No WiFi on my OSMC on RPi2 using Edimax EW-7811Un

I have an RPi2, on which I have OSMC installed since many years.
It is now running Kodi 18.9 on OSMC 2020.11-1
It is connected by Ethernet and works fine then.
Now I need to move it to my summer home and then I cannot use Ethernet since there is no wiring for that. I need WiFi and I have used that previously using an EdiMax adapter, but now it won’t recognize it.

This is what I get as diagnostics:
$ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 7392:7811 Edimax Technology Co., Ltd EW-7811Un 802.11n Wireless Adapter [Realtek RTL8188CUS]

$ ifconfig
eth0: flags=-28605<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,DYNAMIC>  mtu 1500
        inet  netmask  broadcast
        ether b8:27:eb:00:cd:07  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 250  bytes 25773 (25.1 KiB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 224  bytes 38084 (37.1 KiB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536

So there is no wlan0 adapter recognized (I have restarted the operating system to check).
I have searched the web and there seems to be a number of users like me not able to use WiFi with OSMC on RPi2, but I know it has worked in the past…
What can I do to fix this?


Support for some Realtek dongles has been removed.
You could downgrade to an older version of OSMC.



It became too much of an effort supporting Realtek WiFi drivers out of tree.

Realtek should upstream their drivers in to the Linux kernel instead of relying on downstream Linux distributions such as us to maintain them.

If suitable upstream drivers become available in the future, we will reintroduce support. But I’m not keen on reintroducing support now which will delay our ability to push newer kernels and support for future hardware (such as new Pi models).

You could build the module out of tree, but this isn’t something we can directly support and you would need to recompile the driver with each kernel update.


Makes sense…
Especially since WiFi is incorporated in the RPi hardware since RPi3 maintaining the USB adapter drivers would only cover old hardware, right?

Yes – there are not a lot of users that are using external WiFi adapters after introduction of internal WiFi adapters on Pi. A few do use external adapters for better performance on Pi but this isn’t really the case at all on the Vero 4K/4K+. So there’s not much incentive in maintaining this support burden anymore with diminishing returns.

But even then – the Pi external WiFi adapter is maintained by Raspberry Pi and works well.

The issue lies with Realtek.