How can I get a Realtek driver for FreeBSD?


Staff member

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That's a Linux driver, you cannot install Linux drivers on FreeBSD.


New Member

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That's a Linux driver, you cannot install Linux drivers on FreeBSD.
Well that is good to know. Thank you, sir!

But since FreeBSD does not support my RTL8723BE wireless chipset, am I shit out of luck, or is there some technical stuff I could do to make FreeBSD detect and use my device?



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The (only) technical stuff that will work is to either improve existing FreeBSD drivers to support your device, or to write a FreeBSD driver for your device. But this is real work; it takes knowledge and time.
Sorry, there are no magical formulas in the real world.

If you are pragmatic and have the money, you can always buy a usb wireless dongle that is supported by a FreeBSD driver. Using apropos wireless will tell you about the man pages with the word "wireless" in them. If you read the man pages for wireless drivers, you will find out which chipsets are supported. Now your quest is reduced to finding a usb wireless dongle which states the chipset used. Good luck!


Son of Beastie

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In theory, you could run both Linux and FreeBSD simultaneously on your laptop (using virtual machines), use Linux just for connecting to the network and bridging to the other OS, and then use FreeBSD as your normal operating system. Sounds like a crazy hack, and lots of work: (probably an hour or two for someone who has experience setting up VMs, way more for someone who's never done it before. Just for one wireless chip that's out of line; getting a USB wireless device seems more practical.



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It's possible to forward network traffic from a host to a VM running on that host using NAT.
Curious, is there a way to bridge or forward network traffic from a VM running on the host to the host itself?


Aspiring Daemon

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That is a fairly new chip and NDISulator is based on Windows XP drivers. Did not specifically look but I'm cynical that there will be a Windows XP driver for this chip.

Another option is to replace the card with one that is supported. I replaced an realtek wifi card on an HP Stream 14 but it was a bit of a chore to pry the case open. Depending on the make/model of your laptop, this can be easier or harder. The other thing to investigate is if the BIOS has a vendor whitelist. My HP Stream did but it was easy to get an intel card that had been pulled from an HP laptop and was listed as supported.


New Member

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I've also replaced that 8723 chip with Intel dual band chip. I think it is the easiest way to make things work.



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If you do go the wifi dongle route and don't know which one to buy, remember that the popularity of the Raspberry Pi means that loads of these online shops now provide pretty compatible hardware (originally intended for Raspbian Linux).