[BUG] - Realtek wifi do not work with version 2.3 or 2.4 but does work on 1.0

John da_audiophile
Sun Mar 22 13:04:57 PDT 2015

Summary of bug: wpa_supplicant version 1.0 allow Realtek wifi USB dongles on Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi 2 to work correctly, but more recent versions including 2.3 and 2.4 do not work at all with this hardware.

Scope: This only seems to affect RPi (armv6h) and RPi2 (armv7h) hardware since using the very Realtek USB in a x86_64 box shows no symptoms at all regardless of wpa_supplicant version.

Hardware info: This wifi dongle uses the 8192cu driver including in kernel version 3.18.9-2-ARCH for Raspberry Pi.  Here is the lsusb output for the Realtek hardware: Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:8176 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8188CUS 802.11n WLAN Adapter.

Distro: Arch ARM for Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi 2.

Details to reproduce this bug: Run Arch ARM for either Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi 2.  Create /etc/wpa_supplicant/example.conf which contains:

*On the Raspberry Pi using wpa_supplicant version 2.3:

% sudo wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/example.conf
Successfully initialized wpa_supplicant
nl80211: Driver does not support authentication/association or connect commands
wlan0: Failed to initialize driver interface

At this point, wpa_supplicant is NOT running as that error seems fatal.

*On the Raspberry Pi using wpa_supplicant version 1.0:
% sudo  wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/example.conf
ioctl[SIOCSIWAP]: Operation not permitted

That ioctl warning is not fatal since the wpa_supplicant process runs just fine and I am able to use wpa_cli to configure a connection to my wireless router.

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