How to Remove Integrated WiFi from Linux

How to Remove Integrated WiFi from Linux

I’ve been having terrible problems with my wifi disconnecting randomly.  It seems the problem is with the Intel driver, called iwlwifi. I thought I solved it by turning off the Power Management setting for the driver, but the problem returned after 24 hours.

The big headache is that the wifi interface is part of the motherboard.  Removing the interface from BIOS was not an available option.  I also knew that trying to ignore it by simply inserting a USB dongle doesn’t work.  The iwlwifi driver would crash and ruin all networking services.

Alas, the solution seems to be removing the driver module from the kernel with a tool called modprobe:

sudo modprobe -r iwlwifi

The effect was immediate. I could see my Wireless interface disappear from the Network settings:












I did get an error that a module was in use:
modprobe: FATAL: Module mac80211 is in use.

However modprobe -r again shows the module is gone:
ERROR: missing module name.

You can verify by doing lsmod before and after, you’ll see it get removed:

lsmod | grep iwlwifi

modprobe -r however is only temporary. After rebooting your computer, the driver will automatically reload. To prevent this from happening, you need to blacklist it.


 blacklist iwlwifi 

to the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Free from the Intel iwlwifi driver, a USB wifi dongle should work and the nightmare is over.  Welcome back to the internet.


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