I’m not sure whether I’m posting this in the right category, but this driver really shouldn’t be selected by default anymore for anyone with an RTL8111/8168/8411 PCIe network adapter.
As I understand it, the in-kernel
r8169 driver was problematic in the past for people with older hardware, because the support for their actual variant of the NIC was not yet included in
r8169. But recent changes in the kernel are causing a flurry of failures to connect for everyone using the out-of-tree
r8168 driver, while the in-kernel
r8169 driver works perfectly well.
I bought my own system here back in 2019, and it was already no longer the Latest & Greatest™ when I bought it, because this is an 8th-generation Intel i5, and at that point in time, the 9th generation was already well out on the market, with the 10th generation soon to start shipping. And this motherboard does indeed have an onboard RTL8111/8168/8411 chipset.
But recently — say a few months ago, but before the changes in the kernel that broke
r8168 — I decided to get rid of that out-of-tree
r8168 driver module and use the in-kernel
r8169 instead, and I’ve had zero problems with it. So unless one has really, really, really old hardware, we should not push the out-of-tree
r8168 module anymore, given how much trouble it’s causing among our users, and especially the newbies.
I therefore propose that we default to
r8169, with an option in the installer to opt for
r8168 if the user has old hardware. Or maybe there is some heuristic way of checking during installation how old the hardware is — just as an example, say, anything older than a 7th-generation Intel Core — and decide upon that detection?
Just throwing an idea out there…