There's lots of great solutions out there (and here on StackOverflow) for this on Pi hardware but I'm trying to make this dongle work on a PC running Pi OS, which totally foxes the various build scripts out there as it falls over at the uname or arch detection, wrong toolchain etc. or just a plain unsupported kernel revision somehow...

Also, I'll be honest, once instructions start telling me to download the kernel and recompile it by hand I rapidly lose interest in struggling with a £5 Wifi dongle.

Annoyingly, plugging the dongle into my Linux Mint system it is immediately recognised and working with zero installation or config.

So, the problem in short;

  • I have a TP Link WN725N V3 Wifi dongle with Realtek 8188eu chipset
  • I have a PC (amd64 arch)
  • I'm running what appears to be the most up-to-date version of Pi Desktop, uname -r reports 4.19.0-13-amd64+
  • Mr Engman's excellent script detects all of this and then aborts due to unknown processor type
  • Mr Engman's website does not list a driver build for this kernel revision
  • Daber's build instructions / script also fall over without the ARM toolchain

So, anyone got a sane solution for this that doesn't involve hours of hacking?

  • 1
    I haven't used Pi Desktop OS (frankly I don't see the point) but it is just normal Debian with a Pi look & feel. Try looking at Debian or unix.stackexchange.com/questions as any solution there should work.
    – Milliways
    Nov 27 '21 at 23:46
  • @Milliways - in this case the point is I'm building two PC's up for children who learn most of their stuff on a Raspberry Pi and whose school teaches everything on Raspberry Pi's so wanted to keep it familiar, but give them more capacity / storage.
    – John U
    Nov 28 '21 at 17:11
  • "I'll be honest, once instructions start telling me to download the kernel and recompile it by hand I rapidly lose interest in struggling with a £5 Wifi dongle." You're right, it isn't all that worthwhile, especially looking at what you've already been through. The issue with Debian/RpiOS is probably that it requires some proprietary firmware/driver and they don't distribute such on principle. If there's an actual kernel driver involved (as opposed to just firmware), note that you will have to do it all again every time the kernel is updated.
    – goldilocks
    Nov 28 '21 at 21:34
  • I agree w/ Milliways that there is not much point in the desktop version if you are already a linux user anyway. Whatever the goal is there beyond just providing a consistent interface to Pi users who don't otherwise use linux, it is something along the lines of "easy to use linux for the people!" which Ubuntu, Mint, and others have already done much much better.
    – goldilocks
    Nov 28 '21 at 21:34
  • @goldilocks - TP Link make the source available but as I said the instructions involve recompiling the kerbnel, and a couple of user-maintained repositories that provide binaries fall over in the x86 use case.
    – John U
    Nov 29 '21 at 12:40

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