TP-Link TL-WN725N with Fedora 21

The TL-WN725N is a nano form factor wifi adapter that plugs into a standard USB socket. Getting it to work with the latest kernel for Fedora 21 took some doing.

NOTE: This still works with kernel 4.x, just be sure to download the latest copy of the source and build with that, as the author recently updated it to account for changes in the 4.0 kernels. This last time around I actually did a git clone into my software archives rather than downloading the .zip file.

The adapter worked fine with the 3.17.x series of kernels and the linux-firmware package. But when I recently upgraded to kernel 3.18.5-201.fc21 it went out to lunch.

Version 3 of the TL-WN725N (which is what I have) uses Realtek’s RTL8188CEU chipset (verified by checking dmesg for product ID 8179).

Having already installed the kernel-headers and kernel-devel package for the current kernel, I followed the hyperlinks to the firmware source to compile and install in accordance with the instructions.

As in all things, the documentation provided wasn’t precisely correct but “good enough” to get the job done. In later installs done after kernel updates I stopped using dkms because the system failed to recognize the device.

Steps:

1. Download zip of firmware source from here.

2. Unzip to folder rtl8188eu-master. Rename as rtl8188eu.

3. Go into the rtl8188eu folder and execute:

make all
make install

4. Reboot system and enable wifi adapter through NetworkManager to test. Disable again if you don’t need it (if your wifi and wired connections are on different subnets you may experience routing trouble with both enabled).

The driver has to be re-installed on each kernel update, since it’s not included in the shipping kernel. As much of a hassle as this would be for users of most distributions, for those of us running Fedora it is even more so given multiple new kernel releases every month.

Resources:

TP-Link TL-WN723N-V3 / TL-WN725N-V2 (USB Wifi) 2.0.1

TP-LINK TL-WN723N v3

lwfinger/rtl8188eu

The USB ID Repository

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).