Christmas Pi and wifi.

Having just been given a kick ass Raspberry Pi Hackers kit by my beloved for Christmas, I immediately went to Maplin’s and in my hurry to get online without cables I completely neglected to check the “official” Raspberry Pi forums for out of the box compatible wifi adaptors.

So in bagging a cheap TP-Link (8179) USB adaptor and scurrying home, I realised it was not officially supported.  A few minutes spent online and it became clear that like myself, there are a whole load of noobs out there who are not only new to the Raspberry Pi alone, but also probably reeling from the lack of familiarity in the Windows and OS X operating systems.

So, once I’d got through a single post, ten pages of whining and whinging for an idiots guide etc. I stumbled (read: Google’d) upon this post on an obscure Chinese blog.  What I intend this post to be, is a step by step guide more for my own failing memory than anyone else.  The fact that I’m attempting to write it in a more tech free style I hope will be of use to others though.

So with this in mind, welcome to the idiot’s guide to installing A Realtek 8179 wifi USB wifi adaptor onto a Raspberry Pi (B+).  My only prerequisite is a basic, basic, basic understanding of a few linux commands (this is all I know without reading man pages etc.: “clear” / “ls” / “cd” / “sudo” … The rest is learnt from the following blog posts.

Comparing all the various guides out there leads this newbie to Linux to one conclusion.  The Kernel you’re running will require different versions of the driver, and as such any recompiling / update etc. of this will result in a revised system and you updating drivers manually (read: wifi install).

I’m assuming you are in terminal mode (or if you’ve run “startx”, you have opened a terminal window with superuser access).

To check on the kernel version installed on you’re Pi use the command : uname -a

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ uname -a
Linux raspberrypi 3.10.24+ #614 PREEMPT Thu Dec 19 20:38:42 GMT 2013 armv6l GNU/Linux
pi@raspberrypi ~ $

Once you have pressed [Return], you will be shown what kernel you are running.  In this example we see it is the ‘3.10.24+’ kernel.