User Scripts & Dragons - Realtek 8111E NIC not working

sagerian - 21.10.2011, 18:53
Post subject: Realtek 8111E NIC not working
I installed aptosid 2011-02 on a computer with a Realtek 8111E onboard network card and aptosid install program and fw-detect did not correctly detect and install it.
The wrong driver module was loaded, r8169.
It should be r8168. The NIC works intermittently and horribly with the wrong driver. Unusable.
I downloaded the correct driver from Realtek site and installed. it's very easy.
The aptosid manual should also be modified, to correctly inform the users.

To install the right driver, I followed this guide:

I copy here the steps:

This is how you fix it.

First, remove the r8169 module from the linux kernel.

# rmmod r8169

Download the official realtek driver from here

Unpack the download and install the driver as per the readme instructions included with the driver. Here’s the relevant part of the readme file; well, the “Quick Install” anyway:

<Quick install with proper kernel settings>

Unpack the tarball :
# tar vjxf r8168-8.aaa.bb.tar.bz2

Change to the directory:
# cd r8168-8.aaa.bb

If you are running the target kernel, then you should be able to do :
# ./autorun.sh (as root or with sudo)

You can check whether the driver is loaded by using following commands.
# lsmod | grep r8168
# ifconfig -a

If there is a device name, ethX, shown on the monitor, the linux driver is loaded. Then, you can use the following command to activate the ethX.
# ifconfig ethX up

Finally, blacklist the r8169 driver add the following to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf:

#blacklist r8169 driver
blacklist r8169

Driver downloaded, Driver Installed and Blacklisted the r8169 driver – all done!

slh - 21.10.2011, 18:59
Post subject: RE: hw-detect doesn
r8168 devices are supported by the r8169.ko module in linux, which is actively maintained by RealTek and with community support mainline. The r8168.ko vendor driver is not supported (neither mainline nor by us) and has a huge potential to break your system in ways not easily repairable. Therefore fw-detect is right, even though not all devices driven by r8169.ko actually need a firmware image.

If there are problems with r8169.ko and your device, they'll need to get debugged and fixed mainline.
sagerian - 21.10.2011, 19:41
Post subject: RE: hw-detect doesn
Thank you for your answer.
If I understood it rightly, the r8168 driver is made by Realtek, open source, but not supported?
The r8169 is also made by Realtek (the vendor), open source, but supported? Only it does not support my card...
This can't be right, it's very confusing.
Anyway, how should I address to, to solve this problem?
slh - 21.10.2011, 20:31
Post subject: RE: hw-detect doesn
#642198 gives a little background, but yes - all you need is r8169.ko. If you encounter problems with r8169.ko and your device, they need to get fixed in r8169.ko.
sagerian - 25.10.2011, 15:14
Post subject: RE: hw-detect doesn

thank you taking the time to answer me.

For anyone to know, this is how I solved it: a BIOS update from the manufacturer's page.
I saw 2 newer versions than what I had, I updated to the newest, a beta BIOS and...
I get excellent performance now. No interruptions, no slow speed.

Tested with default r8169 module from aptosid 2011.02 kernel and from Ubuntu 11.10 kernel.

Also, this thread should be moved to Hardware section, since the user script is fine. Smile

It does not work even after BIOS upgrade.
There is a bug in r8169 kerenel module, even in kernel 3.0.
Must use r8168.
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