turning off the wireless network radio

Mel Flynn mel.flynn+fbsd.questions at mailing.thruhere.net
Tue Jul 14 20:53:45 UTC 2009

On Tuesday 14 July 2009 12:28:40 Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 14, 2009 at 12:20:25PM +0200, Maciej Milewski wrote:
> > Dnia wtorek 14 lipiec 2009 o 07:38:49 Chad Perrin napisał(a):
> > > I'm having a real bitch of a time trying to figure out how to shut down
> > > the wireless adapter's radio.  The driver module won't unload as long
> > > as the adapter is active, and neither ifconfig nor iwicontrol are
> > > providing a solution either.
> > >
> > > I'm using (as you may have guessed by mention of iwicontrol) an Intel
> > > wireless adapter, with if_iwi.ko as my driver module.  It's an Intel
> > > PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection according to pciconf -lv.
> > >
> > > Thanks in advance.
> >
> > You can try doing this by software switch:
> > sysctl -a | grep rfkill
> > dev.ath.0.rfkill: 0
> > This switch should disable radio.
> > I don't know if it is supported by iwi driver but you can try.
> At first glance, it looks like the iwi equivalent is dev.iwi.0.radio,
> where 1 is on and 0 is off.  It won't let me set it to 0, though,
> claiming it's a read-only sysctl setting.
> . . . and trying to set the debug.iwi sysctl setting to 1 caused the
> computer to reboot (not intended behavior, I'm sure).  Bah.  I wonder if
> there's something wrong with my driver.

There is plenty wrong with the driver, also with the product. Unfortunately, 
Intel does not support the FreeBSD team with developers for the wireless cards 
as they do with the wired cards and the iwi driver is particularly plagued.

At present the best working Intel wireless on FreeBSD is the wpi, but it is on 
the virge of the same fate as Benjamin Close is lacking time to support it.

There's a group of people working on improving iwn for the 5000 series, effort 
spawned from this list, but as of yet I haven't seen anything hit the source 

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