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I'm using Ubuntu 16.04 with gnome desktop installed on a lenovo ideapad 700 laptop.

The environment where I study has a pretty unreliable wifi connection, meaning it drops often, but after 10-20seconds, it is good to go again. The problem is, that it doesn't always reconnect properly, but restarting the wifi module seems to solve the issue, except it freezes the whole system until the restart is complete.

There's are no related warnings/errors during the freezes in the syslog, there is only the wifi driver info (connecting/authenticating etc.), so everything is supposed to be fine, but the driver locks the system up, restarting NetworkManager has a similar effect, making the computer unusable for a minute at least.

Is this a wifi driver issue, or rather a shell one, or something else?

Edit: Here's the tailed syslog during the freezes:

Apr  8 12:50:15 FeckaLaptop wpa_supplicant[1251]: wlp2s0: CTRL-EVENT-SCAN-FAILED ret=-16 retry=1
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop wpa_supplicant[1251]: message repeated 64 times: [ wlp2s0: CTRL-EVENT-SCAN-FAILED ret=-16 retry=1]
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648679.2346] device (wlp2s0): state change: activated -> deactivating (reason 'user-requested') [100 110 39]
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648679.2349] manager: NetworkManager state is now CONNECTED_LOCAL
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop whoopsie[987]: [12:51:19] offline
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648679.2465] audit: op="device-disconnect" interface="wlp2s0" ifindex=3 pid=6623 uid=1000 result="success"
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648679.2496] device (wlp2s0): state change: deactivating -> disconnected (reason 'user-requested') [110 30 39]
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop avahi-daemon[1000]: Withdrawing address record for fe80::97d7:a95a:ff34:10d5 on wlp2s0.
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop avahi-daemon[1000]: Leaving mDNS multicast group on interface wlp2s0.IPv6 with address fe80::97d7:a95a:ff34:10d5.
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop avahi-daemon[1000]: Interface wlp2s0.IPv6 no longer relevant for mDNS.
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648679.2877] dhcp4 (wlp2s0): canceled DHCP transaction, DHCP client pid 8652
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648679.2878] dhcp4 (wlp2s0): state changed bound -> done
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648679.2881] dhcp6 (wlp2s0): canceled DHCP transaction
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop avahi-daemon[1000]: Withdrawing address record for 192.168.1.74 on wlp2s0.
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop avahi-daemon[1000]: Leaving mDNS multicast group on interface wlp2s0.IPv4 with address 192.168.1.74.
Apr  8 12:51:19 FeckaLaptop kernel: [ 2791.203861] wlp2s0: deauthenticating from 00:0e:8f:40:7c:84 by local choice (Reason: 3=DEAUTH_LEAVING)
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop wpa_supplicant[1251]: wlp2s0: CTRL-EVENT-DISCONNECTED bssid=00:0e:8f:40:7c:84 reason=3 locally_generated=1
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop wpa_supplicant[1251]: wlp2s0: CTRL-EVENT-REGDOM-CHANGE init=CORE type=WORLD
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648696.4422] dns-mgr: Writing DNS information to /sbin/resolvconf
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop dnsmasq[1687]: setting upstream servers from DBus
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop dnsmasq[1687]: using nameserver fe80::1%wlp2s0#53
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop avahi-daemon[1000]: Interface wlp2s0.IPv4 no longer relevant for mDNS.
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: (gnome-shell:6623): Gjs-WARNING **: JS ERROR: Gio.ResolverError: Error resolving 'openweathermap.org': Name or service not known
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: OpenweatherMenuButton<._asyncReadyCallback@/home/fecka/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/openweather-extension@jenslody.de/extension.js:521
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: wrapper@resource:///org/gnome/gjs/modules/lang.js:178
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop dnsmasq[1142]: reading /etc/resolv.conf
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop dnsmasq[1142]: using nameserver 127.0.1.1#53
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648696.4750] dns-mgr: Writing DNS information to /sbin/resolvconf
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop dnsmasq[1687]: setting upstream servers from DBus
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop dbus[956]: [system] Activating via systemd: service name='org.freedesktop.nm_dispatcher' unit='dbus-org.freedesktop.nm-dispatcher.service'
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop systemd[1]: Starting Network Manager Script Dispatcher Service...
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop dbus[956]: [system] Successfully activated service 'org.freedesktop.nm_dispatcher'
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop systemd[1]: Started Network Manager Script Dispatcher Service.
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop nm-dispatcher: req:1 'down' [wlp2s0]: new request (1 scripts)
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop nm-dispatcher: req:1 'down' [wlp2s0]: start running ordered scripts...
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: (gnome-shell:6623): Gjs-WARNING **: JS ERROR: Gio.ResolverError: Error resolving 'openweathermap.org': Name or service not known
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: OpenweatherMenuButton<._asyncReadyCallback@/home/fecka/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/openweather-extension@jenslody.de/extension.js:521
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: wrapper@resource:///org/gnome/gjs/modules/lang.js:178
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <warn>  [1491648696.5049] sup-iface[0x2184090,wlp2s0]: connection disconnected (reason -3)
Apr  8 12:51:36 FeckaLaptop NetworkManager[1007]: <info>  [1491648696.5051] device (wlp2s0): supplicant interface state: completed -> disconnected
Apr  8 12:51:39 FeckaLaptop whoopsie[987]: [12:51:39] Cannot reach: https://daisy.ubuntu.com
Apr  8 12:51:47 FeckaLaptop wpa_supplicant[1251]: wlp2s0: Reject scan trigger since one is already pending
Apr  8 12:51:47 FeckaLaptop whoopsie[987]: [12:51:47] Cannot reach: https://daisy.ubuntu.com
Apr  8 12:51:47 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: (gnome-shell:6623): Gjs-WARNING **: JS ERROR: Gio.ResolverError: Error resolving 'openweathermap.org': Name or service not known
Apr  8 12:51:47 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: OpenweatherMenuButton<._asyncReadyCallback@/home/fecka/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/openweather-extension@jenslody.de/extension.js:521
Apr  8 12:51:47 FeckaLaptop gnome-session[6573]: wrapper@resource:///org/gnome/gjs/modules/lang.js:178

As asked for, here's more info:

02:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8821AE 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Network Adapter [10ec:8821]
    Subsystem: Lenovo RTL8821AE 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Network Adapter [17aa:a814]
    Kernel driver in use: rtl8821ae
  • Please edit your question to add the result of lspci -nnk | grep 0280 -A2 Welcome to Ask Ubuntu. – chili555 Apr 8 '17 at 12:26
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It was the stock driver that froze the system, now I'm using lwfinger's driver (https://github.com/lwfinger/rtlwifi_new), and it works fine now.

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