I have a Raspberry pi 3 with Raspbian GNU/Linux 9.9 (stretch) and I am trying to use a USB Wifi dongle (Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8188SU 802.11n WLAN Adapter). The external wlan adapter has an external antenna with extended range.

When I restart the Pi, and check iwconfig, only the internal wifi interface is listed, I first have to disconnect and reconnect the dongle for wlan1 to appear. Running lsmod, I know the r8712u module is loaded at startup.

However, even after reconnecting the dongle I can only connect to wifi networks on wlan0 (internal) see figures 1 and 2.

wlan1 appears as an interface but doesnt scan for networks wlan1 isnt listed in the dropdown

In /etc/network/interfaces I have added auto wlan0 and auto wlan1, however this doesn't appear to make a difference.

I have also tried to install the realtek firmware but it is already installed

sudo apt-get install firmware-realtek
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
firmware-realtek is already the newest version (1:20161130-3+rpt4).
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

Before I installed a fresh raspbian, I was able to see two wifi adapters and select/connect to a network with either interface. I would very much appreciate help on how to resolve this issue. Please let me know what other information I can provide which may help.



  • Unless you list four config files and explain why you want 2 adapters the question is unanswerable.
    – Milliways
    Jun 13, 2019 at 3:03
  • @Milliways which config files can I provide? The external dongle has an antenna with much larger range.
    – Jesse RJ
    Jun 13, 2019 at 5:46


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