Re: wireless hardware disable switch forbids the use of external wifi cards

On Thu, 2009-02-12 at 19:53 -0500, Mikhail Zakharov wrote:
> Hi, I have a really bad internal wireless card. If I disable it and try
> to use an external PCIMCA card, the network manager will not let me do
> this since wireless option is automatically disabled based on the switch
> state. I was wondering whether anyone has noted this, since imho this is
> a serious issue. Why can't we have a per device control like in windows,
> where each network adaptor has its own set of enable/disable controls. A
> quick solution to this problem would be I think to revert to Nm 0.6
> behaviour, where hardware switch did not affect the software state and
> everything worked fine. If anyone has worked on a patch that does this,
> please let me know. Thanks, Mikhail

For a number of reasons, NetworkManager does not support per-device
rfkill.  For starters, "rfkill" means "turn the radio off", and that's
exactly what NetworkManager does.  It turns off the radios.

Second, it's not really possible to match up rfkill switches with
specific wireless devices.  On some machines they are tied to the
specific card, but these days most of them are implemented through BIOS
or via keyboard softkeys, and you simply cannot figure out which device
the rfkill switch is intended for, if that's even a valid assumption
that an rfkill switch is paired with a specific device.

The option Windows uses is to bring up huge vendor-specific "Laptop
control" panels every time you hit a killswitch, which are ugly, require
many more clicks to disable things, and not something we should be doing
here.  We should be making the 90% use-cases easy, enabling the next 5%
with some effort on the part of the user, and usually ignoring the other
5% completely (for good reason; if you try do everything, you succeed at

Like has been suggested, I'd recommend blacklisting the kernel module
for the faulty card.


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