I disabled the integrated Wi-Fi adapter of my Thinkpad X230 in the BIOS settings. But the still-enabled status LED makes me doubt that it is actually disabled.

Is there a command to prove whether or not my integrated Wi-Fi adapter is actually disabled?

  • 1
    Have you also tried disabling it via the physical switch (under the ExpressCard slot on the front end of the left side of the laptop)? In my experience, that one's pretty effective at disabling the wireless communications. – vurp0 Nov 13 '16 at 21:39
  • This works great, too. Thanks for mentioning, @vurp0! :-) – orschiro Nov 13 '16 at 22:01

While Zanna's answer is correct on Connection level, You can check if the actual device is disconnected or disabled using this command

nmcli device status

It will show in color for network devices either disconnected or unavailable status. While

  • disconnected means the device is enabled, but disconnected from any connection
  • unavailable means the device is disabled.

This is the output I get when my wifi device is disabled.

DEVICE                                    TYPE      STATE         CONNECTION     
ttyUSB0                                   gsm       connected     MyISP Web 
AB:CD:EF:GH:IJ:KL                         bt        disconnected  --             
enp0s29f7u5                               ethernet  unavailable   --             
enp6s0                                    ethernet  unavailable   --             
hfp/org/bluez/hci0/dev_AB_CD_EF_GH_IJ_KL  gsm       unavailable   --             
wlp4s0                                    wifi      unavailable   --             
lo                                        loopback  unmanaged     --             

The particular line shows this when It is enabled, but disconnected

$ nmcli device status
DEVICE                                    TYPE      STATE         CONNECTION     
wlp4s0                                    wifi      disconnected  --             

You can use the tool nmcli (NetworkManager's command line interface) to check the status of software level radio device switches including wifi:

nmcli radio wifi

It returns either enabled or disabled

from man nmcli

   nmcli radio {all | wifi | wwan} [ARGUMENTS...]

   Show radio switches status, or enable and disable the switches.

   wifi [on | off]
       Show or set status of Wi-Fi in NetworkManager. If no arguments are
       supplied, Wi-Fi status is printed; on enables Wi-Fi; off disables

One alternative could be using rfkill

rfkill list
0: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
1: tpacpi_bluetooth_sw: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no
  • Thanks! Does this output mean that my internal Wi-Fi is properly disabled? – orschiro Nov 13 '16 at 17:43
  • That output seems to imply that there is no Wi-Fi hardware at all in the laptop. I would take that to mean it's very much disabled. I've disabled the touchpad and the mobile broadband at various times in the firmware settings of my X230, and the hardware always disappears entirely from the OS, so I think you can trust the firmware settings on the X230. – vurp0 Nov 13 '16 at 21:42

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