Laptop HP 15-db0400ng: questions regarding WLAN

Hi all, :wave:

This time I´m asking on behalf of a friend of mine. So I have limited access to her laptop´s specs, but I know some of them. :blush:

I want to help my friend set up Linux Lite on her laptop, which is a HP 15-db0400ng.
Originally it came with WIN 10 preinstalled.

That was a few years ago and as the laptop couldn´t handle WIN satisfactorily she wanted me to install Bodhi Linux.
In the meanwhile Bodhi has reached EOL and now she wants me to to install Linux Lite 6.4 on her laptop.

I remember back then there was a wlan issue. Bodhi didn´t seem to detect the built-in WLAN.

I found out that it´s the “Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11b/g/n/ac (1x1) Wi-Fi® und Bluetooth® 4.2 combined”
(HP Notebook - 15-db0400ng Produktdaten | HP® Kundensupport )

The problem is: my friend cannot find any ethernet cable despite the fact that she really should have one. :no_mouth:

Before tackling the task I just want to ask around:

Does anyone by any chance know: What´s it like in Linux Lite 6.4 :question:
Does it (i.e. the kernel) by any chance come with a driver for it already preinstalled?

inxi -F says:

Network: Card-2: Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Network Adapter
         driver: rtl8821ce

And if LL doesn´t support the device out-of-the-box: Is there a way of installing the driver without having internet connectivity available beforehand, i.e.: off-line :question: :thinking:

Many thanks in advance and many greetings.

Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Rosika,
I have a Linux Lite 6.4 CD from Linux Mag. Would you like me to boot it and look for the driver.? You look in /lib/modules… It is messy , but there should be a file rtl8821ce.ko or something similar.

If you have to find a driver
it would be much simpler to find that ethernet cable. If you are going to install Lite 6.4, you will need that cable. Installs work much better with ethernet.
but failing that, you could tether it to your phone with bluetooth or usb and use the phone as an internet link, maybe

There was a post a while ago with a very useful link for finding wifi drivers and information. I will look it up.


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The post is called “Best Linux WiFi Information”

Hi Neville, :wave:

thanks so much for your prompt reply. :heart:

Thanks a lot for the offer but I don´t think that´s necessary.

As I´m running Linux Lite myself (albeit 6.2) I should be able to look it up on my system.
If I can´t find the driver I guess Linux Lite 6.4 wouldn´t have it available either.

I just looked on my system:

locate ".ko" | grep -i 8821ce

It seems it isn´t the right driver, no “rtl” one.

So that´t clear now. Thanks for the information, Neville.

Yes, she once had that cable but seemed to have lost it by now. :frowning_face:

That sounds good, Neville. She has a smartphone with lots of data available. That wouldn´t be a problem.

Yet I don´t know whether bluetooth would work on LL live (the install medium)…
… as wlan isn´t available out-of-the-box either.
What do you think :question:

Thanks for the info, Neville.
I will look it up.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Maybe. The names are confusing.
That link may help you find the right name.
6.4 may have some extra drivers… will look tomorrow. Its time I had a look at Lite.

Yet I don´t know whether bluetooth would work on LL live (the install medium)…
… as wlan isn´t available out-of-the-box either.
What do you think 

I think you might have to try usb tethering. … or find the cable, or borrow one.
A WiFi dongle might work, or a bluetooth dongle… combined with the phone.

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Thanks Neville, :wave:

you already helped me a lot.

I´ll look a bit further but your idea regarding bluetooth connection seems pretty good.
I wouldn´t have thought of that, I have to admit.

My friend´s laptop specs say:

Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11b/g/n/ac (1x1) Wi-Fi® und Bluetooth® 4.2
kombiniert # “combined”

So her laptop supports bluetooth.
And Linux Lite as well:

dglob bluetooth



dpkg -l | grep blueman
ii  blueman                                           2.2.4-1                                    amd64        Graphical bluetooth manager

I think that´s the way to go. :blush:

Thanks so much. Neville. :heart:

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Dont you need the rtl8821ce driver for bluetooth?
It seems not, you have it running?

Oh, do you think so? That would be bad then. :thinking:
You could be right, though, as it says “rtl…” and Bluetooth…" combined.

As I have no bluetooth adaptor on my desktop system there´s nothing running bluetooth-wise:

rfkill returns nothing.

and neither does:

ps aux | grep blue
rosika     35145  0.0  0.0   9428  2292 pts/7    S+   16:00   0:00 grep --color=auto blue

Cheers from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:



I also posted this query in the LL forum ( here ) and just got an answer by stevef:

Hardware for Linux suggests kernels 5.9 and later have the drivers.

If correct then Linux 6.x should be good.

Searching the Internet for “Offline installation of Realtek RTL8821CE” will link to plausible instructions for installing using rtl8821ce-dkms files downloaded separately.

Perhaps all is not lost yet. :thinking:

I´ll take a closer look at the link provided.

