Fedora 16 is here.  With all GNU/Linux distributions, newer versions generally mean better hardware support, usability and so on.  Unfortunately, for users of netbooks, laptops and basically any hardware that contains Realtek’s 8192e wireless chip, things can still be problematic.

I posted, previously, a rather kludgy solution to fixing this in Fedora 14.  Then 15 came along, and the fix I was using then no longer worked.  This is because my previous solution installed the Linux kernel staging drivers for a kernel version very similar to that running in Fedora 14 (but actually built for Ubuntu).

Now that we are 2 versions of Fedora down the road (12 months, then), is the situation better for the humble RTL8192e_PCI ?  Sadly, no.  The main problem is that the 8192e driver is still in the Linux driver staging tree rather than in the main code line.  In the respected opinion of the Linux kernel developers and testers, this means the code isn’t good enough to be enabled by default.  Quite when it will be “ready” to hit the trunk, I’m not sure.

In the meantime, this means you have to install the kernel’s development modules (staging drivers).

This is quite simple in Fedora:

  1. Enable the RPMFusion repository by following instructions here:
    http://rpmfusion.org/Configuration
  2. Then, as root, install the kmod-staging package:
    # yum install kmod-staging