My laptop has a hardware kill switch for the wireless system. It would be nice if in the NetworkManager applet instead of saying "wireless is disabled" on the left-click menu it said "wireless disabled by hardware switch". It might be useful to say the same thing instead of just greying out the "Enable Wireless" option on the right-click menu.
When I first got this laptop, I didn't know it *had* such a kill switch, and it wasn't until after I filed a bug that I figured out that I had to press what looks more like an indicator light than a button to enable my wireless.
rfkill can definitely tell the difference between being switched off and not being present in the first place or having driver problems:
% rfkill list
0: hp-wwan: Wireless WAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
Soft blocked: no
Hard blocked: yes
The "yes" turns to "no" when I press the button.
When this issue occurs, can you post the output of "nmcli nm" for me? This also should be the case already, the menu will say what you describe if NM thinks the WWAN hardware switch is disabled. Try latest NM updates in F14 updates-testing and see if that fixes your problem.
I'm using NM on Fedora 15 (Gnome 3).
AFAIK the UI should express the impossibility of turning the wireless on more clearly.
There should be three states of wireless network adapter in NM applet:
2) Off (ready to be turned on by mouse click)
3) Unavailable (possibly with a warning that there is a rfkill switch somewhere)
There's no visible difference (when I click the NM icon) between Off and Unavailable.
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