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How to stop the blinking wifi LED on Ubuntu laptops with Intel wireless cards

Apparently Intel has decided that people using Ubuntu (and Linux in general) on laptops with an Intel wireless card simply must know when data is being transferred over the connection. To that end, Intel wifi cards constantly blink the LED whenever data is being transferred. I think every other wireless card on the planet just has a solid LED light to indicate the wireless is on (or off, using the physical switch), but not Intel cards. Personally I find the constantly blinking lights pretty annoying.

There’s no easy-to-find setting to change the LED to always-on. But there is a solution: create a little script to change the LED to solid whenever you connect to a new wireless network. It’s pretty easy to do, too. Here we go:

  1. Create a new file using Nano:

    sudo nano /etc/network/if-up.d/wifi-led-noblink
  2. Paste the following into your new file using ctrl + shift + v

    #!/bin/sh
    #This script prevents the wifi light from blinking when on.
    #To enable this script, create a soft link to it in /etc/network/if-up.d/
    echo none > /sys/class/leds/iwl-phy0::RX/trigger
    echo none > /sys/class/leds/iwl-phy0::TX/trigger
    echo none > /sys/class/leds/iwl-phy0::radio/trigger
    echo none > /sys/class/leds/iwl-phy0::assoc/trigger

    Press ctrl + x to quit Nano, then y to save your script.

  3. Make the script executable:

    sudo chmod u+x /etc/network/if-up.d/wifi-led-noblink

That’s it! Next time you connect to a network, your wifi LED should remain solid. This works in 9.10 Karmic. And next time you find yourself cursing the guys at Intel, just remember: at least you don’t have a Broadcom card!

2010-07-21 Update!

As of kernel 2.6.34 this solution no longer works for me. However, commenter DM has suggested an alternative that does seem to work again.

Run the following command to create a file called /etc/modprobe.d/wlan.conf with a setting to disable the light:

echo "echo \"options iwlcore led_mode=1\" >> /etc/modprobe.d/wlan.conf" | sudo bash

Restart your laptop after running that command. This different solution should work if the above solution doesn’t.

2012-11-25 Update!

Commenter silli suggests an alternate solution for 12.04 Precise that’s similar to DM’s solution:

echo "echo \"options iwlwifi led_mode=1\" >> /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi.conf" | sudo bash

This has been reported to work on 12.04 Precise. Make sure to restart your laptop after running that code!

Comments

  1. Cesar

    Thank you! This worked like a charm in a Hp nx7300 laptop.

  2. michael

    Worked great for my 8530w. Other “solutions” didn’t, but yours did. Man, that was annoying! Thank you!

  3. bbrujulo

    Thanks a lot!! Woow… The blinking led was driving me crazy :D.

  4. Jorge L

    Thanks a lot.
    Great solution for a annoying problem.

  5. Patrick

    Thank you so much! Worked like a bomb on my HP 8710w, was really driving me nuts!

  6. Emily

    Thanks a lot!! Woow… The blinking led was driving me crazy :D.

  7. Brandon

    Thanks, mate.
    Worked great on my inspiron under Lucid.

  8. Avinash

    thanks a lot mate. it worked great on my HP g60. It was quite annoying.

  9. J

    Great solution. worked right away on my HP dv3 running ubuntu 10.04. Thx!

  10. alpha0

    works great on compaq presario a900. using ubuntu 10.04

  11. dm

    My solution is to add the following in /etc/modprobe.d/99-local.conf (it’s opensuse 11.3; for other distributions, I think it is /etc/modprobe.d/options):

    options iwlcore led_mode=1

    For more info: modinfo iwlcore

  12. Alex Cabal

    Thanks DM, that also seems to work. The file to put it in for Ubuntu is /etc/modprobe.d/wlan.conf
    (options.conf works too, it doesn’t matter).

  13. shing

    Using a Dell E4200 with an Intel 5100 wifi card. This killed wifi till I rm’d the wlan.conf file.

  14. shing

    I suppose I should add I’m using lucid.

  15. lum

    Second solution works fine on ubuntu 10.04.

    Thanks a lot!

  16. Chris G

    The first solution worked on my HP Compaq nw8440. Thank you, that was a major annoyance.

  17. Mb

    Stopped my wifi too, how do I remove the wlan.conf file?

