Getting the Realtek RTL8723AE-BT Wi-fi card to work on a Lenovo Yoga 13 on Linux ( Mint 13, Ubuntu 12.10 ) )

I’ve actually been running Linux Mint 13 on my Lenovo Ideapad Yoga for a couple of months. I have pretty much everything working, and thought it was about time I shared. Linux users, at least for now, have to perform a few tweaks to get this system running on Linux. You are likely to have issues with easily:

Installing a second OS ( UEFI/EFI/ Windows 8)
Enabling the Wireless Network Card ( Wi-fi / WIFI )
Calibrating Touchscreen orientation after auto-rotation.
Enabling the Bluetooth device.

This tutorial only deals with the WiFi issue. I hope to write up instructions for setting up dual boot at a later time.

Meanwhile, Ashade of the AskUbuntu Forums has posted an excellent picture tutorial on opening and upgrading internal components here:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/ideapad-essential/700890-lenovo-ideapad-yoga-upgrade-tutorial.html

The Lenovo Yoga 13 ships with a Realtek wireless card that has no open source drivers easily available. Realtek have recently shipped a wifi driver. The driver is available only in source code form and not in a binary that you can use to install to your distributions own machine.

Following the guide will be much easier  if you are familiar with words like: “compile, command line, kernel, header.”  If you are not and need a simpler explanation, please email me here or comment below, and I will do my best to help. If you follow carefully and type exactly as instructed, you should be able to get the driver working even if you are not sure what every step means.

Steps:

1) Check to see what kernel you are using. I used 3.5.0-17-generic and it worked perfectly.

uname -r

2) Install the kernel headers, while which allow you to build software on your machine.

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-generic linux-headers-`uname -r`

3) Check that the card is identifying itself correctly by typing the following into a terminal.

lsusb

It should return something that looks like:
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 003 Device 002: ID 0b95:7720 ASIX Electronics Corp. AX88772
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0bda:0129 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:1724 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.                                        <<<<<  This is the wireless card.
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 04f3:000a Elan Microelectronics Corp.
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 2047:0855 Texas Instruments
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 5986:029c Acer, Inc

3) If you have a line that looks like this, then you are working with the right Wifi card for this fix.

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:1724 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.”

4) Now download the driver files from here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sanq19s3vv1d9c9

5) When you have the file on your Lenovo Yoga , move the file to somewhere sensible other than your Downloads folder, like your Home Directory.

mv RTL8723AS-VAU*linux*driver.zip ~

6) The file is compressed, so you need to extract the file by right clicking the icon or using tar -xv

unzip RTL8723AS-VAU*linux*driver.zip

7) I actually renamed the folder that came out of the extraction as ‘RTLDriver’. Do this if you like something more human to use in future and if you have aestetic issues with spaces in filenames, like I do.

mv RTL8723AS-VAU*linux*driver RTLDriver

8) When you look inside this directory, you will see many files, but the directory you need to work in is called “rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224″. Change Directory into this folder with the cd command:

cd rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224

9) If  you make a mistake or need to try again for whatever reason, you should clean up any mess left in the driver folder first.

make clean

10) Now prepare the environment to compile with:

./make_drv RTL8723as-vau

11) then:

make

12) and now, just install by typing: < edited to add ‘sudo’ operator >

sudo make install

13 ) Done!  The driver will now be loaded every time you start the computer . If you don’t want to reboot in order to have wifi immediately, then type this:

modprobe 8723au

and voila. You have the interwebs!

With special thanks to chrisdotcode, this page, this page and to Realtek for the driver.

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26 thoughts on “Getting the Realtek RTL8723AE-BT Wi-fi card to work on a Lenovo Yoga 13 on Linux ( Mint 13, Ubuntu 12.10 ) )

  1. Hi, everything worked until I typed `make install`. I got:

    install -p -m 644 8723au.ko /lib/modules/3.2.0-44-generic/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/
    install: cannot create regular file `/lib/modules/3.2.0-44-generic/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/8723au.ko': Permission denied
    make: *** [install] Error 1

    Can you help? tks

      • Dear Damo, thank you. WiFi is running just fine. But I cannot get Bluetooth to work. I have been reading the various posts people put in various foruns, but I do not feel very sure to try any of them. Have you found anything? tks again.

