Looking for openSUSE LEAP-15.2 USB wifi dongle help

I recently obtained a very inexpensive USB wifi dongle that I am trying to see if I can get to work from a USB port on my desktop PC.

My heart won’t be broken if it doesn’t work (as this PC has a wired connection to a router with Internet access) but I would like to see if this wifi dongle can be made to work on an openSUSE LEAP-15.2 USB install (or on a newer openSUSE if LEAP-15.2 is a waste of time to play with on this).

I note 15.2 is flagged “EOL” (End of Life) and I was planning to update in a couple of weeks to a couple of months, so I could also stop here, and wait until I install LEAP-15.3 and try again.

I also have Tumbleweed on this PC, it doesn’t work on Tumbelweed as a ‘default install’, and I have not tried to find a Tumbleweed driver for this USB wifi dongle.

As to the problem: It simply does not show up in the kde network manager. My reading suggests if a device has correct firmware and driver and if it is properly loaded it should show up in Network Manager.

My guess is the device is mostly detected in hardware, but I don’t have a good driver or its missing firmware or both (or LEAP-15.2 too old or I simply messed up).

The dongle is a non-name brand called “Dual Band USB Adapter 600 (433+150) Mbps wireless speed with 802.11ac”. It is a USB-2.0 device. The packaging states support operating systems including “Linux(Not suitable for Free Driver Adapter)”. I do not know what that Linux comment means. I have tried in this PCs USB-2.0 and 3.0 ports.

Currently the USB dongle is recognized partly (?) by hardware but as noted KDE Network Manager does not see the device.

Some details which I hope may help point to the issue (and perhaps prove if compatible):

lsusb
...
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 0bda:c811 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.

The https://linux-hardware.org/index.php?id=usb:0bda-c811 for the 0bda:c811 has only a very limited number of distributions working with this device (Kubunu-22.04 (which has a 5.15 kernel)/Ubuntu 20.04 (which has a 5.4 kernel) and Manjaro-18.1.5 (which has somewhere between a 5.2 and 5.4 kernel)). That link also states “You need to install one of the following additional drivers for the device to work properly”:

  • [brektrou/rtl8821CU](https://github.com/brektrou/rtl8821CU) 
    
  • [smp79/rtl8821CU](https://github.com/smp79/rtl8821CU) 
    
  • [whitebatman2/rtl8821CU](https://github.com/whitebatman2/rtl8821CU) 
    

Rather than follow those, I tried the official rtl8812au + rtl8812au-kmp-deault packaged with LEAP-15.2 and its 5.3.18-lp152.106-default kernel (which didn’t work for me) and after deleting those also tried rtl8812AU_8821AU-kmp-default packaged by Sauerland (which also have not worked for me). I currently have the Sauerland packaged rtl8812AU_8821AU-kmp-default for LEAP-15.2 installed.

Some more info

corei7:/home/oldcpu # iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

Also hwinfo shows nothing:

corei7:/home/oldcpu # hwinfo --wlan
corei7:/home/oldcpu #

However hwinfo looking for the device does give something:


corei7:/home/oldcpu # hwinfo | grep c811
    idProduct = 0xc811
  E: ID_MODEL_ID=c811
  E: PRODUCT=bda/c811/200
  E: PRODUCT=bda/c811/200
  <6>    3.104171] usb 2-12: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c811, bcdDevice= 2.00
  Device: usb 0xc811 "802.11ac NIC"

So again my guess is the device is detected, but I don’t have a good driver.

One can see entries in the journal


corei7:/home/oldcpu # journalctl | grep 0bda
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c811, bcdDevice= 2.00

and


corei7:/home/oldcpu # journalctl | grep 2-12
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: new high-speed USB device number 4 using xhci_hcd
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c811, bcdDevice= 2.00
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: Product: 802.11ac NIC
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: Manufacturer: Realtek
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: SerialNumber: 123456
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 mtp-probe[564]: checking bus 2, device 4: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-12"

and noting it uses ‘xhci_hcd’ then I looked at


corei7:/home/oldcpu # journalctl | grep xhci_hcd
May 09 00:21:02 corei7 kernel: xhci_hcd 0000:00:14.0: xHCI Host Controller
...
May 09 00:21:02 corei7 kernel: xhci_hcd 0000:00:14.0: xHCI Host Controller
May 09 00:21:02 corei7 kernel: xhci_hcd 0000:00:14.0: new USB bus registered, assigned bus number 4
...
May 08 19:15:52 corei7 kernel: usb 2-12: new high-speed USB device number 4 using xhci_hcd
...

