Linux debian 4.9.0-3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.25-1 (2017-05-02) x86_64 GNU/Linux (Debian Stretch)

I am using the rtl8821ae non-free drivers from Debian; there's frequent insatiability (power safe is off / wifi save disabled in tlp), so I was considering using the lwfinger repo ( https://github.com/lwfinger/rtlwifi_new/tree/master/rtl8821ae ) for alternate drivers.

My question: If lwfinger's drivers end up working better than the non-free from Debian, what happens if a kernel update is ran? Will I lose the wifi and have to recompile the driver?

Is there a way to install this driver first and then disable the non-free drivers? (I don't have access to Ethernet)


1 Answer 1


Will I lose the wifi and have to recompile the driver?


You should recompile the driver because the module should be on the following path:

/lib/modules/$(uname -r)/updates/dkms//rtl8821ae .ko

On the Old kernel 4.9.0-2:

/lib/modules/4.9.0-2-amd64/updates/dkms//rtl8821ae .ko

On the newest kerenl 4.9.0-3 :

/lib/modules/4.9.0-3-amd64/updates/dkms//rtl8821ae .ko
  • Appreciate the insight. What's the best way to install the alternate driver without ethernet access? I've only installed packages from the Debian repos before, so I'm unsure how to go about getting it going.
    – necrom
    Jun 3, 2017 at 21:56
  • 2
    Actually, if you install it correctly, dkms will take care of recompiling it for you, automatically.
    – derobert
    Jun 3, 2017 at 22:05
  • @necrom The easiest way to copy it over (if you don't have network access) is probably a USB flash stick.
    – derobert
    Jun 3, 2017 at 22:07
  • You have already download the source from the git repo , just build it
    – GAD3R
    Jun 3, 2017 at 22:07
  • I have the source unzipped, I cd rtlwifi_new then make and get: make -C /lib/modules/4.9.0-3-amd64/build M=/rtlwifi_new modules make[1]: Entering directory '/lib/modules/4.9.0-3-amd64/build' make[1]: *** No rule to make target 'modules'. Stop. make[1]: Leaving directory '/lib/modules/4.9.0-3-amd64/build' Makefile:58: recipe for target 'all' failed make: *** [all] Error 2 the build directory is empty. Not sure what to do to finish the install?
    – necrom
    Jun 3, 2017 at 23:08

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