Users of older Lenovo Ideapad and Yoga laptops watch out: Newer kernels will break your WIFI

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Many older Lenovo laptops like the Lenovo Y560 had a hardware slider used to turn WIFI on and off. The Linux kernel firmware driver used for this slider was later re-used for all the newer models without a slider. A blacklist of machines without a hardware slider solved the problem of separating those with a hardware slider from those without. This blacklist has now been turned into a blank whitelist - which breaks WIFI on all the machines with a hardware slider for turning WIFI on and off.

Yes, this is intentional. The blacklist became ever-growing since every single new Lenovo laptop lacks a hardware slider for toggling WIFI since no machines produced after 2012 have one. Turning it into a whitelist makes sense but it poses a problem: There is no list of old Lenovo laptops with a laptop slider.

What this means is that if you have such a machine a) your WIFI will break on newer kernels and b) you should fall back to a kernel earlier than 5.0.10 and file a bug at with the output of dmidecode manual so your machine can be added to the whitelist.

published 2019-05-09last edited 2019-06-17

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