and also looked to see if the kernel module xchi_hcd was loaded:


corei7:/home/oldcpu # lsmod | grep xhci_hcd
xhci_hcd              278528  1 xhci_pci
usbcore               311296  10 xhci_hcd,ehci_pci,snd_usb_audio,usbhid,snd_usbmidi_lib,uvcvideo,ehci_hcd,xhci_pci

and checked dmesg


corei7:/home/oldcpu # dmesg | grep 2-12
    2.955603] usb 2-12: new high-speed USB device number 4 using xhci_hcd
    3.104171] usb 2-12: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c811, bcdDevice= 2.00
    3.104172] usb 2-12: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
    3.104173] usb 2-12: Product: 802.11ac NIC
    3.104173] usb 2-12: Manufacturer: Realtek
    3.104174] usb 2-12: SerialNumber: 123456

also


corei7:/home/oldcpu # rfkill list all
corei7:/home/oldcpu # 

Suggestions are welcome.

As noted this won’t break my heart if it is incompatible with LEAP-15.2 nor for that matter with openSUSE, as it was so inexpensive, but I thought I would post here anyway, in case someone can point to something silly I have not tried… (also not that it makes any difference, but secure boot is disabled). … and I can also try with Tumbleweed (immediately) if 15.2 is a waste of time to try due to it being EOL. I could also plug it into my Lenovo laptop which is running LEAP-15.3 (although that laptop has built in wireless already) and test from there.

Problem solved and I have it working.

I actually posted the solution - but I then went and ignored the solution.

While proof reading what I had posted, it suddenly struck me, why did I not search for the rtl8821CU which the linux hardware list stated was needed as the driver. That is not a packaged driver officially for LEAP-15.2 but by using the ‘opi’ command one can find such.

So I typed


opi rtl8821CU 

and it turns out user Sauerland had packaged this driver.

So I removed the older drivers, and installed this newer rtl8821CU driver of Sauerland’s and wifi just worked with Network manager.

< sigh >

Sometimes the solution is so simple it simply goes over my head. A sign of old age??

Many thanks to user Sauerland !!!
.

You could see in the sources for the ID of the Chip, often in …/os_dep/linux/usb_inf.c

I use https://github.com/morrownr/8821cu-20210118, so here are the ID’s:
https://github.com/morrownr/8821cu-20210118/blob/main/os_dep/linux/usb_intf.c

Line 258ff

But mostly you can not use the drivers from git wihout patching because of the backported openSUSE Kernel.

Thanks for packaging this for openSUSE. I installed rtl8821cu-kmp-default-20220429_k5.3.18_lp152.19-lp152.2.1.x86_64 which works. I am hoping that I will not need to compile / build this for myself in future.

I noticed, when installing via “opi rtl8821cu” that there was a dkms-rtl8821cu in home : Ximi1970 : Dkms (v.5.8.1.7) version. But given my LEAP-15.2 has a 5.3.18 kernel, I elected to try out your packaged version of rtl8821cu, which worked great.

In fact I am typing this now from my desktop PC, with its wired connection disabled, and I am using my Xiaomi Mi8 android smartphone as a hotspot connection to the internet, and I am connecting to that hotspot from my desktop PC, using the USB-wifi-dongle with your packaged version of the driver. It works great.

I now have an internet access backup to my wired connection, for when the internet in the condominium complex where I live goes down (which it does from time to time). In such a case I can now use my mobile phone as a hot spot and connect my desktop PC to it using the USB-wifi-dongle with your packaged version of the driver.

Again, much appreciated for making available your packaging of this driver for openSUSE LEAP.

In case anyone is curious as to what I see now in some of the commands I sent (sent previous when it was not working), … I have copied such below, sending the commands now again when it IS WORKING.

Note last night my tests were with this USB dongle connected to a USB-2.0 port on my PC (as this is a USB-2 wifi dongle). Today I have it connected and working on one of my desktop PC’s USB-3.0 ports (at the back of my PC, and my mobile phone hotspot is a bit further away across the room) and it is still working. Some info on this when working:


oldcpu@corei7:~> lsusb
...
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 0bda:c811 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. 

and


corei7:/home/oldcpu # iwconfig
lo        no wireless extensions.

eth0      no wireless extensions.

