Direct firmware load for rtlwifi/rtl8188eufw.bin failed with error -2

By | November 20, 2015

If you have come across this strange error you are probably trying to get a Realtek wifi dongle working on a Raspberry Pi.

The trick is that if you plug in the wifi dongle and you don’t see the blue LED flashing, then get ready to start debugging.

Before you try pumping up the current supplied to the USB port from the standard 600mA to 1.2A by adding this line:

max_usb_current=1

to the end of the file /boot/config.txt try this command first:

tail -f /var/log/messages

Then plug the wifi dongle in and watch the logs speak.

This is what I got:

Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.385306] usb 1-1.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.385323] usb 1-1.4: Product: 802.11n WLAN NIC
Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.385340] usb 1-1.4: Manufacturer: Realtek
Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.450422] r8188eu: module is from the staging directory, the quality is unknown, you have been warned.
Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.460238] Chip Version Info: CHIP_8188E_Normal_Chip_TSMC_D_CUT_1T1R_RomVer(0)
Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.506322] usbcore: registered new interface driver r8188eu
Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.628931] r8188eu 1-1.4:1.0: Direct firmware load for rtlwifi/rtl8188eufw.bin failed with error -2
Nov 20 02:11:27 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.628985] MAC Address = 00:1d:43:10:48:e4
Nov 20 02:11:28 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.818445] usb 1-1.4: USB disconnect, device number 4
Nov 20 02:11:28 raspberrypi kernel: [ 83.819054] R8188EU: ERROR indicate disassoc

The key is the the failure to load a specific file called rtl8188eufw.bin. Some searching led me to this site https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues/764 where there was a link to the missing file in github thanks to a guy called “lwfinger” or Larry. You want to grab the file from https://github.com/lwfinger/rtl8188eu/ and place it in /lib/firmware/rtlwifi.

If you are ssh’d into your pi and have internet connection via ethernet, you can just run the command below.

sudo wget https://github.com/lwfinger/rtl8188eu/raw/c83976d1dfb4793893158461430261562b3a5bf0/rtl8188eufw.bin  -O /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/rtl8188eufw.bin

Then unplug the dongle and plug in it again and watch the logs again. This is what you should get:

Nov 20 02:30:07 raspberrypi kernel: [ 1202.661655] usb 1-1.3: new high-speed USB device number 11 using dwc_otg
Nov 20 02:30:07 raspberrypi kernel: [ 1202.763292] usb 1-1.3: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=8179
Nov 20 02:30:07 raspberrypi kernel: [ 1202.763319] usb 1-1.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
Nov 20 02:30:07 raspberrypi kernel: [ 1202.763337] usb 1-1.3: Product: 802.11n WLAN NIC
Nov 20 02:30:07 raspberrypi kernel: [ 1202.763353] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: Realtek
Nov 20 02:30:07 raspberrypi kernel: [ 1202.764742] Chip Version Info: CHIP_8188E_Normal_Chip_TSMC_D_CUT_1T1R_RomVer(0)

The blue light should now light up. After this, there are lots of tutorials on how to connect to your local wifi point so I won’t cover that here.

Note that you might have to do reboot.

>> sudo reboot

If you are interested, the wifi dongle I got was from ebay was $3USD. Can’t complain. http://www.ebay.com/itm/150Mbps-High-Speed-Wireless-Wifi-802-11n-LAN-Adapter-Dongle-for-Raspberry-Pi-TR-/151808094061?

Happy to say it works and I’ve had no issues thus far.

Some other useful commands

This lists the network interfaces and it should show the IP address of wlan0

>> ifconfig

This also shows the network interfaces and in particular the wpa_supplicant.conf file where you will need to provide the wifi details.

>> cat /etc/network/interfaces

http://www.linuxnix.com/what-is-linuxunix-dmesg-command-and-how-to-use-it/

>> dmesg

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