Ethernet card Realtek 8168/8111 problem

Hi everyone, I have a problem with my Realtek 8168/8111 network card etc.
This card has given me a lot of problems with different Linux distributions in the sense that it doesn’t always work and if it works with a kernel as soon as it is updated it stops working.
I have read on the net that many complain of problems.
I also wanted to try Qubes because I would like to use and study it and with the 4.9 kernel it works while as soon as I updated to 5.4 it stopped working.
By resetting kernel 4.19 in the global settings everything is back to work.
Is there any driver or module in kernel 5.4 that is no longer loaded since 4.19?
Is there any solution to make it always work even with any kernel updates?
With other Linux distributions I have to say that even setting dkms was useless.
For example on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as soon as I updated the kernel with automatic updates it stopped working.
Finally one last question: if I write uname -r from the generic terminal, it always gives me 5.4 as the kernel even if I have set 4.19 as default.
Shouldn’t it return 4.19 to the monitor?


Hi @fabiodanzetta,

I think you should do experiments, tests, and read documentation around the Realtek 8168/8111 support for Linux (use linux-hardware). The driver (kernel module) seems to be r8169, so with the Ethernet device Archlinux doc help, I suggests you do tests with lspci, lsmod, modprobe, modinfo and the display log commands.

Search also around the linux-firmware packages from the OS distribution you use for sys-net.

I think you changed the kernel only for the VMs not for dom0 (see software-update-dom0). BUT it’s not important, the only important kernel choice for you is the sys-net kernel which manage your ethernet device.

Hi, Iudovic

Thank you very much for the support and all the information.
I’ll do some tests as you suggested.
Regarding the kernel version as I told you I set it through gui as a normal account from the global settings.
In this menu, as per the attached image, does the choice of the kernel affect all the VMs in the cascade?
While the dom0 kernel is a different thing?
Finally, how can I update dom0 without also updating the kernel?
Is it possible to select individual updates?

Thanks and sorry, I’m a beginner.qubes_settings

Hi @fabiodanzetta,

Yes. All the VMs you keep configured with the default kernel settings.

After that, you can choose a different kernel version for a specific VM. Open the Qube Manager, right-clic on the choose VM, in the contextual menu choose Qube settings, go to the Advanced tab, and select the wanted kernel from the combo-box, click on the apply button and restart the VM. In the VM terminal, the uname -r displays the current kernel version.

My advice: Choose a recent 5.x kernel for the default VM kernel, but for sys-net keep the 4.9.x. Later, when you understood how to do your ethernet card working with a more recent kernel, you will go back to the default VM kernel for sys-net.

Yes the dom0 kernel choice is in the /boot/efi/EFI/qubes/xen.cfg file, read the dom0 kernel-upgrade and dom0 changing-default-kernel documentations.

My advice: don’t change the dom0 kernel setting if you don’t know what you do, because with a basic error you get an unbootable Qubes OS :boom:.

Individual updates of kernel, yes see above. Individual updates of package, yes see below.

In dom0, you use the qubes-dom0-update command. The first argument could be a specific package name, read the dom0 how-to-install-a-specific-package documentation.

In domUs (templateVM), you use the OS distribution package tools (dnf for Fedora, apt for Debian, …), read the installing-software-in-templatevms documentation.

This topic sys-net not functional on kernel-5-x might be related. There may be more cards affected.