I am using Debian 9.4 on Lenovo IdeaPad 110. In the opening screen, I get these messages;

[12...] rt18821ae 0000:02:00.0: firmware: failed to load rtlwifi/rt18821aefw.bin (-2)
[12...] rt18821ae 0000:02:00.0: firmware: failed to load rtlwifi/rt18821aefw.wowlan.bin
[12...] bluetooth hci0: firmware: failed to load rtl_bt/rtl18821a_config.bin (-2)
[12...] Bluetooth: hci0: Failed to load rtl_bt/rt18821a_config.bin
[12...] bluetooth hci0: firmware: failed to load rtl_bt/rtl18821a_fw.bin (-2)
[12...] Bluetooth: hci0: Failed to load rtl_bt/rt18821a_fw.bin
[23...] r8169 0000:03:00.0: firmware: failed to load rtl_nic/rtl8106e-1.fw (-2)

and when I write dmesg | grep firmware I get following message;

[   11.605280] rtl8821ae: Using firmware rtlwifi/rtl8821aefw.bin
[   11.605290] rtl8821ae: Using firmware rtlwifi/rtl8821aefw_wowlan.bin
[   11.630704] rtl8821ae 0000:02:00.0: firmware: failed to load
rtlwifi/rtl8821aefw_wowlan.bin (-2)
[   11.630712] rtl8821ae 0000:02:00.0: Direct firmware load for
rtlwifi/rtl8821aefw_wowlan.bin failed with error -2
[   11.642658] rtl8821ae 0000:02:00.0: firmware: direct-loading firmware
[   12.685508] bluetooth hci0: firmware: failed to load
rtl_bt/rtl8821a_config.bin (-2)
[   12.685511] bluetooth hci0: Direct firmware load for
rtl_bt/rtl8821a_config.bin failed with error -2
[   12.685526] bluetooth hci0: firmware: failed to load
rtl_bt/rtl8821a_fw.bin (-2)
[   12.685527] bluetooth hci0: Direct firmware load for
rtl_bt/rtl8821a_fw.bin failed with error -2
[   23.375275] r8169 0000:03:00.0: firmware: direct-loading firmware

So basically, my computer fails to load three files;

  • rtlwifi/rtl8821aefw_wowlan.bin

  • rtl_bt/rtl8821a_config.bin

  • rtl_bt/rtl8821a_fw.bin

I added non-free sources to /etc/apt/sources.list and install firmware-realtek with

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install firmware-realtek

rtl_bt/rtl8821a_fw.bin can be located in /lib/firmware/rtl_bt/ and rtlwifi/rtl8821aefw_wowlan.bin can be located in /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/ . But still I get these errors and my bluetooth is not working, but Wi-Fi is working. Anybody have an idea, how to fix this?

edit: kernel version: 4.9.0-6-amd64 and the output of apt-cache policy firmware-realtek is;

  Installed: 20161130-3
  Candidate: 20161130-3
  Version table:
 *** 20161130-3 500
        500 http://httpredir.debian.org/debian stretch/non-free amd64 Packages
        500 http://httpredir.debian.org/debian stretch/non-free i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     0.43 500
        500 http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie/non-free amd64 Packages
        500 http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie/non-free i386 Packages

But after several times of rebooting again, now somehow the bluetooth works. Even the config file is still missing and I got errors at the start. My primary use for the bluetooth is for sound and when I connect the bluetooth speakers the sounds is very distorted and comes from deep. I do not yet know, if this is about the missing config file, which I expect not to. Anyway I will check this as solved, even though I quite not clear about all process.

  • What kernel are you running? – Jan Jun 12 '18 at 6:55
  • it is in the edit. – rctus Jun 13 '18 at 0:26

The reason your wifi works is that rtlwifi/rtl8821aefw.binis properly loaded. IIRC there are also optional firmware files and when these are missing, the error message is Direct firmware load for {name} failed with error %d. Because this is misleading, the kernel developers agreed in May 2018 that they should add a new call firmware_request_nowarn() that will not throw those messages.

The package firmware-realtek contains the files that you're missing. Please add the output of apt-cache policy firmware-realtek to your question.

  • @rctus Did you found the bt/rtl8821a_config.bin? Is not in the realtek package. I have the same problem. – Scorpion Nov 2 '18 at 10:43

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