Wireless RFKILL defaults to on (wireless off) and can't be turned off.

Bug #523143 reported by Ciprian Enache on 2010-02-17
60
This bug affects 9 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
linux (Ubuntu)
Medium
Unassigned
Nominated for Lucid by Ciprian Enache

Bug Description

I have a Dell Latitude E6400 with a rfkill switch on the right side of the laptop. Wireless RFKILL defaults to on (wireless off) and can't be turned off.

I'm running:
Linux ubuntu 2.6.31-19-generic #56-Ubuntu SMP Thu Jan 28 02:39:34 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux

You can see here that dell-wifi / dell-bluetooth default to Hard blocked:yes. I actually have just the physical switch listed as phy0 correctly shown with Hard blocked: no.

cenache@ubuntu:~$ rfkill list
0: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: yes
1: dell-bluetooth: Bluetooth
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: yes
2: hci0: Bluetooth
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no
3: phy0: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no

When I change the state of the physical switch both the dell-wifi and phy0 change state - but my wireless is still disabled.

0: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no
1: dell-bluetooth: Bluetooth
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no
3: phy0: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: yes

Seems to be fixed in 2.6.32 - rfkill is still listing 2 switches, but they are in sync and my WiFi works.

Best regards,
Cip
---
AlsaVersion: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.21.
Architecture: amd64
ArecordDevices:
 **** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: STAC92xx Analog [STAC92xx Analog]
   Subdevices: 2/2
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
   Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
AudioDevicesInUse:
 USER PID ACCESS COMMAND
 /dev/snd/controlC0: cenache 1495 F.... pulseaudio
CRDA: Error: [Errno 2] No such file or directory
Card0.Amixer.info:
 Card hw:0 'Intel'/'HDA Intel at 0xf6adc000 irq 21'
   Mixer name : 'Intel G45 DEVCTG'
   Components : 'HDA:111d76b2,10280233,00100302 HDA:80862802,80860101,00100000'
   Controls : 24
   Simple ctrls : 15
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Alpha amd64 (20100405)
MachineType: Dell Inc. Latitude E6400
Package: linux (not installed)
PccardctlIdent:
 Socket 0:
   no product info available
PccardctlStatus:
 Socket 0:
   no card
ProcCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-21-generic root=/dev/sda3 loop=/hostname/disks/root.disk ro quiet splash
ProcEnviron:
 PATH=(custom, no user)
 LANG=en_US.utf8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-21.32-generic 2.6.32.11+drm33.2
Regression: Yes
RelatedPackageVersions: linux-firmware 1.34
Reproducible: Yes
Tags: lucid networking regression-release needs-upstream-testing
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-21-generic x86_64
UserGroups:

dmi.bios.date: 05/11/2009
dmi.bios.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.bios.version: A14
dmi.board.name: 0W620R
dmi.board.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.chassis.type: 8
dmi.chassis.vendor: Dell Inc.
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnDellInc.:bvrA14:bd05/11/2009:svnDellInc.:pnLatitudeE6400:pvr:rvnDellInc.:rn0W620R:rvr:cvnDellInc.:ct8:cvr:
dmi.product.name: Latitude E6400
dmi.sys.vendor: Dell Inc.

Ciprian Enache (ciprian-enache) wrote :

Similar bug affecting Acer Laptops previously reported and fixed here : https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/405152

Mk4UmHa (mk4umha) wrote :

I have the same issue with the Wireless Hardblocking not getting in sync. It was working fine last night till I powered it up this morning and couldn't get on the WAN.

Wolfgang Jeltsch (4cqncnl7) wrote :

I also have such a problem since a couple of days. Also on a Dell Latitude E6400. /sys/devices/virtual/rfkill/rfkill0/state is always 2 after boot. It changes between 2 and 1 at every change of the switch’s position. This explains the above-mentioned wrong values for dell-wifi when booting with wireless turned on (i.e., no blocking). If I boot with wireless turned off (i.e., blocking on) then the initial 2 is correct and everything works as it should.

tags: added: kernel-series-unknown
tags: added: karmic
removed: kernel-series-unknown
JD Evora (jdevora-saadian) wrote :

I had the same problem until the last kernel update
> Linux Ubundell 2.6.31-20-generic #57-Ubuntu SMP Mon Feb 8 09:02:26 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Now it works but the wifi card is not listed when I do rfkill
> sudo rfkill list
> 0: hci0: Bluetooth
> Soft blocked: yes
> Hard blocked: no

Ciprian Enache (ciprian-enache) wrote :

I am still having the exact same problem with 2.6.31-20-generic.

Ciprian Enache (ciprian-enache) wrote :

I have upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 2.

