This is a guide to help you get the Realtek RTL8187b Wi-Fi card operational. This How-to mostly applies to Ubuntu 8.04 and other distributions using kernel 2.6.24 . Starting with the release of Ubuntu 8.10, through current release (Ubuntu 9.10) the Realtek RTL8187B wireless device works out of the box (with limitations) Please see bottom section of this page for more info.

  • * * * * Now your presented with TWO options here * * * *


Applies to Ubuntu 8.04 and other distributions using 2.6.24 kernel.

Before you begin, you should be aware of the limitations of using this method.

  • WPA/WPA2 are not supported. only non-encrypted and WEP encrypted networks function.
  • Signal strength is not accurately displayed only one single bar or 30% for all networks.

Aside from these limitations the wireless works quite well and at normal speeds. I have been using it for months without issue.

  • If you have just installed Ubuntu, it is important to get connected by LAN and update your system and restart, as there are many changes in Kernel and other packages.

The Wi-Fi card is USB bus and is also mis-detected by the Linux kernel as an 8197 or 8189 chipset.

(Have a 8198-based chipset? Look here.)

Use "lsusb" in terminal to locate your card model. Below is an example of my lsusb output.

tj@toshiba:~/Desktop$ lsusb
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 006 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0bda:8197 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000  

Download rtl8187b-modified-dist.tar.gz and 2.6.24.patch from to Desktop.

  • There are 15 entries into terminal and 2 files to edit.. make sure your files look EXACTLY like the ones shown
  • Each line that contains "sudo" could require your password enter it each time asked. This provides the necessary permissions to access some files/folders.
  • !!!!Install "patch" package "sudo apt-get install patch" before proceeding with driver install. This provides a package that will allow you to apply a patch, this is not installed by default.
  • Ensure you have rtl8187b-modified-dist.tar.gz (archive) and 2.6.24.patch (file) on the Desktop.
  • While the pre-patched offer (jadams) on this site may seem like a short-cut, it doesn't work with this equipment with 2.6.24 kernel.

Open Terminal (Applications-Accessories-Terminal)

Make these Entries:

sudo apt-get install patch

Installs the patch package.

cd Desktop

Changes directories to the Desktop.

tar -zxvf rtl8187b-modified-dist.tar.gz

Extracts the archive, and creates the folder/files (rtl8187b-modified).

cp 2.6.24.patch rtl8187b-modified/

Copies the patch file to the folder rtl8187b-modified.

sudo mkdir /wifi

Creates the /wifi folder where you will be placing the driver and needed files.

cd /home/yourusername/Desktop/rtl8187b-modified

Changes directories to the rtl8187b-modified folder on the Desktop.

sudo cp -r * /wifi

Copies the contents of folder rlt8187b-modified to the folder /wifi you created.

cd /wifi

Changes to the /wifi directory.

sudo patch -p1 < 2.6.24.patch

Applies the patch.

sudo ./makedrv

Builds and installs the driver (you will see error messages during this operation. This is the only step in which you can ignore error messages)

sudo ./wlan0up

Loads the Driver.

sudo cp /etc/rc.local /etc/rc.local.bak

Makes a backup of the file rc.local

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Opens a terminal text editor and loads the file rc.local for editing.

Add these 3 lines to /etc/rc.local as shown below:

ip link set wlan0 up
dhclient wlan0

which should look like this when you're finished:

# rc.local
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
# By default this script does nothing.

ip link set wlan0 up
dhclient wlan0

exit 0

press Ctrl+x then y to save and enter to exit saving the file

sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.bak

Makes backup of file interfaces.

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

Opens a terminal text editor and loads the file interfaces for editing.

Add these 2 lines as shown below.

pre-up          /wifi/wlan0up
post-down       /wifi/wlan0down

/etc/network/interfaces should look like this

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

pre-up          /wifi/wlan0up
post-down       /wifi/wlan0down

press Ctrl+x then y to save and enter to exit saving the file

Restart your machine log in and if you click the network icon once it should show you all the available networks!

Clean up - you may delete the related file/folder/archive on the desktop they are no longer needed or may be saved elsewhere for future use.

