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Hans de Goede

Once upon a time a driver was written for the Lenovo Ideapad firmware interface for handling special keys and rfkill functionality. This driver was written on an Ideapad laptop with a slider on the side to turn wifi on/off, a so called hardware rfkill switch. Sometime later a Yoga model using the same firmware interface showed up, without a hardware rfkill switch. It turns out that in this case the firmware interface reports the non-present switch as always in the off position, causing NetworkManager to not even try to use the wifi effectively breaking wifi.

So I added a dmi blacklist for models without a hardware rfkill switch. The same firmware interface is still used on new Ideapad and Yoga models and since most modern laptops typically do not have such a switch this dmi blacklist has been growing and growing. Just in the 5.1 kernel alone 5 new models were added. Worse as mentioned not being on the list for a model without the hardware switch leads to non working wifi, pretty much leading to any new Ideapad model not working with Linux until added to the list.

To fix this I've submitted a patch upstream turning the huge blacklist into a whitelist. This whitelist is empty for now, meaning that we define all models as not having a rfkill switch. This does lead to a small regression on models which do actually have a hardware rfkill switch, before this commit they would correctly report the wifi being disabled by the hw switch and e.g. the GNOME3 UI would report "wifi disabled in hardware", where as now users will just get an empty list of available wifi networks when the switch is in the off position. But this is a small price to pay to make sure that as of yet unknown and new Ideapad models do not have non-working wifi because of this issue.

As said the whitelist for models which do actually have a hardware rfkill switch is currently empty, so I need your help to fill it. If you have an Ideapad or Yoga laptop with a wifi on/off slider switch on it. Please run "rfkill list" if this contains "ideapad_wlan" in the output then you are using the ideapad-laptop driver. In this case please check that the "Hard blocked" setting for the "ideapad_wlan" rfkill device properly shows no / yes based on the switch position. If this works your model should be added to the new whitelist. For this please run: "sudo dmidecode &> dmidecode.log" and send me an email at hdegoede@redhat.com with the dmidecode.log attached.

Note the patch to change the list to a whitelist has been included in the Fedora kernels starting with kernel 5.0.10-300, so if you have an
Ideapad or Yoga running Fedora and you do see "ideapad_wlan" in the "rfkill list" output, but the "Hard blocked" setting does not respond, try with a kernel older then 5.0.10-300, let me know if you need help with this.