The age old question: r8168 vs r8169


So, I installed a the latest Zen kernel, and after that my network did not work anymore. The kernel defaults to r8168 driver, and for some reasons it sometimes does not work with newer kernels. Usually gets resolved in a few days. But I got sick of it, and decided to uninstall r8168 and depend on the in kernel tree r8169.

Are there any downsides with this driver? Because it is not the default, but at least it is in tree so it will “always” work.

for some the r8169 is troublesome, for others the r8168. there should be no downside of switching to either of them if it works for you. it’s default as there are more people with r8169 problems than people with r8168 problems. it’s just statistics. one had to be default.


I did exactly this a couple of months ago, no issues at all.

Some machines work only with 8168, some only with 8169, and some with either of them.
Installing package r8168 by default lets user easily change between 8168 and 8169 if ethernet didn’t work.

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Thanks all! Been using the r8168 for 4 years, but will try r8169 now. It makes a lot of sense why r8168 is the default.

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Don’t forget that if you are having trouble (usually on startup) - that eos-welcome will show a tab for making the switch with a single click (and your sudo password). I just had that happen on a machine which has been “fine” for ages, and suddenly no ethernet (2 boots) - so I used it, and it works! Thanks @manuel


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