I can confirm now that the exact same problem is also present in 2.6.32-19-generic #28-Ubuntu SMP Linux Kernel, but does not appear with a mainline kernel loaded. It seems to be caused by one of the Ubuntu-specific "RFKILL" or "dell-laptop" patches.

Telescope_Nerd (srb2242) wrote :

I have a very similar problem on my Dell Studio laptop running 10.04 beta 2. This laptop has no hard switch, you have to press the f2 key to enable/disable wireless. Pressing this key toggles "Soft Blocked" between "yes" and "no" but hard blocked is always set to "yes" hence no wireless.

Kenny Ranerup (kranerup) wrote :

I have the same problem with a Thinkpad X61s.
The notebook has no hard switch instead the Fn/F5 key combination is used
to enable/disable wireless. When pushing Fn/F5 the Soft Blocked status
for bluetooth and wlan toggles but hard blocked is always yes and therefore no wireless.

Telescope_Nerd (srb2242) wrote :

@Kenny Ranerup. I since managed to solve this problem on my (dell) laptop by disabling a specific kernel module called "dell-laptop". It seems this module is there to support dell hardware but doesn't work very well. Since disabling it the wireless works and I haven't noticed any negative side effects, result! I guess you will not have this module seeing as your's is an IBM but if you look through your modules you may have something similar. Try disabling any modules that look like a candidate and see if that works.

vjrj (vjrj) wrote :

That works for me, here running lucid, 2.6.32-21-generic in a Dell M4400.

$ rfkill list
0: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: yes

But after a:
rmmod dell_laptop

$ rfkill list
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no

the wifi started to work again. Thanks Telescope for the tip...

Jeremy Foshee (jeremyfoshee) wrote :

Hi Ciprian,

Please be sure to confirm this issue exists with the latest development release of Ubuntu. ISO CD images are available from http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/ . If the issue remains, please run the following command from a Terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal). It will automatically gather and attach updated debug information to this report.

apport-collect -p linux 523143

Also, if you could test the latest upstream kernel available that would be great. It will allow additional upstream developers to examine the issue. Refer to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelMainlineBuilds . Once you've tested the upstream kernel, please remove the 'needs-upstream-testing' tag. This can be done by clicking on the yellow pencil icon next to the tag located at the bottom of the bug description and deleting the 'needs-upstream-testing' text. Please let us know your results.

Thanks in advance.

    [This is an automated message. Apologies if it has reached you inappropriately; please just reply to this message indicating so.]

tags: added: needs-kernel-logs
tags: added: needs-upstream-testing
tags: added: kj-triage
Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
tags: added: lucid
removed: needs-upstream-testing

Hello Jeremy,

I have tested the latest mainline kernel available for Lucid and the problem is not present (Linux ubuntu 2.6.32-02063212-generic #02063212 SMP Tue Apr 27 09:08:28 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux). This bug is Ubuntu specific (and probably located in dell-wifi rfkill code).

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tags: added: apport-collected
description: updated

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Hello Jeremy,

I've run apport-collect on a kernel which has the bug - see above.

Kenny Ranerup (kranerup) wrote :

I recently tested with the latest mainline kernel but the problem was still there. So that indicates that my problem with a Thinkpad X61s is a different bug. This is also consistent with the suspicion that the bug is related to the dell-wifi code. I guess I'll have to report this as separate bug.

Jeremy Foshee (jeremyfoshee) wrote :

Ciprian,
    Thanks for the troubleshooting and logging.

Kenny,
   It never hurts to open a separate bug. you can keep a watch on this one for possible troubleshooting steps and to test potential patches.

Thanks!

~JFo

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium

I have a Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187 Wireless Adapter and it doesn't works after update to Lucid.

It works in Karmic and in Lucid, using the 2.6.31-21 kernel.

With the 2.6.32-22 and the 2.6.33-02063303 kernel versions it fails and looking to the syslog, it's switched off:

May 3 21:56:20 my-laptop kernel: [ 19.041398] rtl8187: Customer ID is 0x00
May 3 21:56:20 my-laptop kernel: [ 19.041454] Registered led device: rtl8187-phy0::tx
May 3 21:56:20 my-laptop kernel: [ 19.041473] Registered led device: rtl8187-phy0::rx
May 3 21:56:20 my-laptop kernel: [ 19.043255] rtl8187: wireless switch is off

rfkill reports that the device is harware blocked but my laptop doesn't have a physical switch to control the wireless device.

I found a kernel bug that could be related to this problem:

https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=14743

Hello pcgaldo,

My laptop actually has a hardware switch and the problem described here is not present with mainline. The bug described is specific to Ubuntu's dell-laptop kernel modules.

I suggest that you file a separate bug.
Best regards, Ciprian

I can't believe it, but today my RTL8187 Wireless Adapter starts to work and connect.
I still have the 2.6.32-22 kernel but now the wireless switch is on.

