RealTek 8185 Wireless on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty


RealTek 8185 Slow on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty
RealTek 8185 problems on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty

I have been running Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty now for a few weeks and I like all of the extra features and the fact that it is open source.  Part of being open source is the idea of sharing information and passing along other solutions to others.

Since moving to Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, I've noticed extreme wireless network slowness.

I have a Gateway MT3422 laptop with the RealTek 8185 wireless card built-in.  With Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, there is bult-in support for this card using the rtl8180 driver that is in the kernel.  Unfortunately, this driver causes very bad wireless signal in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty.

After reading several articles online, I finally was able to get a much better wireless signal.  In addition, the connection is much more stable and I don't have anymore problems with the RealTek 8185 wireless card in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty.

To start off, you will want to download the ndiswrapper utilities.  To do this, go to your main menu and then choose Add/Remove.  In there, ensure that "All Available Applications' is selected.  Then type in "ndis" in the search box and wait for the results.  After a few moments, you should see "Windows Wireless Drivers" show up.  Check the box to install this and then hit Apply Changes.

This will install the graphic user interface for the ndiswrapper along with the ndiswrapper-common and ndiswrapper-utils packages.

Now that these are installed it is time to download the RealTek 8185 driver.  I have created an archive file that is available here which includes the three files needed.  Extract these to a folder in your home folder for easy access

Now that you have the RealTek 8185 wireless driver downloaded and ndiswrapper insalled, it is time to blacklist the built-in rtl8180 driver in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty. Navigate and edit the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf file.  In there, scroll all the way to the bottom and add the following line:

blacklist rtl8180

Now close and save this file.

Go ahead and reboot your PC.  Once back in Ubuntu, you'll notice that you are no longer connecting to your wireless card.  It is now time to get ndiswrapper and the recently downloaded drivers working.

Go to your main menu – System – Administration – Windows Wireles Drivers.

In here, click "Install New Driver".  Now, browse for the RealTek 8185 driver you just downloaded, and double-click on the net8185.inf file.  You may get a message about the hardware not being found, but that is fine.  You should now see the net8185 driver and it should say "Hardware present:  Yes".

You may then need to right-click on your network icon on your panel and choose "Enable Wireless".