can't get rtl8188ce wireless card to work on Debian 6.0.5

frustrated inc's picture


Hello world. About three weeks ago I obtained a Toshiba Satellite L755, and I promptly installed both Debian 6.0.5 and Back Track 5R2 for the amd64 setup, both running KDE. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get my wireless card to work properly with either of these systems, even though it works well with Windows. The wireless card has the dreaded rtl8188ce chip set, which, as I've noticed from other posts in the forum, has caused a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth for other poor souls. I tried installing the drivers recommended by the Debian Wiki an the manufacturer with success. The wlan0 interface is recognized under ifconfig. Through WiCD I can see that the wireless card recognizes the networks in the area, but it will not let me log on to any of them, not even the ones without password protection.
After reading the BB post by Bulkley at, I decided to buy a new wireless card. So I purchased an ASUS USB-N13. The package explicitly stated “Linux support,” and it came with a CD with drivers. Only after opening it and trying to install it did I realize that it also had a RealTek chip set. The drivers on the CD wouldn't compile. I even tried using ndiswrapper for the windows drivers, but Debian doesn't even acknowledge the existence of the device. So I'm back to working with the built-in rtl8188ce, because at least the computer recognizes that card.
I've tried upgrading from squeeze to sid using apt-get upgrade and apt-get dist-upgrade. I think the upgrade was successful, but the card still isn't working properly. So I'm trying to upgrade the kernel. I downloaded a kernel package for linux-3.4.4 an went through all the trouble of making sure that I have all the packages necessary to compile it. Even so, I have run into a roadblock. After executing the command make menuconfig, just like the readme file in the package told me to do, the computer gave me this response:

HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/checklist.o
HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/inputbox.o
HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/menubox.o
HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/textbox.o
HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/util.o
HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/yesno.o
HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/mconf.o
HOSTCC scripts/kconfig/
HOSTLD scripts/kconfig/mconf
scripts/kconfig/mconf Kconfig
drivers/net/ethernet/brocade/Kconfig:21: can't open file "drivers/net/ethernet/brocade/bna/Kconfig"
make[1]: *** [menuconfig] Error 1
make: *** [menuconfig] Error 2

I looked in the package's bna folder with Dolphin and discovered that there is nothing there, and certainly no Kconfig file. Why would these people who have put so much hard work into making this kernel have a makefile that calls on a file that doesn't exist? Surely they would have caught that before shipping it out.
I'm at wit's end with this problem. I just want a Linux system that will execute the internet programs I want and, of course, surf the web with the wireless card. Any help that anyone can give me will be greatly appreciated. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.


bdhj's picture


I don't have a solution, but am enjoying the same problem with a 8188CE in a fit-pc3. I spent many hours on web looking for a solution, but did not find one yet. If I do, I'll post it here. Please do the same.