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Note - I know nothing about Linux, just switched over from Windows. Also not an accomplished coder.

Installed Ubuntu 16.04 on a Dell laptop; it worked.

Installed it on an HP laptop (model 17 -x061nr) and the wi-fi will not work. In Network Settings, the option to turn Wireless on is present, but when I click it on it immediately switches back off again. I have no Ethernet ports available. I can download something on the Dell laptop and transfer it via flash drive, but that's it.

The HP's network controller is a RTL8723BE PCIe wireless network adapter, from Realtek. Prior to installing Ubuntu on this laptop, it was running Windows 10; the wi-fi worked there. The wireless isn't entirely kaput - the first time I switched it 'on,' the name of my wi-fi network appeared for half a second before the wireless switched off.

I've powercycled the laptop, reinstalled Ubuntu, and disabled, then re-enabled Networking. I looked in Software & Updates; it had one notification that the device is using an alternative driver (Processor microcode firmware for Intel CPUs from intel-microcode (open source)). I've tried enabling the wireless with and without using that device.

I've looked around the forums for similar issues, but haven't found anything quite like this.

Advice? Any further info required?

rfkill list all:
0: hci0: Bluetooth
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
1: phy0: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: no
    Hard blocked: no
2: acer-wireless: Wireless LAN
    Soft blocked: yes
    Hard blocked: no

Update: Wi-fi is now enabled. Thanks very much for the help!

  • May we see: rfkill list all? – chili555 Dec 30 '16 at 23:01
  • See http://askubuntu.com/search?q=RTL8723BE, read Qs with non-zero answer count first, then the rest. Read man rfkill, and fix the Soft blocked: yes. – waltinator Dec 31 '16 at 0:24
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It is doubtful that your laptop is BOTH an HP and an Acer. Let's blacklist the offending module and see if the hard block is resolved. From the terminal:

sudo -i
echo "blacklist acer-wmi"  >>  /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
modprobe -r acer-wmi
rfkill unblock all
exit

Now can you activate the wireless? It may take a reboot.

The driver for your rtl8723be device doesn't correctly select which of the two antenna connections to use. You may need to explicitly direct it. Please see: HP Stream 11 late 2015 edition (r050sa) Wifi not working properly

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