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"Create Hotspot" via armbian-config fails in the 22.02 release but worked in 21.08


chris2m
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Creating a wireless access point through armbian-config fails in the new 22.02 release for the popular TP-Link TL-WN725N USB Wifi Dongle. I am raising it here because it worked previously on 21.08.  I have tracked it down to be related to a driver change. Release version 22.02 uses the r8188eu and in fact this is one of the drivers the Hotspot configuration actually warns you about. Could this commit be related?

 

In order to overcome this I have downloaded the official TP Link driver sources. but failed to compile them because headers are missing (even after using armbian-config to install headers). I have also followed the official documentation to learn about how to build a wireless driver but the make scripts step fails.

 

On a positive note, bluetooth never worked on the nanopi-r1 model but does now work with the new 22.02 release even though the website still states "Bluetooth is not yet enabled." which is patently untrue :)

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The issue is solved and it's been a good learning exercise. The armbian compilation prepare script helped me understand how the driver should be excluded and how the driver is chosen depending on kernel version.

 

I ended up using the a new driver version v5.13.3-17 vs. v5.7.6.1 included in < 5.15 kernels.

 

Installing kernel headers:

 

apt-get install linux-headers-current-sunxi

# if that does not work choose the right version manually. At the time of writing for Armbian 22.02.1

wget https://imola.armbian.com/apt/pool/main/l/linux-5.15.25-sunxi/linux-headers-current-sunxi_22.02.1_armhf.deb
dpkg -i linux-headers-current-sunxi_22.02.1_armhf.deb

 

Then following the instruction published here to download compile the driver sources:

https://github.com/ivanovborislav/rtl8188eu

I hope this helps others who encounter similar issues with the TP-Link Wifi dongle.

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