  18. kumar

    Thank you Alex. Your “2010-07-21 Update!” worked on my Dell inspiron E1505 running Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat (10.10)

  19. Nick

    Thanks! The revised code worked on 10.10 for my Intel card in my HP dv2700.

  20. Matt

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Second solution worked on 10.10. :)

  21. João

    Thanks! My HP nx9420 is now a different machine without the Wifi annoying blinking led…

  22. Rene

    Thanks this works on HP-530 Notebook, Ubuntu 10.10

  23. Bob

    Thank you!! The update worked on my Dell D620 with Fedora 14.

  24. Francesco

    Thank you very much for your solutions!
    The second work on Hp notebook dv2760el, ubuntu 10.10.

  25. Chao

    Thanks a lot! Your second solution worked on Fedora 14.

  26. Amoor Avakian

    This was amazingly helpful. It solved my Ubuntu wi-fi blinking disaster. What was Intel thinking?

    Especially because the button is ‘touch’ you could no longer disable it just by touching it because it was on a blinking frenzy.

  27. Pdinc

    Thanks! Second solution worked on Dell Inspiron 6400; Ubuntu 10.10.

  28. Drew

    The second variant works perfectly on a HP EliteBook 2530p under 10.10. Thanks!

  29. Lau

    Perfect!
    Ubuntu 10.10
    Dell Latitude D630

  30. Stephen Hau

    No more blinking blinking LED, thank you Alex!!!
    (Ubuntu 10.10 64bit, Thinkpad T410)

  31. Stopping the Intel WiFi LED from blinking in Ubuntu | Al4

    [...] Alex Cabal found a solution for Karmic, and his updated solution also works for Natty. His solution describes opening a text [...]

  32. Alex

    Thanks for this, works perfectly on Natty too!

    If you want to avoid rebooting you can do ‘modprobe -r iwlagn && modprobe iwlagn’ instead, which simply reloads the module.

  33. Michael

    Second solution worked great on the HP2530p

    Thanks to all!

  34. Matt

    For Ubuntu 11.10 replace iwlcore with iwlagn in the line above, so that it reads:
    options iwlagn led_mode=1

  35. Lau

    Upgraded today to Ubuntu 11.10
    Flashing wifi LED is back :-(
    Vainly tried above 2 solutions

    Ubuntu 11.10
    Dell Latitude D630

  36. SRG

    Thanks Matt, on 11.10, “iwlagn” did the trick.

    How is it possible that somebody on the Ubuntu side had this “brilliant” idea of the blinking wifi LED ? That’s madness. And moreover it’s quite complicated to deactivate (when you don’t know this exact parameter).
    As times passes : Ubuntu becomes worse and worse. I’m seriously considering all my Linux boxes to something else.

  37. Martin

    For me, using “wlagn” instead of “iwlcore” did not work on Ubuntu 11.10. I used “iwl_legacy” instead which did work. Apparently, iwlcore is renamed since kernel 3.0

  38. Moe

    instead of restarting you can also

    # rmmod iwlcore
    # modprobe iwlcore

    in kernel 3.0 this module is called iwlwifi, so you have to change iwlcore to iwlwifi if youre using kernel 3.0 and above

  39. silli

    For Ubuntu 12.04:

    $ sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi.conf

    paste

    options iwlwifi led_mode=1

    Then reboot your laptop / reload module.

    (Source: http://www.emmolution.org/?p=235)

  40. Matt

    Was looking into the blinking wifi led on a dell D630 running fedora 16 and found the led_mode option for the module iwlegacy:
    cat <> /etc/modprobe.d/solid_led.conf
    option iwlegacy led_mode=1
    EOF

  41. Hombibi

    Thank you,

    Silli’s solution worked perfectly on a Dell E6400 with Ubuntu 12.04 x64

  42. MS

    silli’s solution posted on April 29th, 2012 worked on an HP Elitebook 6930. You saved my eyes, thanks.

  43. SWL

    Solution worked on a Thinkpad T420 with Xubuntu 12.04.1 x64.
    Thanks.

  44. anon

    For Ubuntu 12.10 and an older network card (intel 4965 in my case) the line in your /etc/modprobe.d/scriptname.conf should read:

    options iwlegacy led_mode=1

  45. jomo

    Thank You very, very much :)
    Works in Mint 14

    options iwlegacy led_mode=1

  46. Michal Ambroz

    Thank you. It was really giving me headaches.

