Dreambox USB WiFi adapter: Hard blocked

My Dreambox 7080 HD satellite receiver shipped with a USB wifi dongle. I don't use it since I prefer to use ethernet cables.

I nevertheless would like to have a second WiFi adapter on my laptop - then I could open my own WiFi access point and share the connection that's available on the normal adapter. Or use it on the desktop PC which does not have an WiFi adapter.

The USB WiFi adapter is a RTL8188S WLAN Adapter from Realtek with idVendor=07b8, idProduct=8188.

A problem

Attaching the dongle to the USB port automatically created a network interface wlan0, which was fine. Unfortunately, nm-applet showed the wifi adapter as disabled: rfkill told me:

$ rfkill list
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: yes

The USB dongle does not have a hardware switch, so there was no way to switch it. rfkill did also not help:

$ rfkill unblock 0
$ rfkill list
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: yes

What now?

Larry Finger to the rescue

dmesg showed me that the rtl8192cu driver was being used:

rtl8192cu: Chip version 0x10
rtl8192cu: MAC address: 12:34:56:78:90:12
rtl8192cu: Board Type 0
rtl_usb: rx_max_size 15360, rx_urb_num 8, in_ep 1
rtl8192cu: Loading firmware rtlwifi/rtl8192cufw_TMSC.bin
usbcore: registered new interface driver rtl8192cu
r8712u: module is from the staging directory, the quality is unknown, you have been warned.
usbcore: registered new interface driver r8712u
ieee80211 phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'rtl_rc'
rtlwifi: wireless switch is on
IPv6: ADDRCONF(NETDEV_UP): wlan0: link is not ready

The Linux Wireless Realtek website told me that Larry Finger maintained some kernel drivers on Github - and voila, there was it: lwfinger/rtl8192cu.

Installing it was not a problem:

$ git clone git@github.com:lwfinger/rtl8192cu.git
$ cd rtl8192cu
$ make
$ sudo make install

I then had to remove the old rtl drivers with rmmod, and then plugged the WiFi dongle in. A final $ rfkill unblock all and I could use it fine.

Written by Christian Weiske.

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