wlan0     IEEE 802.11bgn  ESSID:"Lee Mi Phone"  Nickname:"<WIFI@REALTEK>"
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.472 GHz  Access Point: 52:C9:FF:E8:54:6D   
          Bit Rate:87 Mb/s   Sensitivity:0/0  
          Retry:off   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Encryption key:****-****-****-****-****-****-****-****   Security mode:open
          Power Management:off
          Link Quality=89/100  Signal level=48/100  Noise level=0/100
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0


and


corei7:/home/oldcpu # hwinfo --wlan
32: USB 00.0: 0282 WLAN controller                              
  [Created at usb.122]
  Unique ID: L7sT.DY45onuVvP4
  Parent ID: TVZz.JAwptI+a4y5
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-9/2-9.4/2-9.4:1.0
  SysFS BusID: 2-9.4:1.0
  Hardware Class: network
  Model: "Realtek 802.11ac NIC"
  Hotplug: USB
  Vendor: usb 0x0bda "Realtek Semiconductor Corp."
  Device: usb 0xc811 "802.11ac NIC"
  Revision: "2.00"
  Serial ID: "123456"
  Driver: "rtl8821cu"
  Driver Modules: "8821cu"
  Device File: wlan0
  Features: WLAN
  Speed: 480 Mbps
  HW Address: 1c:bf:ce:50:9b:6c
  Permanent HW Address: 1c:bf:ce:50:9b:6c
  Link detected: yes
  WLAN channels: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 36 40 44 48 52 56 60 64 100 104 108 112 116 120 124 128 132 136 140
  WLAN frequencies: 2.412 2.417 2.422 2.427 2.432 2.437 2.442 2.447 2.452 2.457 2.462 2.467 2.472 5.18 5.2 5.22 5.24 5.26 5.28 5.3 5.32 5.5 5.52 5.54 5.56 5.58 5.6 5.62 5.64 5.66 5.68 5.7
  WLAN bitrates: 1 2 5.5 11
  WLAN encryption modes: TKIP CCMP
  WLAN authentication modes: open wpa-psk wpa-eap
  Module Alias: "usb:v0BDApC811d0200dc00dsc00dp00icFFiscFFipFFin00"
  Driver Info #0:
    Driver Status: 8821cu is active
    Driver Activation Cmd: "modprobe 8821cu"
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #21 (Hub)

and


corei7:/home/oldcpu # journalctl | grep 0bda
May 09 09:32:06 corei7 kernel: usb 2-9.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c811, bcdDevice= 2.00
corei7:/home/oldcpu #
...
corei7:/home/oldcpu # journalctl | grep 2-9.4
May 09 16:32:06 corei7 kernel: usb 2-9.4: new high-speed USB device number 4 using xhci_hcd
May 09 09:32:06 corei7 kernel: usb 2-9.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=c811, bcdDevice= 2.00
May 09 09:32:06 corei7 kernel: usb 2-9.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
May 09 09:32:06 corei7 kernel: usb 2-9.4: Product: 802.11ac NIC
May 09 09:32:06 corei7 kernel: usb 2-9.4: Manufacturer: Realtek
May 09 09:32:06 corei7 kernel: usb 2-9.4: SerialNumber: 123456
May 09 09:32:07 corei7 mtp-probe[557]: checking bus 2, device 4: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-9/2-9.4"
May 09 09:32:10 corei7 NetworkManager[1306]: <info>  [1652063530.1181] rfkill0: found Wi-Fi radio killswitch (at /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-9/2-9.4/2-9.4:1.0/ieee80211/phy0/rfkill0) (driver rtl8821cu)
May 09 09:32:12 corei7 ModemManager[1277]: <info>  Couldn't check support for device '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-9/2-9.4': not supported by any plugin
corei7:/home/oldcpu # 
...
corei7:/home/oldcpu # rfkill list all
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
corei7:/home/oldcpu #

In case anyone curious … this is what this (very inexpensive) dongle looks like:

https://thumbs4.imagebam.com/eb/95/4b/MEA1RMV_t.jpg](https://www.imagebam.com/view/MEA1RMV)

I didn’t use the CD that came with it, as that is nominally for MS-Windows users, and “I don’t do windows”.

I was amazed at the inexpensive price, … and that (inexpensive price) plus my PC already having wired access to the internet, was the reason why I believe i would not have been upset if it did not work with LEAP-15.2. Fortunately it did work.

I plan to update to LEAP-15.3 on this computer in the near future, and my hope is that dongle will also work with LEAP-15.3.

I plan to update to LEAP-15.3 on this computer in the near future, and my hope is that dongle will also work with LEAP-15.3.

A little bit late…
Leap 15.4 is coming soon…

But I build it for some Kernels.