth dongle for your desktop PC
  • enable Bluetooth tethering and turn on a hotspot on your mobile
  • pair and connect to your mobile phone from your PC

Installing rtl88x2ub drivers

If you are looking for rtl88x2ub drivers for Linux you have probably already seen the github.com/cilynx/rtl88x2bu repo. Unfortunately its build process did not work for me on my Ubuntu 20.10-based system. The source files simply did not compile (both 5.3.1 and 5.8.1).

Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel
Consult /var/lib/dkms/rtl88x2bu/5.3.1/build/make.log for more information.

./rtl88x2bu-5.3.1/include/rtw_security.h:252:8: error: redefinition of ‘struct sha256_state’
  252 | struct sha256_state {
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I have found another solution in the following repo instead: github.com/morrownr/88x2bu.

Below are instructions for Ubuntu taken from that repo's README:

sudo apt-get update
git clone https://github.com/morrownr/88x2bu.git
cd 88x2bu
sudo ./install-driver.sh
sudo reboot
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Discussion (6)

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Interesting what kind of speeds can one normally get?
What have you seen?

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limal profile image
Łukasz Wolnik Author

My average was about 110-120 Mbit/s for download and 25 Mbit/s for upload. My mobile phone connected to the same WiFi can download at 250 Mbit/s. I couldn't make the morrownr/88x2bu's driver to work in a USB3 mode so I'm stuck at USB2.

Still 120 Mbit/s is good enough until I buy a WiFi dongle that will be instantly recognised by a freshly installed Linux distro.

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

Were there any gotcha's when you installing the driver(s)?
I'll try this one. ;)

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limal profile image
Łukasz Wolnik Author

None. That's why I thought that I'll post that sudo ./install-driver.sh on dev.to. Primarily for myself but hoping that others might find it useful too.

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peter279k profile image
peter279k

To be consistency, it should be rtl88x2bu. Not rtl88x2ub.

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paniaton profile image
paniaton

lov u