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Dec 16, 2020

Realtek RTL8821CE Driver


This repository hosts the code for the Arch Linux AUR Package. It's targeting Linux > 4.14 and is being developed for Arch Linux and Ubuntu 18.10. No support will be provided for other Linux distributions or Linux Kernel versions outside of that range.


The maintainers of this repository are not Realtek employees and are maintaining this repository for their own usage. Further feature development (such as proper power saving, etc.) will not be pursued here, but will be gladly integrated if newer driver sources are provided by Realtek. Use at your own risk.


This driver can be installed using DKMS. This is a system which will automatically recompile and install a kernel module when a new kernel gets installed or updated. To make use of DKMS, install the dkms package.

Installation of Driver

Make sure you have a proper build environment and dkms installed.

Ubuntu & Debian

The following steps are required prior to building the driver on Ubuntu/Debian:

sudo apt install bc module-assistant build-essential dkms
sudo m-a prepare

Ubuntu users may also install the prebuilt rtl8821ce-dkms package, an older version of the driver maintained by the Ubuntu MOTU Developers group for bionic, eoan and focal. It has been known to work in cases where the newer driver available here does not. Bugs and issues with that package should be reported at Launchpad rather than here.

Arch Linux

Make sure you have the base-devel package group installed before you proceed for the necessary compilation tools.

Installing from AUR

Install rtl8821ce-dkms-git from the AUR.

Dependencies for manual installation on Arch Linux

sudo pacman -Syu linux-headers dkms bc

If you are running a non-vanilla kernel then install the headers to match the kernel package. Proceed to the section below.

Gentoo Linux

An unofficial Gentoo package is available, using this repository as upstream. It is available from the trolltoo overlay. Gentoo does not use or require dkms for packaged drivers.

# layman -a trolltoo
# emerge --ask net-wireless/rtl8821ce-driver

Manual installation of driver

In order to install the driver open a terminal in the directory with the source code and execute the following command:

sudo ./

Removal of Driver

Open a terminal window and git clone the repository to your local disk

git clone
cd rtl8821ce

Then run the installation script:

sudo ./

Upgrading driver

Remove the driver:

sudo ./

Make sure you have your local copy of this repository fully updated:

git pull

Clean any stale binaries:

make clean

Install again:

sudo ./

Reporting issues

When reporting issues, please make sure that debugging is enabled. To enable debugging either set MAKEFLAGS="CONFIG_RTW_DEBUG = y" before compilation or edit Makefile:


This will enable verbose debug logging, helpful to developers.

Possible issues

PCIe Activate State Power Management

Your distribution may come with PCIe Active State Power Management enabled by default. That may conflict with this driver. To disable:

sudo $EDITOR /etc/default/grub

Add pci=noaer at the end of GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT. Line should look like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pci=noaer"

Then update your GRUB configuration:

sudo update-grub


Lenovo Yoga laptops

Some new Yoga laptops (like the Yoga 530) come with rtl8821ce as the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth chip. But the ideapad-laptop module, which may come included in your distribution, may conflict with this driver. To disable:

sudo modprobe -r ideapad_laptop

BlueTooth is not working

This may be due to the Kernel loading up the wrong firmware file for this card. Please take a look at @wahsot's tutorial at to see if that helps you out.

Secure Boot

If your system uses Secure Boot, disable it via BIOS settings, otherwise the kernel will not accept user-supplied modules.

Unstable connection - slowdowns or dropouts

The problem may be due to the periodic scanning of access points by the network applet.

This fix worked helpful on Pop! _OS/Ubuntu 20.10 and Fedora 33. Both with GNOME and NetworkManager. #179

Set the BSSID from your network applet. In GNOME this can be done in WiFi Settings > Your profile > Identity > BSSID.

We are going to disable the Connectivity Check option in NetworkManager. This by editing the file in /var/lib/NetworkManager/NetworkManager-intern.conf and adding the following instructions at the end:


Then, just reboot or restart the NetworkManager unit to fix the problem.

Wi-Fi not working for kernel >= 5.9

The Linux Kernel 5.9 version comes with a broken rtw88 module developed by Realtek that has poor compatibility with most revision of the 8821ce chip.

You must disable it by adding the following to your module blacklists (/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf):

blacklist rtw88_8821ce

Then, make sure you have the rtl8821ce module correctly installed.

Turn off your computer, wait a few seconds (to force firmware reload) and then turn it on again.


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