Can't get WiFi to work on Beaglebone A6a

I followed the Youtube video by Derek Molloy. In it he installs Ubuntu onto his SD card. He also builds a new kernel. He then gets wifi up an running. I had very little success with the actual driver that was prebuilt. When I downloaded the source from realtek, I edited the makefile (just like in the video) and successfully got wifi running. I built my driver on December 16 2012 and the driver was 612,246 bytes. You might want to just build the new driver, but I chose to build the new kernel because the makefile asks for the location of the source. I am not particularly strong in linux so the video was very helpful. Hope this helps.

Hi Old Mac Dude,

thanks a lot! I took me some time to walk through the video of Derek Molloy but I finished it right now. And my Realtek 8192 WiFi stick is working now! Wow.
I think this is an important message to everybody who tries to run an adapter with this chipset on the current Angstrom or Ubuntu: It does not work with the driver which ships with the OS. You need to build your own one.

The video from Derek is superb. I think I understood only half of it but it walks you safely through all steps.

Not related to this, but a bit strange: If the beaglebone now registers via WLAN with my Fritzbox router the router doesn’t show an IP address in its GUI although it handed out one to the bone. It’s the very first time I see this. It’s a bit cumbersome as one has to guess the IP# to connect to the board.

Best regards,

this. It's a bit cumbersome as one has to guess the IP# to connect to the

It might be a bit less cumbersome if you search for the BB with a
portscanner, eg nmap or nc...

didi$ nmap -A

Starting Nmap 5.50 ( ) at 2013-01-08 11:40 CET
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.00091s latency).
Not shown: 998 closed ports
22/tcp open ssh OpenSSH 6.1 (protocol 2.0)

ssh-hostkey: 1024 f0:60:fe:f6:58:62:b4:b3:d3:44:45:ff:be:7a:b6:57 (DSA)
_2048 b9:67:1f:88:4f:4e:15:85:35:1f:d8:6d:fc:1b:cb:8f (RSA)

80/tcp open http Apache httpd 2.2.23 ((Unix) mod_ssl/2.2.23
OpenSSL/1.0.1c DAV/2 PHP/5.4.9)

_http-methods: No Allow or Public header in OPTIONS response (status code 200)
_http-title: Calor

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
Nmap done: 3 IP addresses (1 host up) scanned in 8.31 seconds

If you don’t have a linker ‘sudo apt-get install build-essential’ should load everything you need to compile and link a C program.
But I really recommend you follow the video. You can watch the beginning and then skip to minute 40 as you do not need to rebuild the kernel. But I would even watch this part as you learn a lot - at least I did.

As well I recommend to cross-compile on your PC. So you don’t have a lot of garbage on the beaglebone.
Installing Ubunto in a VM is really easy. I used Virtualbox and the VMWare Player to do so and finally decided for the VMWare Player as the graphical UI was working much smoother there.


On another note, now the device at least blinks, instead of staying a solid blue, is this a good or bad thing?

This is good - I had the same experience. As a well a good sign are a lot of new messages from the driver which you can see with dmesg. The new driver is pretty chatty.

…interfaces and it says im connected in iwconfig,

Very good. Check using ifconfig wether you have an ip address assigned to wlan0. If not most likely there is something wrong in your /etc/network/interface configuration.

Content should be:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

# WiFi
auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-ssid “YourWLANNetworkName”
wpa-psk “your_wlanpasswd_in_cleartext”

The quote signs (") have to be in the file - don’t omit them.
Then test whether you are able to login via ssh to the wlan ip address.

but if i remove the ethernet cable i cannot connect to the device

If you unplug when the board is running I have the same experience. Bu if I boot without Ethernet cable then the board starts fine and I can log in.


I have also built the ubuntu 12.10 image on virtual box following the vidio. But when i insert the SD card, the SD card is not detected. i have installed sun virtual box. which is a free version. Have u faced any problem like that?