Ubuntu – Wireless card Realtek RTL8723AE-BT is not recognized


I bought a new laptop with a RTL8723AE-BT wireless card, but it seems there is nothing that makes it work.

Realtek usually makes drivers available for its card, but this specific one doesn't have a driver available on Realtek's website. I have tried the following steps in order to try and make it work:

  1. Installed ndiswrapper versions 1.57 (from repositories, with dkms) and 1.58rc1 (compiled from source from ndiswrapper's website). Both failed: version 1.57 does not provide an interface for the functions IoWMIOpenBlock and IoWMIQueryAllData. 1.58rc1 has dummy functions in their places, but it fails with a "ioremap failed" message.

    Upon further investigation, I have found that the function NdisMMapIOSpace (ndis.c:808), in 1.58rc1, gets called with physical address and length zero, which causes the failure. Since this function doesn't seem to be called from anywhere in ndiswrapper's code, I'd assume the Windows driver is somehow calling it with bogus parameters.

  2. I tried using both the 64-bit version (on my installed system, which uses the x86_64 version of Ubuntu) and the 32-bit version (on a live-USB x86 system with persistence enabled) of the Windows XP driver. The same errors occurred for both versions.

  3. Since Realtek's Linux drivers for RTL8192CE/SE/DE actually mention the 8723 chipset in its sources, I tried compiling them and modprobing them, but they don't pick up the card ID (10ec:8723). I also tried to echo 10ec 8723 > new_id on the sysfs (/sys/bus/pci/drivers/rtl8192de) location ( of the driver (actually, on each of them, one at a time), but I get a "Permission denied" error even with sudo. If I sudo su and try again, I get the error bash: echo: write error: Invalid argument.

I have run out of ideas. It's really frustrating to buy a new notebook to use only with Ubuntu and not be able to use its wi-fi connection.

If anyone can shed a light on alternatives, I'd be very thankful.

Edit: lshw -C network output

$ sudo lshw -C network -numeric
  *-network UNCLAIMED     
       description: Network controller
       product: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. [10EC:8723]
       vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. [10EC]
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
       version: 00
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: ioport:d000(size=256) memory:f7900000-f7903fff
       description: Ethernet interface
       product: RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller [10EC:8168]
       vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. [10EC]
       physical id: 0.2
       bus info: pci@0000:04:00.2
       logical name: eth0
       version: 0a
       serial: 00:90:f5:cd:6d:f7
       size: 100Mbit/s
       capacity: 1Gbit/s
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=2.3LK-NAPI duplex=full firmware=N/A ip= latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=MII speed=100Mbit/s
       resources: irq:43 ioport:c000(size=256) memory:f2104000-f2104fff memory:f2100000-f2103fff

Best Answer

  • Realtek is making the official Linux driver available unofficially (via Dropbox)

    Support for the RTL8273AE-BT has been added by Realtek in the 92-series driver, version 0006.0514.2012. For unknown reasons, neither the Windows nor Linux drivers are available on their website (yet). But Realtek tech support has been providing a Dropbox link with the source code/firmware tarball which numerous users have reported as working.

    Where do I get it? Is it safe?

    • The driver can be downloaded via this Dropbox link.
    • I can confirm that this file is what it claims to be, with this content listing, provided it has the following MD5 or SHA1 hashes: (which you can verify with md5sum or sha1sum)

      MD5: fd10e9a347c6447f649324d6bdab53de
      SHA1: 1ccd6ae73878d8bf65bd7c0384e333b121606230

    How do I build and install the driver on Ubuntu?

    1. Open a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T.
    2. You'll need to install these packages first to build the driver:

      sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic linux-headers-`uname -r`
    3. Paste the below line to download and extract the driver archive in one single step:

      wget -O- http://dl.dropbox.com/u/57056576/DRIVERS/REALTEK/rtl_92ce_92se_92de_8723ae_linux_mac80211_0006.0514.2012.tar.gz | tar -xz
    4. Change to the extracted driver's directory, build and install the driver:

      cd rtl_92ce_92se_92de_8723ae_linux_mac80211_0006.0514.2012
      sudo make install
    5. Test the driver by loading it (this is a one-time step; after you reboot once, the driver should automatically load on every boot):

      sudo modprobe rtl8723e
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