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#1 2013-05-13 21:52:32

take5
Member
Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 7

[SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

So apparently my computer's wifi card works perfectly on the most recent snapshot CD, but I have never been able to get past the soft-block on my card when I'm using my permanent install. At one time I could boot into Windows to enable the wifi, but after reinstalling everything from scratch the wifi gets disabled after each reboot. I've tried updating the system, fooling around with rfkill, restarting various kernel modules and I installed 'iw' and 'wireless-tools' just to see. Maybe there's an unmarked dependency that rfkill needs?

What could be that different between my installation and that on the CD?
Any and all thoughts on this are welcome.


lsmod

Module                  Size  Used by
nls_cp437               5953  2 
vfat                   10119  2 
fat                    49357  1 vfat
usb_storage            47063  2 
iptable_nat             3358  0 
nf_conntrack_ipv4       9262  1 
nf_defrag_ipv4          1371  1 nf_conntrack_ipv4
nf_nat_ipv4             3568  1 iptable_nat
nf_nat                 15028  2 nf_nat_ipv4,iptable_nat
nf_conntrack           71499  4 nf_nat,nf_nat_ipv4,iptable_nat,nf_conntrack_ipv4
iptable_mangle          1584  0 
iptable_filter          1488  0 
ip_tables              17218  3 iptable_filter,iptable_mangle,iptable_nat
x_tables               17351  3 ip_tables,iptable_filter,iptable_mangle
joydev                  9695  0 
ath9k_common            2096  0 
ath9k_hw              373150  1 ath9k_common
uvcvideo               72921  1 
videobuf2_vmalloc       3304  1 uvcvideo
videobuf2_memops        2367  1 videobuf2_vmalloc
videobuf2_core         27541  1 uvcvideo
videodev              105273  3 uvcvideo,videobuf2_core
media                  10309  2 uvcvideo,videodev
acer_wmi               23782  0 
iTCO_wdt                5407  0 
iTCO_vendor_support     1929  1 iTCO_wdt
sparse_keymap           3114  1 acer_wmi
mxm_wmi                 1467  0 
ath                    15489  2 ath9k_common,ath9k_hw
intel_powerclamp        8802  0 
mac80211              487534  0 
psmouse                84588  0 
serio_raw               5041  0 
cfg80211              452012  2 ath,mac80211
rfkill                 15626  3 cfg80211,acer_wmi
broadcom                7174  0 
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     29298  1 
coretemp                6102  0 
pcspkr                  2027  0 
microcode              13204  0 
tg3                   150120  0 
ptp                     8324  1 tg3
evdev                   9912  13 
acpi_cpufreq           10726  1 
pps_core                8889  1 ptp
libphy                 20172  2 tg3,broadcom
snd_hda_codec_realtek    30893  1 
mperf                   1203  1 acpi_cpufreq
ac                      2536  0 
intel_ips              12801  0 
i2c_i801               11269  0 
i915                  562614  3 
drm_kms_helper         35086  1 i915
snd_hda_intel          35816  0 
snd_hda_codec         145736  3 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel
battery                 6970  0 
drm                   229917  4 i915,drm_kms_helper
snd_hwdep               6364  1 snd_hda_codec
snd_pcm                76860  3 snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel
snd_page_alloc          7266  2 snd_pcm,snd_hda_intel
snd_timer              18687  1 snd_pcm
snd                    58893  7 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hwdep,snd_timer,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_pcm,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel
wmi                     8347  2 acer_wmi,mxm_wmi
i2c_algo_bit            5391  1 i915
i2c_core               22479  6 drm,i915,i2c_i801,drm_kms_helper,i2c_algo_bit,videodev
video                  11138  2 i915,acer_wmi
processor              27555  1 acpi_cpufreq
mei                    58110  0 
button                  4669  1 i915
intel_agp              10936  1 i915
intel_gtt              12664  3 i915,intel_agp
lpc_ich                12849  0 
soundcore               5418  1 snd
ext4                  486052  1 
crc16                   1359  1 ext4
mbcache                 5930  1 ext4
jbd2                   85240  1 ext4
sd_mod                 30826  6 
sr_mod                 14930  0 
cdrom                  35104  1 sr_mod
ahci                   22696  1 
libahci                21201  1 ahci
ehci_pci                4120  0 
ehci_hcd               47343  1 ehci_pci
libata                170065  2 ahci,libahci
scsi_mod              129660  4 usb_storage,libata,sd_mod,sr_mod
usbcore               176995  4 uvcvideo,usb_storage,ehci_hcd,ehci_pci
usb_common               954  1 usbcore

Last edited by take5 (2013-05-18 01:04:01)

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#2 2013-05-13 21:59:57

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,427

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

Is it something like https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=163235 ?

