Ubuntu 12.04 Wireless Disabled by Hardware Switch, rf kill unblock all, and rf kill list DOES NOT WORK! What next?

All I get is "Command "rf" not found"


1 Answer 1


the correct syntax

The reason for the error Command 'rf' not found is because you have accidentally added a space character between rf and kill

The correct syntax is rfkill command

where command is one of:

    list [IDENTIFIER]
    block IDENTIFIER
    unblock IDENTIFIER
where IDENTIFIER is the index no. of an rfkill switch or one of:
     all wifi wlan bluetooth uwb ultrawideband wimax wwan gps fm

Since you appear to be trying to unblock a particular device the syntax would be:

rfkill unblock all

You should note - rfkill unblock all will only release the device lock that has been created by the operating system - i.e. a soft-block.

If your device has been locked by a physical device - for example, physical switch, keyboard lock such as Fn+Function-key then the rfkill unblock all will not work - this is a so called hard-block

You can see the status of devices with rfkill list all - example results are:

rfkill list all
0: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
1: brcmwl-0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
  • Thank you fossfreedom for your help, you gave a very informative answer. I will try this.
    – mark
    Nov 4, 2012 at 20:44
  • 2
    Just wanted to let you know fossfreedom, that I tried your advice, and it worked perfectly, you literally opened the door to 12.04 for me, and I am answering this using my 12.04 laptop now. Thanks again, really appreciate it.
    – mark
    Nov 5, 2012 at 0:41

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