ThinkPad 11b/g/n Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Express Adapter III

From ThinkWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

ThinkPad 11b/g/n Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Express Adapter III

This is a Mini-PCI Express WiFi Adapter, supported by a driver downloadable from Realtek and in official kernels from version 2.6.38.


  • Chipset: Realtek RTL8188CE
  • IEEE Standards: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n
  • 1x2 MIMO
  • PCI ID: 10ec:8176

ThinkPad 11b/g/n Wireless LAN Mini-PCI Express Adapter III

Lenovo Partnumbers

  •  ?

Linux support

This chip is supported by the rtlwifi/rtl8192ce driver, which was introduced in kernel 2.6.38. There are two other options available, a Linux driver available for download from Realtek, or ndiswrapper.

If you are not comfortable with running development code and have the option, order your ThinkPad with a different WiFi adapter. All other available WiFi options are supported by in-kernel drivers in modern Linux distributions


The rtlwifi/rtl8192ce driver which supports this chip is included in kernel 2.6.38-rc1 and later. With earlier kernels you can install the driver from the wireless-next kernel tree or, if you are running a recent stable kernel, build only the drivers from the compat-wireless branch.

See for instructions about installing compat-wireless.

Installation on Linux Mint Debian Edition

If you use 2.6.38 or later kernels the rtl8192ce driver is already included in the kernel.

Log of install steps with the 2.6.38+ and 3.x kernels:

sudo aptitude install linux-image-amd64

where you should replace 'amd64' with '686' if you run a 32-bit installation. If in doubt you can run

uname -r

to find your current kernel flavor.

sudo aptitude install firmware-realtek

Now you can either manually load the driver with:

sudo modprobe -v rtl8192ce

or reboot to make the kernel load the driver automatically.

Log of install steps with the 2.6.32 kernel:

This section applies for most or all pre-2.6.38 kernels!

Installed iw package as recommended on compat-wireless page.

Downloaded the latest daily compat-wireless tarball (compat-wireless-2011-02-28) from [1] and built it:

tar xvf compat-wireless-2011-02-28.tar.bz2

cd compat-wireless-2011-02-28

./scripts/driver-select rtlwifi


sudo make install

sudo make wlunload

sudo modprobe -v rtl8192ce

dmesg said driver loaded but missing firmware

Downloaded rtl8192cfw.bin firmware from linux-firmware git repo [2] and copied it to /lib/firmware/rtlwifi/

from compat-wireless dir:

sudo make wlunload

sudo modprobe -v rtl8192ce

reloaded network-manager service

dmesg still mentioned missing CRDA settings but wireless worked.

Installed wireless-crda package with gdebi-gtk from ubuntu maverick (

from compat-wireless dir:

sudo make wlunload

sudo modprobe -v rtl8192ce

dmesg now loaded regulatory settings too and wireless still worked.

Realtek Linux driver

The Realtek Linux driver for this chip can be downloaded from the Realtek website

Please note: use of this or a similar driver on Lenovo systems may results in unpredictable fatal crashes on some systems! It's is *not* advised to choose this driver.


The use of ndiswrapper is not recommended

It may be possible to use the Windows drivers with Ndiswrapper.

ThinkPads this card may be found in