  2. One problem – the files from step two never installed because I didn’t have an Internet connection. Is there a way around that?

  3. Pingback: Lenovo Yoga 13 Realtek wireless driver | Ubuntu InfoUbuntu Info

  4. Pingback: Lenovo Yoga 13 Realtek wireless driver | WyldePlayground.netWyldePlayground.net -

  5. Pingback: Lenovo Yoga 13 Realtek wireless driver | James n Sheri.comJames n Sheri.com

  6. Hi,

    When I “make”, I get:
    cp: target ‘driver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224/include/autoconf.h’ is not a directory
    make ARCH=i386 CROSS_COMPILE= -C /lib/modules/3.8.0-27-generic/build M=/home/samir/RTL8723AS-VAU linux driver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224 modules
    make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-3.8.0-27-generic’
    make[1]: *** No rule to make target `linux’. Stop.
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-3.8.0-27-generic’
    make: *** [modules] Error 2

    Did I do something wrong?

    Thanks in advance,
    Samir

  7. For step 11), I get:

    daan@daan-Lenovo-IdeaPad-Yoga-13:~/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224$ make
    make ARCH=x86_64 CROSS_COMPILE= -C /lib/modules/3.8.0-19-generic/build M=/home/daan/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224 modules
    make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-3.8.0-19-generic’
    CC [M] /home/daan/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224/core/rtw_cmd.o
    In file included from /home/daan/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224/core/rtw_cmd.c:23:0:
    /home/daan/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224/include/osdep_service.h: In function ‘thread_enter’:
    /home/daan/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224/include/osdep_service.h:1418:2: error: implicit declaration of function ‘daemonize’ [-Werror=implicit-function-declaration]
    cc1: some warnings being treated as errors
    make[2]: *** [/home/daan/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224/core/rtw_cmd.o] Error 1
    make[1]: *** [_module_/home/daan/RTLDriver/rtl8723A_WiFi_linux_v4.1.3_6044.20121224] Error 2
    make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-headers-3.8.0-19-generic’
    make: *** [modules] Error 2

    after which 12) gives:

    install: cannot stat ‘8723au.ko': No such file or directory
    make: *** [install] Error 1

    Any idea what’s happening? Previous steps seemed to have run fine…

    Thanks!

  8. Yoga 11s reporting in, I grabbed the lwfinger drivers from github and one painless make later I have pretty much perfect wireless. FWIW, I’m running a totally stock Ubuntu 13.04 x64.

    Does anyone know what the story is with the bluetooth?

    • Bluetooth is killing me, I just don’t know enough about the stack or what might be going wrong, and no response from Lenovo so far, or from realtek. They just point me to the driver I’ve already used to get Wifi working. I despise having to log into Windows 8 to transfer music and files to my phone. I’m seriously thinking of upgrading to the new Thinkpad Yoga, in the hope Lenovo have used open source components as they used to on Thinkpads.

  9. hi. thank u very much for the instructions which worked well for ububtu 13.04. now i upgraded to ubuntu 13.10 with kernel 3.11 and compilation failed with errors ‘dereferencing pointer to incomplete type’. any idea how to get the driver compiled with kernel 3.11? any help would be much appreciated.

  10. Sorry, I wasnt tracking this. The hinge from the laptop actually snapped, and Lenovo recently returned it.

    I will test with Ubuntu 13.10 and Linux Mint 14/15 and report what I find.

    • Hi Eduardo.

      I have ( I think managed to get bluetooth to work. But I just did this by pulling the source files by Larry Finger from github and compiling for my machine. After a reboot, I can now select Bluetooth ‘On’ and I can see and attempt to connect to devices. However I haven’t succesfully paired them with my Beats Wireless headphones. I aborted the attempt ( as I don’t ever use them with the laptop, only with my phone ) but I’m curious to see if the bluetooth is working. I assumed that it was.

      Anyway, the process is like this:

      1) Install git with sudo apt-get install git , or using a package manager.
      2) do:

      git clone git@github.com:lwfinger/rtl8723au_bt.git
      cd rtl8723au_bt/
      make
      sudo make install

  11. since i bought lenovo ideapad yoga 13, i have been trying to make my wifi works.. but never suceed.i did everything every suggestion and command, i have been using ubuntu for more than 10 yrs but never felt that hard as this.
    any feedback guys.. would be great

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