Please List your notebook model here as reference to others with the same card:

  • Toshiba Satellite A205-S5809
  • Toshiba Satellite A205-S5814
  • Toshiba Satellite A210-1C4
  • Toshiba Satellite A210-19B
  • Toshiba Satellite A210-FS3
  • Toshiba Satellite A210-MS5
  • Toshiba Satellite A215 SP6806
  • Toshiba Satellite A215-S4057
  • Toshiba Satellite A215-S5824
  • Toshiba Satellite A215 SP6806
  • Toshiba Satellite A215-S7422
  • Toshiba Satellite A215-S7428
  • Toshiba Satellite L40-17F
  • Toshiba Satellite L40 17U
  • Toshiba Satellite L40 17S
  • Toshiba Satellite L40 18Z
  • Toshiba Satellite L45-S7423
  • Toshiba Satellite L300-17K
  • Toshiba Satellite L300-14G
  • Toshiba Satellite L300D-13
  • Toshiba Equium A210-17I
  • Toshiba Equium L300
  • Toshiba Equium A300D-13X
  • Gateway ML-6714
  • Gateway ML-6720
  • Gateway MX6946m
  • Gateway MT-6723
  • Gateway T-1616
  • Gateway T-1620
  • Gateway T-1625
  • Gateway T-1626
  • Gateway T-1628
  • Gateway T-6315
  • Gateway M-1615
  • Gateway M-1625
  • Gateway M-6307
  • Gateway M-6309
  • Gigabyte U60
  • Medion MD 96290
  • Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Li3710
  • System76 Starling Netbook (star1)
  • Philco 12105
  • Your Model Here - Thank You! To all that have provided model numbers.

***Or send Make and Model to to be added to list.***

Shout out to my friend Curtis who helped me put this together and test the functions through the changes, and passing it along.

(Note: For users that experience kernel updates that result in broken wireless. This is a simple repair.

In terminal:

cd /wifi
sudo ./makedrv
sudo ./wlan0up

Reboot. Wi-Fi should now work again.)

(Note: For those who join in #ubuntu on Freenode IRC. There is a factoid available for our use to share the word on this how-to for the RTL8187b chip-set. While in chat simply enter !realtek or !realtek | nick and it will present link here.)

(Note: For more Toshiba A215-S7422 hardware info, please check out ToshibaSatelliteA215S7422Guide)


Applies to Ubuntu 8.10, 9.04. 9.10 and other newer distributions.

I have been following the RTL8187b chipset in ubuntu for some time, Someone informed me that Linux Kernel 2.6.27 work was in progress for supporting it. This was a few months back. If your not already aware the upcoming release of Ubunutu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex is scheduled for release Oct. 30 2008. You can choose to upgrade or install to this version in non stable release now. I can tell you that the RTL8187b WORKS OUT OF BOX!!!!

  • Also, note this, while this message was not displayed anywhere during the upgrade/install process, nor was it presented to me as a user at any given point openly in the GUI, a review of file /var/log/dmesg presents this information:

[   16.065189] rtl8187: 8187B chip detected. Support is EXPERIMENTAL, and could damage your
[   16.065193]          hardware, use at your own risk
[   16.065720] phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'pid'
[   16.068355] hda_codec: Unknown model for ALC268, trying auto-probe from BIOS...
[   16.236997] phy0: hwaddr 00:16:44:14:d7:7e, RTL8187BvE V0 + rtl8225z2
[   16.237022] usbcore: registered new interface driver rtl8187 

Consider yourself warned Smile :)

My review of this Kernel Module Driver:

Pro- is that it works at all, is simpler for someone who does not want to do much from the command line. Signal strength is accurately displayed. WPA works. Its possible your results could be better than mine.

Con- the presence of such warnings, the fact that its in unstable release, and that I find wireless speed is greatly reduced, my guess is somewhere between 30%-50% loss in speed which is quite significant. Range is also reduced approx 50-60%.

After taking the plunge into 8.10 with the new kernel and spending some time using the wireless, it becomes clear that they have much work to do. Also, I dont know why they are not working with realtek directly to solve this issue as it has been said to me more than once that realtek released their drivers as open-source. Problem being that the driver for the realtek 8187 chipset has an official driver while the 8187b does not. How much difference is there in the two? I am not fully sure. But I do know that the driver we have been using in 8.04 is the 8187 driver merely adjusted to accept the 8187b device ID's and little more.

3 post 2.6.24 kernels have been released in use for Ubuntu and still these limitations apply. If anyone knows what is wrong with the kernel module in use, please share with me or Ubuntu Kernel Team, or your distribution to push development of drivers that make our wifi work as it should.

WifiDocs/Device/RealtekRTL8187b (last edited 2011-05-16 15:22:23 by jengelh)