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This is a simple question. Is there a way to set the Network manager to not shut down when going in to suspend mode?

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No, that is not that simple at least. Some machines support wake on lan (WOL), such that you are able to wake the computer from a hibernation state, but I am not sure whether that works with suspend mode. Setting up WOL is not straightforward and known to cause headaches.

Suspend mode generally freezes the system and provides just enough energy to support RAM, so that even if you keep power your hardware network interface, you won't be able to do anything with it.

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The reason I was asking was some users are saying it takes up to 20 seconds to re connect to the network when coming out of suspend mode. Mine comes on immediately. I have a SSD and that might be the reason if suspend save things to the Hard Drive. – irv Sep 19 '12 at 11:35
There is a bug with the iwl3945 driver. . Found in the Thinkpad T61. – irv Sep 19 '12 at 13:20
There was a fix in post 74 in the bug report above. Here is what it said to do: " most solutions failed here, however: changing the last part in /usr/lib/pm-utils/sleep.d/55NetworkManager from thaw|resume)¶ resume_nm¶ to thaw|resume)¶ resume_nm¶ sleep 2 && iwlist eth1 scanning & forces a wifi scan and network manager connects almost immediately after resume." – irv Sep 19 '12 at 13:28

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