  47. Matt

    Wonderful! Thank you!

  48. Aniqua

    it worked! great. thank you :)

  49. Hisham

    Worked great on my HP 6530b

  50. Jan

    Works like a charm on: HP 6530b with Linux Mint 14

  51. Stryder

    This Post Works GREAT!!!! on hp 2540p!!!!!With Kubuntu 13.10
    Thanks 2 All!!
    2012-11-25 UPDATE!

  52. Jose

    The “2012-11-25 UPDATE! ” worked grate on my EliteBook 2530p with kubuntu 13.10

  53. halim

    Thanks man. from one reboot to another my wifi hard block was driving me crazy. then i got it working with connman but the led kept blinking and blinking.
    coool solution :)

  54. halim

    using arch btw. so for all you arch people out there: this works for us, too :D

  55. halim

    simply “none” to the trigger file works

  56. Anonymous

    Solution worked on HP Elitebook 6930p with Ubuntu 13.10

  57. Arjen

    I used to do it manually until I reinstalled my ubuntu and didn’t know anymore what I did (I did it from history, but forgot to save it somewhere first)

    Now I used:

    options iwlegacy led_mode=1

    And it works like a charm! Thx! :D

  58. Arjen

    On a HP/Compaq 6710b

  59. Sergio

    Worked! Kubuntu 13.10 HP HDX
    It started to happen when I installed connman to run Enlightenment, and continue even after I removed connman. This script solved it.
    Thank you

  60. Neikius

    The latest solution works for me on kubuntu 13.10, thanks for saving my sanity!

  61. dpeach777

    Would someone please do a step by step for me, the newest of newbies? I have Ubuntu 13.04 on my dell d620 and the blinking WiFi light is on as soon as I open the lid and wake up the old beast. I want to stay quit of Windows! I went cold turkey to Ubuntu….. and now I need major help! Thanks in advance.

  62. candy

    This solution didn’t work on ubuntu 13.10

  63. MasterOfTheHat

    Worked on my EliteBook 8540w with Linux Mint 16 (Ubuntu 13.10)

  64. dpeach777

    I havetried all of the above, to no avail. BCM 4311, dell d620, Ubuntu 13.04. Does someone out there in Linux world have a fix for us poor newbies? a step by step as asked above would be great! Thank You!

  65. dpeach777

    So persistance paid off finally, thank you all for the clues above. I’m running Ubuntu 13 04 on my dell d620

    $ sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi.conf
    options iwlegacy led_mode=1
    save the file and exit
    reboot
    no more flashing wifi light!

  66. kinchan

    thanks you! work on debian wheezy.

  67. Ubabarauma

    Running the 12.04 here, and the WLan LED from my HP 6730b was changing from blue (on) to orange (off) like mad.
    The instructions from the “2012-11-25 Update!” solved the problem alright.
    Big thanks to Alex and silli for showing the way!

  68. Mirkster

    This worked with Xubuntu 13.10 on Dell E6400 using a Intel 5100 Wifi link

    $ sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi.conf
    options iwlwifi led_mode=1
    save the file and exit
    reboot

  69. Steve O

    Thank you!

  70. El

    Works a treat on ubuntu 13.10 on HP EliteBook 6930p.

    Cheers much.

  71. Ano

    Unfortunately none of these worked on my Elitebook 8530w with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I guess I will have to keep on looking.

  72. theasm

    No need to reboot your device after this, just restart the WiFi interface:

    sudo ifconfig wlan0 down; sudo ifconfig wlan0 up

    That’s it.

  73. Antonino

    Ciao, ho installato ubuntu 13.10 su un hp 6530b.
    La connessione wireless non è attiva ed il led della scheda rimane arancione.
    Con XP funzionava regolarmente e premendo il pulsante della scheda wireless la scheda si attivava e disattivava regolarmente.
    Adesso il led rimane arancione nonostante si agisca sul pulsante nel medesimo modo.
    Gli altri pulsanti, a sfioro, funzionano come l’esclusione dell’audio ed il controllo del volume.
    Da terminale il comando iwconfig restituisce:
    lo no wireless extensions.
    eth0 no wireless extensions.
    Ringrazio anticipatamente per suggerimenti/indicazioni

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