Linux Mint 19.2 and RTL8723BE wifi adapter

After struggling a lot with very bad wifi signal reception by RTL8723BE adapter on my HP laptop (see my post “Problems with Wifi signal under Linux”, posted 2 years ago) I got to a sad conclusion that with Linux kernels above some version it required to compile a custom wifi module which was not very practical (and a nightmare for non-geeks). So by lack of spare time I was forced to not upgrade. 😦

Happy news!

Happy news is that Linux Mint 19.2 and its Linux kernel 4.15.0-54 is “friendly” again for RTL8723BE wifi adapter! By “friendly” I mean that the plain trick with wifi adapter antenna selection by simple configuration file solves the issue again.

Assuming that you have almost no wifi signal reception (or really bad) under your Linux follow this procedure:

1. Verify if antenna selection works for you, as given in “Linux Mint RTL8723BE WiFi Signal Strength Troubleshooting”. First try “ant_sel=2”. If wifi signal still bad repeat this step with “ant_sel=1”.

NOTE: you can try this without installing Linux Mint 19.2. Just boot it from a USB stick and try. If it’s fine then install on hard drive and go to the next step.

2. If you were able to solve the issue with the step above it’s time to make this solution permanent. Run the command below and reboot.

sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/rtl8723be.conf <<< "options rtl8723be ant_sel=2"

After upgrading kernel to 4.15.0-66 things are still OK! 🙂

Update: Linux Mint 19.3

After switching to Linux Mint 19.3 which uses Linux kernel 5.0 the Wifi worked correctly out of the box! No extra configuration needed! And things are still fine after upgrading to Linux kernel 5.3!!! Looks like the RTL8723BE adapter is now supported by Linux as a first class citizen. 🙂

About krzysztoftomaszewski

I've got M.Sc. in software engineering. I graduated in 2005 at Institute of Computer Science, Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Electronics and Information Technology. I'm working on computer software design and engineering continuously since 2004.
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