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I am in Lite 6.4 live cd
The drivers are same as you found rtw88_8821ce.ko
There is no rtl8821ce
The kernel is 5.15.0-69. That is not the latest… Void is up to 6.1.28
It handled my new graphics card OK … the driver amdgpu shows up in lsmod.
I have an rtl8111/8168/8411 and it is working, and I cant find any modules of that name either. Maybe the names of modules are different? Dont give up

Have a look at
lsmod | grep realtek
modinfo realtek
Maybe there is some generic driver? realtek.ko? No I think that is a sound driver?


I tried to send this from in Lite. The new login procedures are a nuisance. They want to send a copy and paste link to my email, but I cant access that from in a live distro. I think I would prefer the old password system
[It finally clicked… I have to click on the sign in message in the email, and I can do that from any computer… it does not have to be the one I am using a live CD in. Apologies Abhishek]

Lite looks interesting. It puts all the filesystems up as icons, like Void/Xfce does.
It took quite a while to boot from CD… about 4 minutes.

Back in MX. It has rtl8821ae.ko. That is close. Its kernel is 6.1.0-7

Last resort

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Hi Neville, :wave:

thanks so much for taking the trouble to try it yourself with a Lite live system. That´s very kind of you. :heart:

That´s good to know.

First of let me tell you what stevef replied after I asked him about that rtl/rtw difference:

rtw88_8821ce.ko is the ‘in-kernel’ device driver module for Realtek 8821CE PCI wireless network adapter so you would expect it to be present in Linux Lite 6.2 (kernel 5.15).

It seems it is the right one after all, despite the discrepancy in nomenclature.

If you take a look at the linux-hardware site you´ll see the following:

ID PCI 10ec:c821:17aa:c024
Class 02-80 »
Type net/wireless »
Vendor Realtek Semiconductor »
Name RTL8821CE 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Network Adapter
Subsystem Lenovo / Dual antenna for diversity

and a bit below that:

Ver Source Config By ID By Class
5.9 - 6.3 drivers/net/wireless/realtek/rtw88/rtw8821ce.c CONFIG_RTW88 CONFIG_RTW88_8821CE CONFIG_WLAN CONFIG_WLAN_VENDOR_REALTEK 10ec:c821 *

(bold by me)

So it seems the driver you and I found in LL might be the right one after all.
What do you think :question:

The information you requested is:

lsmod | grep realtek
snd_hda_codec_realtek   159744  1
snd_hda_codec_generic   102400  1 snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_hda_codec         163840  3 snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_hda_core          110592  4 snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd                   106496  21 snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_hwdep,snd_hda_intel,snd_usb_audio,snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_timer,snd_pcm,snd_rawmidi
realtek                32768  1


modinfo realtek
filename:       /lib/modules/5.15.0-72-generic/kernel/drivers/net/phy/realtek.ko
license:        GPL
author:         Johnson Leung
description:    Realtek PHY driver
srcversion:     13120F15C8BF436EBF7FD12
alias:          mdio:0000000000011100110010??????????
retpoline:      Y
intree:         Y
name:           realtek
vermagic:       5.15.0-72-generic SMP mod_unload modversions 
sig_id:         PKCS#7
signer:         Build time autogenerated kernel key
sig_key:        4D:11:98:30:36:98:5D:BA:37:57:60:75:B4:7A:62:27:5F:28:23:5D
sig_hashalgo:   sha512
signature:      23:76 [...]

That´s on my system of course.

Thanks also for the link you provided. I´ll take a look at it anyway.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Rosika,
I think yes. You have the driver, its just a name problem. I wish developers would be consistent.

Ignore all the rest , you have solved it.

Do you now have the problem of working out how to set up,a tether during an install. , or can you just use WiFi as the primary network interface? Even just using WiFi could be a challenge… I have always reached for a cable.

Good luck with it

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Great; thanks for the confirmation. :heart:

Yes, the difference in nomenclature has thrown me off the track.

I read up on the bleutooth functionality and how to get to work yesterday. I guess - if I need it during install - I´d be able to use it.

As soon as I´ll be able to go over to my friend´s I´ll put LL on the ventoy stick and let it run as a live ditro. I should be able to see whether the WLAN device is supported in due course. :wink:

Thanks. :heart:

Yes, it seems great for a more or less resource-friendly distro.
Plus: it´s one of the few Ubuntu derivatives that is supported for five years instead of three (Linux Mint being the other).

Thanks so much for your help, Neville.

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi all, :wave:

for anyone who might be interested: I just want to let you know that I performed the fresh/clean install on my firend´s laptop yesterday.

It went well, in fact even better than I had anticipated. :wink:

And the information (see post #8) I got from the LL forum and from seems to be true indeed.
The drivers for the device ‘Realtek Semiconductor RTL8821CE 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Network Adapter’ are supported by Linux Lite´s kernel (LL 6.4) out-of-the-box (i.e linux kernel 5.15)-

So there was no need for connecting the laptop to the router via cable for preliminary internet access.

