Similar to a post on the Unix Stack Exchange but nothing similar here;

Can the LED for the Edimax EW-7811 (8192cu driver) be disabled via software on the Pi?

Failing that, any recommendations on a wifi dongle that works well with the Pi but has no LEDs? Thanks.

  • 1
    What have you got against LED's – Steve Robillard Jan 4 '16 at 22:57
  • Nothing! other than I don't want it on. – Toby Jan 6 '16 at 7:51
  • For example having the raspi monitoring and controlling the environment for plants. Some plants need absolutely no light in nighttime during flowering phase, so you'd like to prevent light pollution as good as possible. – Julian F. Weinert Mar 20 '16 at 22:39

I'm failing the first part of your question, but a piece of black electrical tape over the protruding part of the dongle should help you with your issue.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I guess this comment needs to be moved to the question, not under my answer :) – Phil B. Jan 5 '16 at 18:39

There's quiet a few out of date resources out there, so I summarised my findings at:


The short answer is to patch the driver. The post includes full instructions.

| improve this answer | |
  • Toby, please summarize the findings from this article in your post, so that if someone else wants to do the same they do not have to rely on your blog-post (which could disappear or otherwise be unreachable in the future). Thanks! – Phil B. Jan 13 '16 at 20:06
  • @Toby I wanted to comment on your blog, but don't wanted to sign up. You can use git log --oneline | grep "Linux 4.1.18" to find the right commit. – Julian F. Weinert Mar 20 '16 at 23:17
  • Looks like the newer (combined?) driver for 4.9.58 doesn't have the same macros, so for newer versions (using the 8xxxc driver), I'm not sure you can anymore :'( – Toby Nov 1 '17 at 20:35

Old story, I know, but had the same setup and intention and not enough leisure for recompiling. Tape is ugly :( So just in case somebody might find this helpful, here's what did the job for me:

The plastic cover of the dongle is easily removable with any fine tool. It is simply clipped around the antenna, nothing more than a gentle clap needed. Once removed, you see the antenna and a small circuit board that essentially is the USB dongle. You can carefully pull this circuit board a bit back until you see the LED (tiny white rectangle between soldering pads).

Carefully grind it down to pieces. Then reattach the cap. Done.

| improve this answer | |
  • This is why black electrical tape is used over LEDs – SDsolar Apr 15 '18 at 4:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.