I am trying to get WIFI access on my DE10 nano board which is running debian buster. The kernel version is 5.10.50-lts. The wifi device i am using is the RT5370 chipset. The issue is that the wlan0 device is not visible with ifconfig -a. The output is shown below:

ifconfig -a
eth0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
        inet6 fe80::4043:34ff:fe2e:f5bb  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        ether 42:43:34:2e:f5:bb  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 168  bytes 22755 (22.2 KiB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 247  bytes 64167 (62.6 KiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0
        device interrupt 39  base 0xa000

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536
        inet  netmask
        inet6 ::1  prefixlen 128  scopeid 0x10<host>
        loop  txqueuelen 1000  (Local Loopback)
        RX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

sit0: flags=128<NOARP>  mtu 1480
        sit  txqueuelen 1000  (IPv6-in-IPv4)
        RX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 0  bytes 0 (0.0 B)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

The kernel module that is of interest is rt2800usb and is loaded in. the command lsmod is shown below:

Module                  Size  Used by
rt2800usb              28672  0
rt2800lib             110592  1 rt2800usb
crc_ccitt              16384  1 rt2800lib
rt2x00usb              20480  1 rt2800usb
rt2x00lib              49152  3 rt2800lib,rt2800usb,rt2x00usb
rtl8188ee             106496  0
rtl_pci                32768  1 rtl8188ee
rtlwifi                94208  2 rtl_pci,rtl8188ee
mac80211              626688  6 rt2800lib,rtl_pci,rt2x00lib,rt2x00usb,rtl8188ee,rtlwifi
libarc4                16384  1 mac80211
cfg80211              602112  3 rt2x00lib,mac80211,rtlwifi

I can see that my usb wifi device is indeed plugged in with the command lsusb, the output is shown below:

Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bda:8179 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8188EUS 802.11n Wireless Network Adapter
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

In the directory /lib/firmware i have installed iwlwifi firmware installed.

The command lshw -c network results in:

       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 2
       logical name: eth0
       serial: 42:43:34:2e:f5:bb
       size: 100Mbit/s
       capacity: 1Gbit/s
       capabilities: ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=st_gmac driverversion=Jan_2016 duplex=full link=yes multicast=yes port=twisted pair speed=100Mbit/s

The command lspci does not return any result.

The command rfkill list returns:

rfkill: cannot open /dev/rfkill: No such file or directory
rfkill: cannot read /dev/rfkill: Bad file descriptor

The command iwconfig returns:

lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

sit0      no wireless extensions.

The command ifconfig wlan0 up returns:

wlan0: ERROR while getting interface flags: No such device

From dmesg i found a section that might be of interest:

[  262.173356] cfg80211: Loading compiled-in X.509 certificates for regulatory database
[  262.204790] cfg80211: Loaded X.509 cert 'sforshee: 00b28ddf47aef9cea7'
[  262.330974] cfg80211: loaded regulatory.db is malformed or signature is missing/invalid
[  309.244598] usbcore: registered new interface driver rt2800usb

Can anyone help me resolve this issue? If any other info is needed let me know. Thanks

  • 1
    Is there any command output that shows "RT5370"? The iwlwifi is for Intel, so not relevant for Realtek. The lsusb output shows RTL8188EUS. There's a few drivers on github for that one. The Realtek firmware also needs be installed.
    – currawong
    Aug 21, 2023 at 1:31

1 Answer 1


I downloaded the driver called rtl8188eu from GitHub.

I followed the instruction with a make all on my host machine and cross-compiled, brought the generated 8188eu.ko file to my dev-machine and installed it with:

install -p -m 644 8188eu.ko /lib/modules/5.10.50zImage/kernel/drivers/staging/r8188eu/

Then I ran the commands:

depmod -a 5.10.50zImage
modprobe 8188eu

After that, ifconfig returned my wlan0 device, and I can ping google.com so everything is working fine now.

Note: you may have to edit the Makefile and reconfigure the cross compiler and the variable that points to the kernel source, like I did.

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