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Fixing Realtek Ethernet Driver Issue in Ubuntu 18.04: Network Unclaimed Error

Ubuntu 9

In the world of Ubuntu, encountering driver issues is not uncommon. One such issue that users often face is the “network UNCLAIMED” error related to the Realtek Ethernet driver. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to resolve this issue in Ubuntu 18.04.

Understanding the Issue

Before diving into the solutions, it’s essential to understand what the “network UNCLAIMED” error means. This error typically indicates that the operating system is unable to find or use the correct driver for your Ethernet controller. In this case, the problematic driver is the Realtek r8168 or r8169 Ethernet driver.

Solution 1: Remove r8168-dkms

The first solution to try is removing the r8168-dkms package. This package is unnecessary if you have a newer kernel. You can remove it by running the following command:

sudo apt purge r8168-dkms

The sudo command allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, while apt purge is used to remove packages along with their configuration files.

Solution 2: Manually Load the r8168 Module

If the first solution doesn’t resolve the issue, you can try manually loading the r8168 module. To do this, run the following command:

sudo modprobe r8168

The modprobe command adds and removes modules from the Linux kernel. In this case, we’re using it to load the r8168 module.

Solution 3: Install the Latest Realtek 8168 Driver

If the above solutions don’t work, you can try downloading and installing the latest Realtek 8168 driver. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Install Dependencies

First, install the necessary dependencies by running the following command:

sudo apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

The build-essential package contains reference to all the packages needed to compile a Debian package. It generally includes the gcc/g++ compilers and libraries and some other utilities. linux-headers-$(uname -r) installs the header files for the current running kernel.

Step 2: Blacklist the r8169 Module

Next, blacklist the r8169 module to prevent it from loading at boot and causing conflicts. Run this command:

sudo sh -c 'echo blacklist r8169 >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf'

This command adds the string “blacklist r8169” to the end of the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf. This tells the system not to load the r8169 module at boot.

Step 3: Download the Latest Driver

Download the latest driver from the archived Realtek repository. You can find it here. Download the latest tar.gz file.

Step 4: Extract the Downloaded File

Extract the downloaded file by running the following command:

tar xfvz r8168-X.XXX.XX.tar.gz

Replace “X.XXX.XX” with the actual name of the file you downloaded. The tar command is used to manipulate tar archives in Linux. The x option tells tar to extract, f specifies the file, v enables verbose mode, and z tells tar to decompress the archive (gzip) before extracting.

Step 5: Change to the Extracted Directory

Change to the extracted directory with this command:

cd r8168-8.XXX.XX

Replace “8.XXX.XX” with the actual name of the extracted directory. The cd command is used to change directories.

Step 6: Run the Installation Script

Finally, run the installation script with this command:

sudo ./

This command runs the script, which should install the driver.

After trying one of these solutions, reboot your system and check if the “network UNCLAIMED” issue is resolved. Remember, dealing with drivers can be tricky, so proceed with caution and always make sure to back up your important data before making any significant changes to your system.

In conclusion, this article has provided a comprehensive guide on how to fix the “network UNCLAIMED” error related to the Realtek Ethernet driver in Ubuntu 18.04. By following these steps, you should be able to resolve the issue and get your Ethernet connection up and running again.

What is the Realtek Ethernet driver?

The Realtek Ethernet driver is a software component that allows your Ubuntu system to communicate with and utilize the Ethernet controller manufactured by Realtek. It enables your system to connect to the network via an Ethernet cable.

How do I know if I have the “network UNCLAIMED” error?

You can check if you have the "network UNCLAIMED" error by opening a terminal and running the command lshw -C network. Look for the line that says "network UNCLAIMED" under the "description" section. If you see this, it means that the operating system is unable to find or use the correct driver for your Ethernet controller.

Can I use these solutions for other versions of Ubuntu?

While these solutions are specifically mentioned for Ubuntu 18.04, they may also work for other versions of Ubuntu. However, it’s always recommended to refer to the official documentation or support forums for your specific Ubuntu version to ensure compatibility and find any version-specific instructions.

Will removing the r8168-dkms package cause any issues?

Removing the r8168-dkms package should not cause any issues if you have a newer kernel. This package is unnecessary in such cases, and removing it can help resolve the "network UNCLAIMED" error. However, if you experience any unexpected issues after removing the package, you can reinstall it using the appropriate package manager command.

What should I do if none of the solutions work?

If none of the provided solutions work, you can try searching for alternative solutions or seeking help from the Ubuntu community forums or support channels. It’s also recommended to provide detailed information about your system and the steps you have already tried to receive accurate assistance.

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