Sign up ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I had a hard time installing the wireless driver for my debian. My debian was Sqeeze but soon after I realized Wheezy was the one to support my wireless adapter, realtek 8188CE,I upgraded to wheezy. Here is my sources.list file:

deb wheezy main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free

deb wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy/updates main contrib non-free

I followed the exact steps listed on the Debian wiki. At step 4, after I typed in iwconfig,there was no tag for wifi (shouldn't it be there?), I figured the wifi module was not loaded, but I didn't know how to check and add it

Here is my printout:

clint@Thinkpad-W520:~$ lspci | grep -i wifi
03:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8188CE      802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter (rev 01)

The iwconfig output:

lo no wireless extensions.

eth0 no wireless extensions.

pan0 no wireless extensions.
share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

It went perfect for me:

For starters list what pci devices are currently present

% lspci

07:00.0 Network controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8188CE 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter (rev 01)
09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast Ethernet controller (rev 05)

Modify /etc/apt/sources.list

% deb testing main contrib non-free

install updates

% apt-get update

install realtek & wireless tools

% apt-get install firmware-realtek wireless-tools

confirm wirelss is working

% iwconfig

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:off/any  
          Mode:Managed  Access Point: Not-Associated   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
          Retry  long limit:7   RTS thr=2347 B   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off

eth0      no wireless extensions.
share|improve this answer
Just a note for anyone reading this, Wheezy used to be the testing branch at the time this answer was written. Nowadays, Wheezy is the stable branch so testing in /etc/apt/sources.list up there would refer to Jessie. – Joseph R. Sep 14 '13 at 0:21

Never for any reason should be mixed repositories from Debian stable with testing branch. However you can add in your repositories backport repository and then you can get a newer kernel to work with RTL8188CE Realtek driver

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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