Realtek RTL8191SEvB Linux driver?

Peter Harrison peter.piggybox at
Thu Jan 5 21:09:49 UTC 2012

Thursday,  5 January 2012 at  9:04:40 +1000, Da Rock said:
> On 01/05/12 07:01, Peter Harrison wrote:
> >On 4 Jan 2012, at 01:08, Da Rock wrote:
> >
> >>On 01/04/12 10:38, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
> >>>
> >>>On Wed, 4 Jan 2012, Da Rock wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>On 01/04/12 02:10, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>On Wed, 4 Jan 2012, Da Rock wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>>On 01/03/12 22:10, Jerry wrote:
> >>>>>>>On Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:44:30 +1000
> >>>>>>>Da Rock articulated:
> >>>>>>>
> >>>>>>>>On 01/03/12 11:15, Jeffrey McFadden wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>Don't ndis(4) ndiscvt and ndisgen(8)  essentially accomplish what the 
> >>>>>OP is requesting? See the handbook section
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>or the man page for ndiscvt:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>While doing the conversion looks a bit beyond what we would expect of 
> >>>>>an end-user, it does seem to offer a path for using hardware whose 
> >>>>>manufacturer does not support FreeBSD. Is there anything beyond 
> >>>>>licensing issues preventing such drivers from being included in the 
> >>>>>distribution, or made downloadable in FreeBSD form?
> >>>>Oh yes, it is possible, just not probable :)
> >>>At
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>almost 800 compatible devices are listed. Not everything, but I have 
> >>>found that a willingness to spend a few dollars on a different card 
> >>>helps immensely in enjoying FreeBSD and Linux. For me at least it is 
> >>>easier to find a compatible card than to write a compatible driver.
> >>Indeed :)
> >>
> >>I did notice that the card in question wasn't on that list. But my own 
> >>experience with ndiswrapper and wifi cards were far less than 
> >>satisfactory- the firmware always got in the road. But I may have just 
> >>been too stupid at the time :)
> >>>I would also observe that most people involved with computers, whether 
> >>>as users or developers, have little symphathy for people with different 
> >>>needs from the device. This is a great impediment to progress. It is a 
> >>>mistake to assume that because you don't need something, another 
> >>>person's desire for it is illegitimate. In this case, I fully agree that 
> >>>it is an injustice that hardware vendors do not supply FreeBSD drivers, 
> >>>but that does not mean that users requiring such drivers are immoral or 
> >>>of poor character, and therefore to be ignored or insulted. There is 
> >>>little that FreeBSD coders and users can do about that injustice 
> >>>directly, however it is within their power to mitigate it with the NDIS 
> >>>wrapper. If that wrapper allows another user to enter the FOSS world, 
> >>>that will (in the fullness of time) contribute to reforming the vendor.
> >>No they are absolutely not of poor character, I agree. Some messages can 
> >>be misconstrued, though, in that the replies can be terse and more 
> >>logical than sympathetic. Sometimes it is easier to replace with a 
> >>different card than flog a dead horse, although a user may take offense 
> >>for emotional or financial reasons more than logical.
> >>
> >>Mitigation is a difficult path as I have found personally, although NDIS 
> >>helps immensely with wired nics (not so much of a problem these days), 
> >>and I believe Luigi Rizzo's work with the linuxulator and drivers is to 
> >>be applauded ten fold. It takes a great deal of time though- I put 
> >>forward the idea when I was still a BSD pup not entirely realising the 
> >>challenges :) Luigi (and his colleagues) has been working hard ever since 
> >>to facilitate the more challenging aspects of multimedia drivers (whether 
> >>or not that had to do with my comments or not, I don't know).
> >Da Rock,
> >
> >I've been using ndis drivers successfully with a Broadcom chip in my 
> >Lenovo s10-e since I bought it some years ago - to the extent that I've 
> >not yet switched over to the native drivers now available.
> >
> >I didn't find using ndisgen too problematic. Just a case of finding the 
> >right driver files and following the manpage. I'd strongly recommend 
> >trying it in preference to a usb stick (been there, done that) or buying 
> >new hardware - although I'd agree that depending on the model changing a 
> >mini-PCI card isn't necessarily that difficult (I changed it t an Intel 
> >card in my other Dell laptop some time ago - remember to attach the 
> >internal aerial cable!).
> Make no mistake I'm not being facetious. How did you do it?
> The biggest problem I had was that there are multiple firmware for 
> different scenarios that are loaded. One for base station mode, one for 
> adhoc, and one more I think... They got in the way of using it correctly.

Da Rock,

The short answer is, I'm not honestly sure. It was a couple of years ago and it's given absolutely no trouble since - a genuine "fit and forget" solution.

I remember it as being a question of finding and unpacking the right file then using the .sys and .inf files to create a kernel module using ndisgen.

Don't recall having any problems with firmware. The only issue I recall was I think to do with converting the .inf file to unicode, but I might have mis-remembered that.

Sorry I can't be more help.

Peter Harrison.
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