Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 1461239
Fedora 25, 26, and 27 always think airplane mode is enabled on Atheros AR5212/Lenovo R61
Last modified: 2017-12-11 11:42:18 EST
Description of problem:
Using a Lenovo R61 laptop which has worked great with Fedora 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24. When I upgraded to Fedora 25, the WiFi did not work. I discovered it was because it was (presumably) misreading the hardware airplane mode switch.
$ rfkill list
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: yes
Because I had just upgraded, there were kernel versions from Fedora 24 available to boot. I tried all the combinations of kernel version and airplane mode switch at boot up. It always thought airplane mode was asserted.
I posted my problem as https://ask.fedoraproject.org/en/question/97479/fedora-25-always-thinks-airplane-mode-is-enabled/ but did not get a solution. Only two other people I know of experienced the same problem but both with an HP spectre x360.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Fedora 25 (all versions) and Fedora 26 beta (Fedora-Workstation-Live-x86_64-26_Beta-1.4.iso). It does not appear to be a kernel problem.
100% of tries by booting a Live Image for Fedora 25 or Fedora 26 beta. Also 100% of tries with Fedora 25 installed.
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Live boot Fedora 25 or 26 beta
2. Choose "Try Fedora" and close the app.
3. Examine gnome status at upper right: observe airplane icon present.
Unable to disable airplane mode; WiFi functionality absent.
With airplane mode off, WiFi should operate.
It must be a Fedora 25 or 26 component causing the problem; booting a Fedora 24 kernel with Fedora 25 installed exhibited the problem. Re-installing Fedora 24 actually reads the airplane mode switch and allows WiFi to operate as expected.
With the first login quickly after bootup, there is a short time (15 seconds?) during which airplane mode is not enabled and searching for WiFi networks works. Once that times out (midst of WiFi password entry or not logging in quickly) no WiFi networks are available and airplane mode turns on. It does not matter how many times logging in or on what account (even a new one) airplane mode is always on. Rebooting resets the short window of no airplane mode.
Hard blocked: yes
this is usually controlled by your hardware. Usually you would need to press some "Fn" key.
Some laptops have a physical switch, but since your issue depends on the Fedora version, that's obviously not the case.
I wouldn't expect that the hardware block is even set by software. So, it's surpising that it depends on the Fedora version.
Doesn't sound like a NetworkManager problem. Certainly not of applet.
What happens if you run a
`rfkill unblock all`
The command `rfkill unblock all` runs silently, but no change in airplane mode, and the output of `rfkill list` still shows `hard blocked: yes`.
@Thomas: On the Lenovo R61, there is a keyboard icon with a laptop emitting radiation out both sides. (Could double as speakers on/off I suppose.) When I press Fn+F5, Fedora temporarily displays a "status window" (similar to battery status, brightness change, or select monitor) with an aircraft icon and text "Hardware Airplane M...".
Since the window is fleeting and not part of the X GUI, I can't grab it, resize, it, or screen capture it. But there is no discernible effect nor message in `dmesg`.
The wifi hardware details (via lshw) are:
description: Wireless interface
product: AR5212 802.11abg NIC
vendor: Qualcomm Atheros
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
logical name: wls3
width: 64 bits
capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath5k driverversion=4.11.10-100.fc24.x86_64 firmware=N/A ip=192.168.1.3 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11
resources: irq:17 memory:df3f0000-df3fffff
First noticed the problem after upgrading to Fedora 25. Worked hard to find a fix or workaround, but eventually did the painful reinstall of F24 to have a functional laptop. Details at https://ask.fedoraproject.org/en/question/97479/fedora-25-always-thinks-airplane-mode-is-enabled/
Since then I have tried "live" Fedora with editions 25, 26, and 27 including some alphas and betas. Conclusion: some change present beginning in F25 does not correctly sense the "airplane mode" hardware setting. It seems to be looking at the wrong bit because changing the hardware switch and/or toggling the keyboard Fn+F5 setting does not affect the its opinion of airplane mode.