I did some searching onilne, and found how to disable the "random" (or whatever) assignment of MAC address. That was a couple weeks and a vacation ago, so I think it was adding a line to the NetworkManager.conf file. That didn't solve the problem, as the MAC still is different on every startup. It seems that the device itself is getting assigned a random ID, as shown in iwconfig (wlx00e04c89ebcd in this case).
The driver from the manufacturer (which I forget - bought it a year ago on Amazon) is RTL8821AU, even though the chip appears to be 8811au. I have verified the USB works correctly on my Win10 machine, though I didn't check whether the MAC was stable.
Any help is appreciated. This PC is supposed to be for my kids, who do enjoy youtube and the occasional online game, and I'd like to not have to administer it every time they use it.
Some system info:
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$ lsusb Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 007 Device 002: ID 046d:c52f Logitech, Inc. Unifying Receiver Bus 007 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 006 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0bda:a811 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 004 Device 002: ID 413c:2105 Dell Computer Corp. Model L100 Keyboard Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub Bus 011 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub Bus 010 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 009 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub Bus 008 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
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$ iwconfig enp5s0 no wireless extensions. wlx00e04c89ebcd IEEE 802.11bgn ESSID:"Mark Wifi low" Nickname:"<WIFI@REALTEK>" Mode:Managed Frequency:2.462 GHz Access Point: 28:56:5A:E2:C0:44 Bit Rate:72.2 Mb/s Sensitivity:0/0 Retry:off RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off Power Management:off Link Quality=100/100 Signal level=62/100 Noise level=0/100 Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0 Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:0 Missed beacon:0 lo no wireless extensions.
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$ inxi -F System: Host: mark-MS-7693 Kernel: 4.10.0-42-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: Cinnamon 3.4.6 Distro: Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya Machine: Mobo: MSI model: 970A-G43 (MS-7693) v: 3.0 Bios: American Megatrends v: V10.3 date: 03/28/2013 CPU: Quad core AMD FX-4130 (-MCP-) cache: 8192 KB clock speeds: max: 3800 MHz 1: 1400 MHz 2: 1400 MHz 3: 1400 MHz 4: 3800 MHz Graphics: Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Juniper XT [Radeon HD 5770] Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: email@example.com GLX Renderer: AMD JUNIPER (DRM 2.49.0 / 4.10.0-42-generic, LLVM 5.0.0) GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 17.2.8 Audio: Card-1 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] Juniper HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 5700 Series] driver: snd_hda_intel Card-2 Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) driver: snd_hda_intel Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.10.0-42-generic Network: Card: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller driver: r8169 IF: enp5s0 state: down mac: d4:3d:7e:95:b0:6e Drives: HDD Total Size: 960.2GB (4.0% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: SAMSUNG_HD321KJ size: 320.1GB ID-2: /dev/sdb model: ST3640323AS size: 640.1GB Partition: ID-1: / size: 290G used: 32G (12%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1 ID-2: swap-1 size: 4.26GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5 RAID: No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 29.4C mobo: N/A gpu: 55.0 Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A Info: Processes: 197 Uptime: 2:08 Memory: 1436.6/3914.6MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35