According to multiple sources, the only way to get a USB wifi based on the RTL8192CU chipset into monitor mode is to use the RTLWIFI driver, instead of the stripped down driver that ships in raspbian.

Is the only way to get a loadable RTLWIFI driver to build your own kernel, or is there an add-on prebuilt module for this?


The problem is that the rtlwifi driver (for Wifi chips such as those based on Realtek's 8192cu) seems to be rather unstable on the Raspberry PI (It works fine on x86 machines), so it doesn't generally get included in most distributions. It has been included in some distributions in the past but got removed again (and sadly there's no static repository of these), so the only way to reliably get it now is to build your own kernel. Until the rtlwifi (or dependent systems) get fixed.

  • Good answer. I finally had to use a different wifi chipset, but it's really difficult to find a cheap dongle that doesn't use the realtek chips -- panda wireless was about the only viable option. Feb 18 '15 at 22:46
  • Thanks - I also hear the Ralink RT5370 based dongles can do monitor mode and may be bought cheaply.
    – Pierz
    Feb 19 '15 at 11:07
  • 1
    I ordered dozens of dongles and finally found the Panda dongle uses RALINK chipsets and are the most stable. I don't recall precisely which chipset it uses though... Feb 24 '15 at 16:20

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