I just installed Debian 8 the other day and initially had wifi dropping and not being able to reconnect without a reboot. After trying options like making sure power management was off, I cannot even connect to wifi on reboot, however.

The following posts are very similar, and I used them as a starting point, though could not see through to a resolution because of errors: rtl8821ae Wifi driver

rtl8812ae Wifi Connection Instability in Debian Jessie

jj@hostname:~$ uname -v
#1 SMP Debian 3.16.36-1+deb8u2 (2016-10-19)
jj@hostname:~$ lspci -vnn | grep Network
03:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8821AE 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Network Adapter [10ec:8821]
jj@hostname:~$ sudo iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11abgn  ESSID:"dd-wrt"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: E8:DE:27:F9:85:9E   
          Bit Rate=1 Mb/s   Tx-Power=20 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr=2347 B   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:off
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=70/70  Signal level=-12 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0

eth0      no wireless extensions.

I followed the instructions to add "non-free" components and realtek firmware, but was unable to install linux-headers-generic

Package linux-headers-generic is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

    E: Package 'linux-headers-generic' has no installation candidate

I confirmed the driver:

~# modprobe rtl8821ae

I did intall build-essentials and linux-headers-3.16.0-4-amd64, however. I installed wpa_supplicant, updated the .conf file as indicated, however:

~$sudo ifup wlan0
Unknown interface wlan0

~$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
[ ok ] Restarting networking (via systemctl): networking.service.

~$ sudo dhclient wlan0

This just leaves 'wifi' saying 'connecting' without ever connecting.

Not sure what else to do. I had a different OS on this computer until yesterday and didn't have any connectivity issues, other machines are connected to wifi without any problems, so I don't believe it is an issue of the router or channel. Also:

root@hostname:/home/jj/# iwconfig wlan0 power off
Error for wireless request "Set Power Management"(8B2C) :
    SET failed on device wlan0 ; Operation not supported.

just in case:

~# journalctl -u NetworkManager
<warn> interfaces file /etc/network/interfaces.d/* doesn't exist

UPDATE: My wifi connection is through an access point wifi router connected to another wifi router. I think the connection issue had to do with some settings there. I reset the AP wifi router and started from scratch, and am able to connect now. The only issue I have now is that if I plug into an ethernet connection, it will not return to a wifi connection after unplugging it unless I reboot. Will hunt around for a solution or post another question.

1 Answer 1


Use iw to turn off the Power Management :

iw dev wlan0 set power_save off

To query the current power save settings you can use:

iw dev wlan0 get power_save
  • Thanks, I tried this, but it didn't connect. I believe power_save was off already though. I followed up the command with ~$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart [ ok ] Restarting networking (via systemctl): networking.service. ~$ sudo dhclient wlan0
    – debby
    Nov 7, 2016 at 16:15

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