After about 5 hours of work with installation and post-installation setup routines she now has a system to comfortably work with (at least I hope so :wink: ).

Thanks, Neville, for your help. :heart:

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Rosika,
Well done.
With all that LL experience behind you, you might be able to answer this

Does the LL installer allow the option to NOT install a bootloader (ie grub) to any disk?

That is my test of whether I can add a distro to a multiboot computer without ruining my grub setup.
So far, Debian and Ubuntu fail the test. Void, Gentoo, and MX pass the test. I am about to try Mint and from what I hear it will pass.


Hi Neville, :wave:

Thanks a lot. :heart:

It´s nice of you to say so, Neville, but it was especially yesterday that I didn´t add much to my setup knowledge…

… because we decided to apply the nuke-and -pave approach.

So we got rid of the dual-boot setup (WIN 10 and Bodhi Linux) and let the LL installer (ubiquity) use the whole of the 1 TB HDD for itself :wink: .
So it was the most standard-like setup available, I guess.

Still: I put forward your question to ChatGPT to see what it has to say in that matter
(like always: to be taken with a grain of salt):

The Linux Lite distribution is based on Ubuntu, and as you mentioned, it uses the Ubiquity installer, which is the default installer for Ubuntu-based distributions. When installing Linux Lite using Ubiquity, the installer typically installs the GRUB bootloader by default.

However, during the installation process, there is an option to customize the installation, including the bootloader configuration. Your friend’s question is specifically asking whether Linux Lite’s installer allows the option to skip the installation of the GRUB bootloader to any disk.

In most cases, the Linux Lite installer will detect the existing operating systems on the system and set up GRUB to provide a boot menu allowing the user to choose which operating system to boot. But if your friend prefers to manage the bootloader separately, or if they already have a preferred bootloader installed, they can choose to skip the installation of the GRUB bootloader during the Linux Lite installation process.

To do this, your friend should look for an option during the installation that allows them to customize the bootloader settings. They can either choose not to install any bootloader or select a different bootloader if available. By doing so, they can avoid installing GRUB to any disk and manage the bootloader configuration separately.

It’s worth noting that skipping the bootloader installation means your friend will need to manually configure the bootloader later if they want to boot into Linux Lite. This requires some technical knowledge and may not be suitable for beginners.

Would this be of any help to you at all :question:

Many greetings from Rosika. :slightly_smiling_face:

… some more info:

I understand. Your friend is conducting a test to determine whether they can add a new Linux distribution to a multiboot computer without interfering with their existing GRUB setup. It seems they have found that Debian and Ubuntu fail the test, while Void, Gentoo, and MX pass the test.

When installing Debian and Ubuntu, the Ubiquity installer typically detects the existing operating systems on the system and configures GRUB to provide a boot menu. However, it’s possible that the installer might overwrite the existing GRUB configuration, leading to issues with the multiboot setup.

On the other hand, Void, Gentoo, and MX likely have installers that provide more flexibility and allow for better customization of the bootloader installation process. This allows your friend to add these distributions to their multiboot setup without interfering with their existing GRUB configuration.

It’s important to note that managing a multiboot setup can be complex, especially when dealing with different Linux distributions. Each distribution may have its own installer and bootloader configuration options. It’s recommended to have a good understanding of the bootloader (such as GRUB) and its configuration files to successfully maintain a multiboot environment.

If your friend wants to add Linux Lite to their existing multiboot setup without affecting their current GRUB configuration, they should ensure they have a backup of their bootloader configuration and proceed with caution. They can try skipping the bootloader installation during the Linux Lite installation process, as discussed earlier, and then manually configure the bootloader afterward to include Linux Lite.

It’s always a good idea to have a backup of important data and configurations before making any changes to the system’s boot setup

Yes indeed.
It says the Ubiquity installer, which is common to Ubuntu, Mint, and Linux Lite, allows one to skip installing the bootloader.
Here is my experience

  • tried last night with Ubuntu. Could not find any option to skip installing the bootloader, so I aborted the install
  • asked and read about Mint. It seems to skip the bootloader , you have to start ubiquity with
    ubiquity -b at the command line. Have not tried it yet
  • asked you about Lite. Your AI answer says one can skip the bootloader, but no mention of starting from command line with -b option. Will have to try.
  • a few months ago I did a Debian install, and it did not offer me the option to skip the bootloader… I went ahead anyway and it mangled my grub setup. I dont think Debian uses ubiquity installer…, Have to check.

Perhaps we need an article on installers.

They are right, managing a multiboot setup is complex

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Yes, Neville, that´s certainly a good idea. :+1:
Well, I see you´ve already found out quite a lot and your knowledge regarding installers and bootloaders is far superior to mine.


Cheers from ChatGPT to you as well, Neville: :wink:

You’re very welcome, Rosika! I’m glad I could help. If your friend has any more questions or needs further assistance, feel free to reach out. Have a wonderful day, and please convey my greetings to your friend as well. Goodbye, and take care!

(bold by me).

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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