Realtek 802.11ac USB Wi-Fi Linux Driver Installation

Target Devices

Adapters with chipset: RTL8811AU, RTL8821AU, RTL8812AU, RTL8814AU

Chipset Vendor Model
RTL8821AU To be added To be added
RTL8812AU ALFA Network AWUS036AC
RTL8814AU ALFA Network AWPCIE-1900U
ALFA Network AWUS1900

Driver Information

Developed internally by Realtek, and then patched by open community members.

This drivers is not mainlined (might never will be, from the look of it), so you’ll be loading a self-compiled out-of-tree kernel module. If you are running on a system using UEFI Secure Boot, you may need to either disable Secure Boot or sign the kernel module before you can load it. (We won’t cover that here.)

To check the status of Secure Boot, run

Output will be one of the following:

  • SecureBoot enabled — using UEFI, Secure Boot enabled
  • SecureBoot disabled — using UEFI, Secure Boot disabled
  • EFI variables are not supported on this system — not using UEFI, Secure Boot disabled

Driver Installation

Kali Linux

For those who are running Kali Linux ARM Image on Raspberry Pi, the driver should be installed already.

For x86 users, installed package realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms.

Parrot OS

Security edition has package realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms installed by default. If this is not the case, follow the instructions above for Kali Linux.

Debian and Its Derivatives (on x86, x86_64 Platforms)

Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS, etc.

APT is able to install local deb file since version 1.1 — we can use that to install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms from Kali.

First, find the latest realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms deb package from Kali’s repository.

At the time of writing/updating, the latest one is realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms_5.6.4.2~20200529-0kali1_all.deb.

Although not tested, some distros should be able to perform the whole process in GUI — download deb package through browser and double-click to install.


Note that because the kernel module is built with DKMS you should ensure you have installed and rebooted to latest kernel update before installing.

Arch Linux

These instructions are expansions of

If you’re not using the default kernel, package linux-headers should be changed respectively. Say you’re using LTS kernel, the command would then be

Note that because the kernel module is built with DKMS you should ensure you have installed and rebooted to latest kernel update before installing.


Getting package URI

In case that repository URL changes in the future, spin up a Kali VM or even a Docker container, and run

Monitor, Injection Support

May not work on distros other than Kali, which is specifically tweaked for pentesting.



2 Comments for “Realtek 802.11ac USB Wi-Fi Linux Driver Installation”




on pi with kernel I got, any suggestions?

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo apt install ./realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms_5.3.4~20200115-0kali1_all.deb
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Note, selecting ‘realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms’ instead of ‘./realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms_5.3.4~20200115-0kali1_all.deb’
realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms is already the newest version (5.3.4~20200115-0kali1).
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 86 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0 B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Setting up realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms (5.3.4~20200115-0kali1) …
Removing old realtek-rtl88xxau-5.3.4~20200115 DKMS files…

Deleting module version: 5.3.4~20200115
completely from the DKMS tree.
Loading new realtek-rtl88xxau-5.3.4~20200115 DKMS files…
It is likely that 4.19.75+ belongs to a chroot’s host
Building for 4.19.75+, 4.19.75-v7+, 4.19.75-v7l+ and 4.19.75-v8+
Building initial module for 4.19.75+
Error! Bad return status for module build on kernel: 4.19.75+ (armv6l)
Consult /var/lib/dkms/realtek-rtl88xxau/5.3.4~20200115/build/make.log for more information.
dpkg: error processing package realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms (–configure):
installed realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms package post-installation script subprocess returned error exit status 10
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

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