How to install wireless driver in RHEL 8 / CentOS 8 Linux

Most laptops and mobile devices these days have a wireless card. Mobile connectivity is important more than ever. If twenty years ago Linux barely had enough drivers for a handful of on-board ethernet cards, now the wireless drivers embedded in the kernel grows with every kernel release. Further than that, hardware companies release their products together with Linux drivers, be they closed or open-source. In this article we will take a look at how to install wireless drivers in RHEL 8 / CentOS 8.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install wireless drivers using dnf
  • How to install manually downloaded wireless drivers

Using dnf you can search for available wireless drivers in the RHEL 8 / CentOS 8 repositories

Using dnf you can search for available wireless drivers in the RHEL 8 / CentOS 8 repositories.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System RHEL 8 / CentOS 8
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

The built-in way

If your wireless card has not been detected automatically by the RHEL 8 / CentOS 8 kernel you can search for it first in the repositories. Do a

$ sudo dnf search wireless

and you will be presented with a list of wireless drivers. Most of the drivers you will find in the official RHEL 8 / CentOS 8 repositories are for Intel cards. You can – for example – install the driver for Intel PRO Wireless 5150 A/G/N network adaptors using

$ sudo dnf install iwl5150-firmware.noarc

The external package way

Some wireless drivers do not come bundled with the Linux kernel and may not be present in the RHEL 8 / CentOS 8 repositories. Most come as binary packages that you have to execute or scripts that automatically install needed dependencies when invoked. Such a binary package or shell script has to be downloaded and made executable in order to be run:

$ chmod +x

Be they .sh or .bin files, these executables can be run after attaching the executable bit with

$ sudo ./

You will need to use sudo or become root with su - to run these because they will need to install files and modules in some areas of the filesystem that require administrator rights. Each driver package has its own set of indications once launched, but most are straightforward and easy to follow. Extremely few will require you to reboot so your wireless card will start working right away after driver installation.