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Wired network speed is very slow

At my new place I got a new machine. I installed Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11.10 on it. Under Windows everything was OK. However, under Ubuntu my network connection was awfully slow. I could update my machine with 80 KB/sec. Downloading Eclipse took 30 minutes.

It was clear that there was a problem with the system settings or there was a bug in the network driver. It turned out it was the latest.

Find out the exact type of the network card. I knew it was Realtek:

$ lspci | grep Realtek
06:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 06)

After doing some research, I found the solution here: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=80757. This article states that the driver must be patched for the 3.0 kernel. As I noticed, the current version of the driver works fine with the 3.0 kernel series.

Steps to follow:

  • Download the Linux driver from here.
  • Extract it somewhere.
  • sudo ./autorun.sh

That’s all. If you upgrade your kernel, you might have to repeat these steps.

The Realtek r8168B network card does not work out of the box in Redhat, Centos, Fedora, or Ubuntu: instead of loading the r8168 driver, modprobe loads the r8169 driver, which is broken as can be seen with ifconfig which shows large amounts of dropped packets.

Disable IPv6
First I thought that the network was slow because of IPv6. I tried to disable it but it didn’t change anything. Here are some links though that could be useful once:


  1. Reyji
    January 12, 2012 at 07:56

    I was having the exact same problem on my brand new Acer computer. Windows 7 was fine but ubuntu was very choppy. I knew there had to be something wrong because ubuntu 10.10 was so much faster. Downloaded the latest patch and all is well :)

  2. anon
    January 16, 2012 at 12:48

    Thank you! I built a new computer for a friend and it had abysmal network speed for some reason, but this fixed it. Hopefully this gets updated into the Linux distros soon.

  3. Ed
    March 2, 2012 at 04:44

    Hi Jabba,

    Fantastic ! I had been desperate for the same issue for 2 weeks until half an hour ago I saw your post. After I followed your instruction, it worked.

    Thank you.

    • March 2, 2012 at 07:22

      I think this issue is solved in newer kernels, at least I didn’t have to repeat this process after a kernel update. However, if you use the installer CD of 11.10, this bug is still there.

  4. drfaulk
    March 18, 2012 at 17:27

    Wow. Exact same symptoms, same network card, and your solution worked perfectly. Copying and pasting to my notes! T h a n k y o u!

    Update: Sorry, I should add: the first install of Ubuntu 11.10 worked perfectly. It was when I ran some auto-updated on 17th March, this started to happen. As you say, it may be that a patch is required for every kernel upgrade.

  5. May 7, 2013 at 11:37


    It’s been a hassle trying to get this to work. Also I should note that the unpatched driver affected my PCI wireless NIC.

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