Anyone know what happened?

emilk (jan-ptacek) wrote :

Hi, I am on dell e6400 running
2.6.32-22-generic #33-Ubuntu SMP Wed Apr 28 13:28:05 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux

this morning (after an update yesterday, have no idea what was part of that update)
my wireless adapter intel pro seemed as disabled in the gnoe network manager applet

've finded out that the rfkill list
was reporting unsynced on/off oon the dell-wifi and phy0

tried (after two hours of labouring) to restart with the physical switch to off. and it's in sync again, wifi working.

0: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no
1: dell-bluetooth: Bluetooth
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no
3: hci0: Bluetooth
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no

best jan

Galaphile (geephile) wrote :

Confirming Emilk comment with one difference: reboot not needed

Problem is that there is a state in which phy0 and dell-wifi in rfkill list are not in sync because the hardbutton toggle's both there is always one hardblocked.

Hardbutton wifi off:
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: yes
3: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no

hardbutton wifi on:
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: no
3: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
 Soft blocked: no
 Hard blocked: yes

Solution which works on my system (Dell D830/Intel Corporation PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN)

> Hardbutton wifi Off
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
Hard blocked: yes
3: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
Hard blocked: no

> rfkill unblock all
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
Hard blocked: yes
3: dell-wifi: Wireless
LAN Hard blocked: yes

Hardbutton wifi On
2: phy0: Wireless LAN
Hard blocked: no
3: dell-wifi: Wireless LAN
Hard blocked: no

And Wifi Works

Marc (schuetz-marc) wrote :

Hi all,

the dell_laptop kernel module creates an rfkill
device that reports the wrong state:

$ readlink /sys/class/rfkill/rfkill0
.../../devices/virtual/rfkill/rfkill0

$ cat /sys/class/rfkill/rfkill1/state
2

This prevents the use of NetworkManager, since it relies on the rfkill
data from the kernel when disabling the part of its user interface that
allows the user to scan for and connect to wireless networks.
###

$ cat /var/lib/NetworkManager/Network-Manager.state
WLAN..=false
# when I set it to true and restart the NetworkManager its alwas resetting to "false".
# In the contect-menu of the nm-applet its greyed-out, so I cannot switch on.

##
$ rfkill list

reports alwasys for Bluetooth and WLAN:
Hard blocked: yes

# when I try to set it with "rfkill unblock all" nothing happens.

# But remove the kernel-module "dell_laptop" WLAN and Bluetooth is getting working.

# I found this Bug upstream, and I get this bug with the last Kernel-Updates "2.6.32-22"
http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=544319

Marc (schuetz-marc) wrote :

Ok I see, my Bug is another one as discribed in above.

My switch-state is never working.
No reboot brings the right state.
/sys/devices/virtual/rfkill/rfkill0/state is always 2 after boot. But the change of the killswitch will not update this state.

it won´t work till i unload the dell_laptop module.

Marc (schuetz-marc) wrote :

after rmmod dell_laptop. The kill-siwtch is working fine, without any problems. So I think I don´t need the module and I´ve blacklisted it.
Does this module more as the states for rfkill?

Kostis (kkyzir) wrote :

I had the exact same problem (Dell E6400, Lucid 64bit) but I had to reinstall ubuntu from scratch to solve it...
Wifi was enabled if I booted with the hardware switch in the off state, but it didn't work if I booted with the switch in the on stated, and when my laptop resumed from stand-by, the wifi could not be enabled.
However, the bug reappeared yesterday and I just did the rmmod dell_laptop, and wifi came alive again!!

Thanks!

MrDabelina (mmmeh) wrote :

The dell_laptop module affects also scrolling with the touch pad, for example. But disabling/blacklisting it indeed solves the wifi switch problem.

MrDabelina (mmmeh) wrote :

...or so i thought... Scroll seems to work now. Sorry.

Lucid 64, Dell E6400.

cfriedt (chrisfriedt) wrote :

The solution mentioned by Telescope_Nerd in comment #9 works for me.

Thanks!

cantor-duster (cantor-duster) wrote :

At comment #8 - my roommate's ThinkPad X60 has a *very* subtle wireless switch on its front lip, and I believe the X61s does as well. We toggled it so we saw the green bar and the hardware block that had been plaguing us disappeared.

Apologies if this isn't consistent with this thread! I wasn't sure if/where a ThinkPad one had opened up, and this was a crazy annoying problem. Wanted to share a possible solution.

This bug was filed against a series that is no longer supported and so is being marked as Won't Fix. If this issue still exists in a supported series, please file a new bug.

This change has been made by an automated script, maintained by the Ubuntu Kernel Team.

Changed in linux (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Won't Fix
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