Linux driver for Realtek's Wi-Fi cards

rtl8180 + [sa2400/grf5101/max2820]
[rtl8185/rtl8187] + rtl8225

NOTE: this is no longer mantained as the current Linux kernel now contains a new (MAC80211) driver for those cards.

This is an attempt to make work some wireless lan cards on Linux (2.6) without non-opensource stuff.
More precisely cards with Realtek rtl818x MAC+BASEBAND chip.

These cards can be divided in 3 types:
1- rtl8180 PCI/Cardbus 802.11b
2- rtl8185 PCI/Cardbus 802.11(a)/b/g
3- rtl8187 USB 802.11(a)/b/g

Those card can come with a number of different radios.
rtl8180 card can have a Philips, GCT or Maxim radio. It can support also Intersil and RFMD radios, but I think those cards are quite uncommon
rtl8185 and rtl8187 can have a rtl8225 b/g or rtl8255 a/b/g radio.

Initially one driver named rtl8180-sa2400 was started to be developed.
As the name may suggest this project was born with the aim of make work cards with rtl8180 MAC and Philips sa2400 radio.
Anyway currently it supports more than just Philips radios

Maxim radio experimental support is included in latest releases
"Deuce" helped me a lot in testing and fixing bugs and we finally got it working -Thanks!- (at least on his card)
An experimental support for GCT radio also exists in latest releases
A rough and incomplete support for rtl8185 + rtl8225 exist in CVS.

Realtek has supported me with hardware and infos, so many thanks to them

This driver comes packaged with a ieee 802.11 stack, that is derived from a rather old release of the Intel's 802.11 stack.

More recently, in CVS two new driver are being developed:

rtl8187-newstack CVS branch contains a driver for Rtl8187 USB cards
rtl818x-newstack CVS branch contains a newer driver for rtl8180 and rtl8185 cards

In order to use those two drivers you will need a separate ieee 802.11 stack that is in ieee80211 CVS branch. This stack will also provide new features like WEP shared authentication and 54Mbps G rate support.
Those new driver are not testes as much as the rtl8180-sa2400 driver, but they should be (or become in short time) better and with more features.
All the developing effort is now concentrated on this stack and those two new drivers.
while the rtl8180-sa2400 driver is still probably the most popular, it is not actively developed right now.

if you use these drivers, *Please* report me the dmesg output, the exact card model and tell me if it works. Thanks

At least the following cards are know to work
If your card works and is not here please tell me and I'll add..
Vendor Model Type Radio Notes
Belkin F5D6001 V3 (V2??) PCI Philips Well known: development card
Belkin F5D6020 V3 PCMCIA Philips
Dlink DWL-610 PCMCIA Philips Well known: main development card
Dlink DWL-510 PCI Philips
Netgear MA521 PCMCIA Philips
Level-One WPC-0101 PCMCIA Philips
Acer laptop Aspire 1357 LMi Mini-PCI Philips
VCTnet PC-11B1 PCMCIA Philips
Ovislink AirLive WL-1120PCM PCMCIA Philips
Mentor WL-PCI (WLPCI04330073) PCI Philips
Linksys WPC11 v.4 PCMCIA Maxim
TrendNET TEW-288PI PCI Philips Some issues with D-link DWL-614+
(even under windows)
On other APs works..
This is also a development card
Thanks to Peter Fales
D-Link DWL-520 Rev D only PCI ?
Repotec RP-WP7126 PCI GCT
TP-Link TL-WN250/251 PCI GCT
Zonet ZEW1000 (v1 ?) PCMCIA GCT Some version comes with other
chips (Atmel / Amd ??)
Longshine LCS-8031-R PCI GCT
GigaFast WF721-AEX PCMCIA GCT Developement card - Thanks to
Cheuksan Edward Wang for this card.
Some cards comes with Atmel or acx100
chip for witch other drivers exists.
Those with rtl8180 chip should have
a gold stripe on the pcmcia connector.
Those with Atmel has not the stripe.
acx100 unknow..
Planet WL-3553 PCMCIA Philips
Encore ENLWI-PCI1-NT PCI Philips
TrendNET tew-266PC PCMCIA Philips WARNING. Read below
Gigabyte GN-WLMR101 PCI Philips
Siemens-fujitsu laptop Amilo D1840W Mini-PCI GCT
Edimax EW-7126 PCI GCT
PheeNet WL-11PCIR PCI Philips
Tonze PC-2100T PCI GCT
Planet WL-8303 PCI Philips
Dlink DWL-650 v M1 PCMCIA Philips
Edimax EW-7106 PCMCIA Philips
Q-Tec 770WC PCMCIA Philips
Topcom Skyr@cer 4011b PCMCIA ?
Roper FreeLan 802.11b (edition 2004) PCMCIA Philips
Wistron Neweb Corp CB-200B PCMCIA Philips
Pentagram HorNET PCI GCT
QTec 775WC PCMCIA Philips
TwinMOS Booming B Series PCMCIA Philips
Realtek RTL8185 Reference design PCMCIA Rtl8225 Many thanks to Realtek for cards & support!!
Micronet SP906BB PCI ?
Sweex LC700010 PCI GCT
Surecom EP-9428 PCMCIA ?
Realtek RTL8187 Reference design USB Rtl8225 Many thanks to Realtek for card & support


Altought I have some good reports for TrendNET tew-266pc, I have also one that says the card didn't worked anymore after using this driver.. I'm quite sure that it is a very rare evenience, and I still wonder if it might be due to something else,anyway just want to warn

Please note that is not uncommon to find cards with the same model id but different chip. For example belkin PCMCIA card V2 has Atmel chip for wich other drivers exists

Please note that I used the word 'PCMCIA' to refer to laptop cards (ok I suppose you know what I'm meaning: not the mini-pci) but these are actually CARDBUS..


1) Please note that the nic is sleeping until you run ifconfig up.*
2) In order to use encryption with those drivers You willneed crypto API support in your kernel with ARC4 enabled and CRC32 functions in your kernel.
3) new kernels >= 2.6.12 are supported only by the CVS version of both old rtl8180-sa2400 and newer drivers.
4) If you are looking for 2.4 kernels support you most probalbly want to use the old rtl8180-sa2400 driver
5) If you are looking for master mode support you most probably still want to use the old rtl8180-sa2400 as it constains at least a kind of unfinished, but basically working, AP mode support

For more details please see the README file

to download the project files please use this CVS anonymous server:

some versions of the rtl8180-sa2400 driver has been also released in tar.gz package in past.You can find them in:

you may reach me at:
andrea *DOT* merello _REMOVE_THIS_ *AT*