Linux-zen and r8168-dkms

I’d like to try running the zen kernel for a while. It runs fine and seems extra-snappy, except that it won’t use my Realtek ethernet card (and I really dislike using wifi on my desktop machine). I use the r8168 and r8168-lts packages for the regular linux and lts kernels, but there is no r8168-zen. This is my first time doing anything with dkms, and I didn’t find the arch-wiki entry entirely helpful. So my questions are:

  • Can I use r8168-dkms with the zen kernel?
  • Will I need to uninstall either or both r8168 and r8168-lts to install r8168-dkms, or can I continue to use those packages when I boot the other kernels?
  • To use r8168-dkms with the zen kernel, is there anything else I need to do beside installing r8168-dkms with yay? I’ve already got linux-zen and linux-zen headers installed.

I think your okay as long as you have the linux-zen headers installed.

could you try removing all the r8168 packages and check if it then uses the r8169 driver that is included in the kernel? Most network cards that use r8168 are compatible with r8169 - at least mine are.
Some 8168 packages blacklist the 8169 driver thus leading to it not being loaded at all no matter which kernel is booted.


I had the same problem with my laptop where I test several custom kernels.

r8168 is the out-of-tree driver. Which is supporting newer hardware.
r8169 is the driver coming with the kernel.

If your realtek hardware is not brand new you could deinstall all r8168 packages. Then your kernles will automatically load the r8169. This is how I do it on my laptop.

The issue is that the r8168 packages install a module config which blacklists the r8169 driver. That means while any r8168 packages is installed, no other kernel will be able to load the r8169 module.

If you really need r8168 for your hardware and want to have it for all custom kernels as well, you need to deinstall any r8168 from community repo and install r8168-dkms from AUR instead.


OK, great. My machine’s definitely not new, so I’ll try deinstalling all the r8168 packages first to see how that goes, and then add the dkms package if needed. Thanks!

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