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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