Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 248267
NetworkManager should turn off the radio if wireless is disabled
Last modified: 2009-10-16 18:33:04 EDT
Description of problem:
I right-click on the NM icon and turn off wireless, but it doesn't disable the
wireless adapter. I have to "ifconfig eth1 txpower off" separately to disable
the radio (saving ~4W of power). I would like NetworkManager to handle that for me.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
So this is made more important because some wireless hardware (iwlwifi
specifically) can't receive rfkill interrupts when down, since the interrupts
are handled by the firmware which is only loaded when the card is IFF_UP. So
instead of downing devices on rfkill or wireless-enabled, we should simply set
the txpower off instead and leave them up. Drivers that don't support the
txpower setting need to be fixed anyway.
*** Bug 441994 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
As a note, we can't do this until we get some HAL additions to be able to check
hardware power state independently of soft power state. Currently, if you
'txpower off' on some cards (mostly Intel) it looks to HAL and therefore NM like
a hardware killswitch has been thrown, and you cannot re-enable the device from
the menu because HAL/NM think its disabled in hardware.
We need to add a method to the HAL killswitch interface for GetHardwarePower().
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Network Manger does many great things, but as I understand it, it still can't turn off the radio.
It does; it sets the device down when you turn off wireless. It's then the device's responsibility to consume power as appropriate when the driver knows that the device is unused. That's the best we get until 2.6.32 where a sane rfkill framework has appeared. At that point, we can at least try to rfkill stuff when you uncheck "enable wireless". Before then, no. But when the interface is down (which NM does when you disable wireless), the driver is free to unload firmware and powersave.