I have the problem that my computer often (several times per hour) suddenly disconnects from wifi. Then I have to disable and enable the wireless connection so the network I disconnected from is available again.

I wondered that something must be wrong with my wireless card (AWUS036H) so I investigated how to install a proper driver and found this. However, when I open a terminal as root and follow the instructions (sudo make), it outputs this.

I use Debian Jessie with 3.16.0-4-amd64 kernel. I have build essential and linux-headers-3.16.0-4-amd64 installed.

Any help?

  • realtek is a waste of time - a chipset of cents for manufacturers to save money cutting corners. Buy another chipset. Read my answer here, please. unix.stackexchange.com/questions/252210/… I would also second guess you are trying to compile a module that is not appropriate for your kernel version. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 11:28
  • Thanks for your advice. I don't have much wireless cards knowledge and I think I wouldn't be able to identify if a wireless card is atheros or realtek based, but from your answer I think I can deduce that a TP LINK wireless card would do the work, right? Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 11:43
  • Your card is realtek based/rebranded, a simple google search shows it, and you are linking realtek site for the source code, hence my answer. I recomend a ralink based chipset, search in aliexpress for 300Mbps Dual Band 2.4GHz / 5.8GHz Ralink RT5572N WiFi USB Adapter or something similar. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 11:46
  • I was planning to go to the nearest mall and buy a chipset right now. I will see if I find a non-realtek based one (I will try to find a ralink based one). I asked for the brand because I guess some brands have preference in using certain chipsets. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 11:56
  • 1
    I live in Spain. I have bought a TP-LINK model TL-WN822N that I'm going to return because it also has a Realtek chipset (I googled it before buying and found that some versions of the hardware use Realtek while others use Atheros, and I also asked before buying if returns were accepted). For now I will continue dealing with the constant disconnections. Help appreciated! Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


The Realtek download page that you link to describes the available driver as

Linux driver for Kernel 3.0.0/3.1.0/3.2.0

You have a much more recent kernel (3.16), so the kernel headers have changed significantly, and compiling fails.

However, the direct-from-Realtek driver probably won't help. It was last updated in 2012 (to support kernel 3.x). The same source files were included in the "staging" area of the kernel where they were maintained for a few years. (See the changelog). That directory was deleted in 2014 with the following explanation:

There is a "real" driver for this hardware now in drivers/net/ so remove the staging version as it's not needed anymore.

That means that the kernel developers consider the stock driver, that you were already using, to be more suitable than the old one you've downloaded and are trying to compile. And even if you wanted to use the old one, you'd be more successful trying to compile the last staging version.

As commenters have mentioned, it's more likely the hardware that's the problem.

  • It is more complicated than that I am afraid. The chip is a horrible mess, and the official stance of realtek is telling you to use an old more "stable" (read hacked by them) module version and an old hostapd version compatible with that. I manage to compile and use their module in kernel 3 as of october 2015, however I would stress it out it is not worth the effort...it is indeed more stable, but with random lock ups at most every 2 weeks. And the chipset gets hotter and slower with their hacks. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 12:34
  • I ended up giving the chipset to the cat. I also used a newer "official" version. The results are also not that satisfactory I am afraid, and you still need module parameters to get around the energy saving hardware bugs. Friends do not let friends buy realtek. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 12:34
  • @RuiFRibeiro Do you have a link for that "official stance" (in which they advise people to use the old but still long-term-supported 3.2.x)? If so, I'll edit it into my answer, as it's possibly more use than hacking about in staging.
    – JigglyNaga
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 12:36
  • It seems dependent on the chipset model...some still have the drivers for 3.x kernels, some do not. However it is not particularly a good sign. I am afraid I have read that almost a year ago after reading too many stuff how to get my chipset working. looking at this page is quite easy to see some models still have links for the 3.x line of kernels realtek.com/downloads/… while others do not. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 12:40
  • It is well know that even a very cheap dual frequency ASUS AP (N900) that is based on realtek locks up every couple of days...it is a disgrace. Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 12:42

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