Drivers for RTL88x2BU

Hi guys

Just got a dual antenna wifi dongle with 5Ghz wifi for my legacy router not supporting 5Ghz wifi.

Tried to install the driver from the System > Software menu but can't find any.

Is there any chance for you guys to add that driver into the packages repository please ?

There are plenty of github repos with the driver source, but don't have the knowledge to compile it my self

Please help :slight_smile:

I don't see any licensing information in that repository, and without a clear legal status (the README says 'downloaded from the D-Link website', it would be weird for D-Link not to provide any license with code which is not theirs) and clarification on whether this code is actually supported by anyone, nobody will integrate that into OpenWrt repositories.

If you're in luck you might find someone who could package it for you but the smarter choice is first to look at which dongles do have active OpenWrt support and buy one of those, rather than the other way around.

If you're doing this to upgrade your router, get an affordable dual band model, you can find 802.11ac ones already for ~50 € if you look around and don't mind refurb.

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I'm copy'n'pasting this from OpenWrt on Orange pi R1 but it also applies here (rtl8822bu might -or might not- be supported in rtw88 (new in kernel 5.2) one day, but it isn't supported there yet)…

The situation around Realtek wireless drivers, particularly USB wireless drivers, is an utter mess. Realtek pushes out new, slightly changed, wireless chipsets 2-3 times a year, each with their own vendor driver[0], which is subsequently forgotten about immediately, in favour of the next one - but doesn't follow up with upstreaming them at all[1]. For a while these drivers were accepted into staging, but after six drivers ended up there[2], rotting away without ever getting closer to being mainlined, staging is no longer accepting[3] new drivers of this particular kind.

This means the drivers remain unsupported upstream[4], with random github users adopting the vendor drivers and keeping them on life support for their own needs - which means you end up having to choose between different kind of bugs, depending on the 'best' source of the day. None of these drivers support AP mode at all[5].

Aside from doing this properly, by mainlining (mainline, not staging), there is no way forward for these drivers. Given the pain and invasive nature of the required efforts to (potentially) getting them working under OpenWrt[6], trying to support these for OpenWrt wouldn't be a reasonable effort.

[0] each coming with their own ~2.6.16-era ieee80211-softmac derived wireless stack, each exporting the same -conflicting- symbols to the rest of the kernel
[1] the situation for their PCIe devices is slightly better, not good, but better
[2] only a single PCI based Realtek WLAN driver (rtl8187se, aka rtl8185b) ever made it out of staging (absorbed into the existing rtl8185 support of the rtl8180 driver)
[3] I recommend to read the whole thread
[4] unless someone does the heavy lifting to porting support for the devices to rtl8xxxu
[5] that's a lie, but each needs its own patched hostapd 0.4.8 (the current version would be v2.9) derived fork, with a custom driver backend and a wext like userspace interface; none of this supported or supportable in OpenWrt
[6] yes, it would be easier if you only care about a single one of them and are fine with changes that would break the others - aside from that, you'd have to actively put your head into the sand and ignore the security implications of running an abandoned 14 year old hostapd codebase…

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