Beginner Help With TP-Link TL-WN725N (R8188EU) USB Dongle

Hi all,

I bought a Raspberry Pi 4B 1 GB last week to use as a OpenWRT router. I installed everything and it is working with the built in wifi receiving internet connection from another router and a ethernet connection going from the OpenWRT Rpi router and giving internet connection to a desktop computer.

I have a TP-Link TL-WN725N (R8188EU) USB Dongle that I want to use instead of the ethernet cable. So it would be built in wifi receiving the connection and the USB dongle sending out a connection.

The problem is I can't get USB dongle to work when I plug it in (it doesn't light up (green light)). I have the following packages installed:

Package name Version Size (.ipk) Description
rtl8188eu-firmware 20230804-1 ~10.92 KiB RealTek RTL8188EU firmware Remove…
rtl8192ce-firmware 20230804-1 ~20.97 KiB RealTek RTL8192CE firmware Remove…
rtl8192cu-firmware 20230804-1 ~19.02 KiB RealTek RTL8192CU firmware Remove…
rtl8192de-firmware 20230804-1 ~13.93 KiB RealTek RTL8192DE firmware Remove…
kmod-rtl8192c-common 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~19.35 KiB Realtek RTL8192CE/RTL8192CU common support module Remove…
kmod-rtl8192ce 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~24.04 KiB Realtek RTL8192CE/RTL8188CE support Remove…
kmod-rtl8192cu 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~25.99 KiB Realtek RTL8192CU/RTL8188CU support Remove…
kmod-rtl8192de 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~44.95 KiB Realtek RTL8192DE/RTL8188DE support Remove…
kmod-rtl8xxxu 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~43.87 KiB This is an alternative driver for various Realtek RTL8XXX… Remove…
kmod-rtlwifi 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~35.92 KiB Realtek common driver part Remove…
kmod-rtlwifi-pci 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~14.10 KiB Realtek common driver part (PCI support) Remove…
kmod-rtlwifi-usb 5.15.150+6.1.24-3 ~8.20 KiB Realtek common driver part (USB support) Remove…
kmod-r8169 5.15.150-1 ~36.89 KiB Kernel modules for RealTek RTL-8169 PCI Gigabit Ethernet adapters Remove…
r8152-firmware 20230804-1 ~11.37 KiB RealTek RTL8152 firmware Remove…
r8169-firmware 20230804-1 ~23.93 KiB RealTek RTL8169 firmware Remove…

Looking for some advice to get this USB dongle up and running. Thanks.

Install usbutils and show lsusb output.

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Presumably kmod-rtl8xxxu && rtl8188eu-firmware.

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I installed usbutils and here is the output for the lsusb command:

root@OpenWrt:~# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0bda:8179 Realtek 802.11n NIC
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux 5.15.150 xhci-hcd xHCI Host Controller
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 2109:3431  USB2.0 Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux 5.15.150 xhci-hcd xHCI Host Controller

Yes I assumed those are the two main ones I needed from reading older posts but I installed a whole bunch of other similar packages just in case but its not blinking the green light that it normally does when working properly.

Define this...
Does it lit up when idling inserted into an USB port, or when used....

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Realtek sucks
It's better to buy an adapter with the chipset on this list:

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Nice find, seems it should work if @OpenWRTUser7 installed a snapshot.

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Good question. Maybe it is just idling. I am new to OpenWRT and have only gotten the ethernet port working (which was easy). Maybe I have to add a interface for the wifi adapter which I tried and could not get working.

I used this USB adapter on Debian 12 and it was just plug and play. For Debian 11 I had to install the required firmware to get it to work.

What are the proper steps to adding a USB wifi in the Luci GUI? I probably just did it wrong.

Run ethtool -i wlan0 on debian and install same driver on openwrt.

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Ok ran that command and here is the output:

root@OpenWrt:~# opkg install ethtool
Installing ethtool (6.3-1) to root...
Configuring ethtool.
root@OpenWrt:~# ethtool -i wlan0
Cannot get driver information: No such device

USB adapter on Debian 12

Determine driver used therr

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you should start taking in the info you're given ...


The driver is r8188eu.

administrator@debian11:/home/protected$ lsusb -t
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=ehci-pci/2p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/8p, 480M
        |__ Port 7: Dev 7, If 0, Class=Vendor Specific Class, Driver=r8188eu, 480M

Try snapshot maybe, like it was suggested?

Also see:

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Hi, I did see that post and looked through the link but I never heard of snapshot and it looks complex. Was just trying to answer the easier questions first.

What is a snapshot and what is it supposed to do?

Snapshot builds are for the next version being developed right now.
There is some explanation:

You can get a build from the firmware selector:

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then stay on openwrt 23, and keep not using your USB wifi dongle.

please let us know when you've installed a snapshot, and are still having issues.

until then, have fun flogging the dead horse.

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Ok thanks for that information basically I just have to install the test version of OpenWRT which should have support for my wifi dongle. Ok I will try this out when I have some free time later today and report back.

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