Last edited by karol (2013-05-13 22:00:47)

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#3 2013-05-13 23:20:18

take5
Member
Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

No, the problem I'm having is when I type "rfkill unblock all" nothing changes, but if I reboot the computer into the arch cd I get this.

0: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: yes
        Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: yes

rfkill unblock all

0: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no

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#4 2013-05-13 23:22:41

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

phy is the physical layer for your wireless device.  If the phy is hard blocked, the card itself is going to have a hell of a time soft-unblocking itself.

I think you need to determine why it is your phy0 is hard blocked.  Is it a possiblity that this is happening because of another operating system?  Or do you ahve a physical switch that toggles this functionality?

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#5 2013-05-14 01:21:02

take5
Member
Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

That's a great explanation and it makes a lot of sense. However, the only "switch" I have is Fn+F2. When I press those inside my permanent arch installation it can only deactivate the wifi and The phy0 layer doesn't even show up.
But, when I'm running the portable arch environment it enables and disables the hardware switch on phy0 and acer-wireless without a problem. Is it possible that a different driver needs to be set up. For example the wifi card is actually an Atheros AR5B97 not Acer.

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#6 2013-05-17 13:19:57

take5
Member
Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

So I've been able to make a little progress, but I'm confident that there's someone here who knows how to fix this or at least point me in the right direction. First I tried deleting /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k and restarting the broadcom and tg3 modules. After rebooting I was suddenly able to see the phy layer. I've tried removing the ath9k and acer_wmi modules in various combinations. When I remove acer_wmi I only have access to phy and vice versa when ath9k is removed. When acer-wireless is gone I can manipulate the soft block on phy, but the hard block won't budge.

 1: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: yes

1: phy0: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: yes
        Hard blocked: yes 

So I tried compiling the most recent kernel (3.10-rc-1), and as far as I can tell that didn't make a difference. So it seems I'm more or less back to square one. If it's a bug then it's either in ath9k or acer-wmi or perhaps the rfkill module. But all of this brings me back to most perplexing part of the puzzle. Why does everything work as it should on a slightly out-of-date Arch CD, but not on my recently synchronized hard drive install? I'm convinced these problems stem from some configuration differences of some sort, but I have no idea how I'm supposed to track down that issue.

And thank you Karol and WonderWoofy, I appreciate your input on this.

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#7 2013-05-17 14:50:49

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

Honestly, I don't really know where to go form here.  It is unsurprising that you cannot change the hard block, as that is typically a read-only scenario.  That is of course, unless you have a physical switch to fuck with there, and it sounds as though your switch/button is doing nothing of consquence (gehidore also pointed out to me the other day that the wifi button on my Thinkpad actually doens't hard block, it is a software only switch).

It shouldn't make a difference, as this *should* only change the soft blocks, but have you tried setting any paramters for the rfkill module when it is loaded?  There are two, master_switch_mode= and default_state=.  You can use modinfo to see what the options are.  Again, that shouldn't do anything, as nothing in userspace is supposed to be able to change a hard block, but I figure you're probably willing to try just about anything at this point.

What is really f*cking with my head is that you say that it works with an older Arch live media.  So there must be some difference in the software that is causing this, but that totally goes against all the rfkill documentation I have ever read.  How old is that live media you are using there?  What version is the kernel?

Oh BTW, what did you have in /etc/modprobe.d/ath9k?

Last edited by WonderWoofy (2013-05-17 14:51:18)

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#8 2013-05-18 01:02:38

take5
Member
Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 7

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

Thank you so much! I followed your advice and set the rfkill parameters to unblock the device.

/etc/modprobe.d/rfkill.conf

install rfkill /bin/false
options rfkill master_switch_mode=2
options rfkill default_state=1

While doing that I accidentally discovered that I needed to boot with rfkill disabled (install.../bin/false) and then restart it manually along with ath9k and acer-wmi. I'm not even sure if setting those parameters are necessary it may be enough just to restart rfkill. Either way it worked and I've got my wifi back.
Thanks again!

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#9 2013-05-18 03:41:51

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [SOLVED] RFKILL Doesn't Work

How odd... I find it amazing that there are no other complaints of this nature regarding acer-wmi and rfkill.

In any case, I am glad you've found a workaround for now.

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