Emmanuel Frécon
by Emmanuel Frécon
1 min read

I recently bought a Plexgear AC600 Nano USB wifi dongle to bring some life to an old Intel NUC that was lying around unused. Unfortunately, and unlike as advertised, it does not work under the latest version of Ubuntu. The linux drivers provided by the vendor do not work with the latest version of the kernel.

Inside the wifi is a RealTek chipset 8821AU. Here is a rough guide for making it working with the latest kernel version. These have been tested with a beta of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, but should be ok for prior versions as well:

  1. Prepare for being able to compile additional stuff for your kernel: sudo apt install dkms build-essentials linux-headersXXX where XXX matches the kernel that you have.
  2. Install git if you don’t already have it, you might want to run this from some git UI if you prefer.
  3. Clone this repository. Note that there are a number of “competing” repos at github trying to solve the same problems, and not all of them seem to be working.
  4. Change directory to the one of the repository above.
  5. Issue sudo make -f Makefile.dkms install.
  6. Load the driver sudo modprobe -i rtl8812au.
  7. Verify that have a new network interface: sudo lshw -c network.

You should now be able to connect to any nearby wifi using the regular gnome tools (or from the command-line if you prefer). These instructions install DKMS so your drivers will be recompiled for each (new) version of the kernel.