In this short guide, you’ll see how to fix problems related to no or slow WiFi in Linux Mint. The WiFi problems in Linux Mint can be caused by different reasons like:
- bad driver
- incorrect settings
- power management
- and more
Next steps will cover the most popular solutions to WiFi problems in Linux Mint.
Step 1: Investigate the problem
The first step in solving WiFi problems and any other is to find what is the cause for the problem.
Let's gather technical information to about the internet connections and the internet:
General information for the PC
System: Host: my-machine Kernel: 5.4.0-81-generic x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 7.5.0 Desktop: Cinnamon 4.4.8 Distro: Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia base: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic ... Info: Processes: 488 Uptime: 2h 22m Memory: 31.38 GiB used: 9.00 GiB (28.7%) Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 7.5.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.20 inxi: 3.0.32
You can find a network section above:
Network: Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: r8169 v: kernel port: f000 bus ID: 1e:00.0 IF: enp30s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> Device-2: Intel Wireless 8260 driver: iwlwifi v: kernel port: efa0 bus ID: 02:00.0 IF: wlp2s0 state: down mac: <filter> IF-ID-1: usb0 state: unknown speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: <filter>
We can see two devices and their drivers:
- Device-1 - cable
- Device-2 - WiFi
Get network and WiFi info from terminal
To get network information you can use the next commands:
Which will return the WiFi information or nothing if there aren't:
lo no wireless extensions. enp30s0 no wireless extensions.
wlan0 IEEE 802.11bg ESSID:"TP-LINK_A1386C" Mode:Managed Frequency:2.427 GHz Access Point: D4:E8:84:B4:27:7D Bit Rate=2 Mb/s Tx-Power=22 dBm Retry short limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off Encryption key:off Power Management:off Link Quality=46/70 Signal level=-60 dBm Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0 Tx excessive retries:0 Invalid misc:1 Missed beacon:0
lsmod | grep iwlwifi
Getting Network Info from UI
The information about the network and especially for the WiFi is available from:
- Main menu
- Network (Cinnamon-settings)
Where you can find information for all connected devices:
Step 2: Disable power management for the wireless card
The first solution is to disable the power management option which might cause unstable WiFi connection.
Depending on the hardware and the versions this might speed up the WiFi significantly.
To disable power management and speed up WiFi follow next steps:
- Open terminal
- Check the value for
Power Management. In case of
Power Management:offor not mentioned - nothing to do
Power Management:on- continue with next steps
- type next command in terminal
sudo sed -i 's/3/2/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
- Reboot and check again with
Compare the results before the change and after the reboot - check the last step.
In case of worse WiFi you can revert the change by:
sudo sed -i 's/2/3/' /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
Check the speed after the change.
Change the Power management option manually
To disable the power management manually you can use the next command:
sudo nano /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf
The file has content:
connection] wifi.powersave = 3
Change the value to 2 and save the file. Reboot is needed at the end.
Step 3: Update driver iwlwifi options for Bluetooth, Encryption and Antenna Aggregation
In some cases the drivers need updated settings in order to have stable WiFi connection.
Let's find how we can change the settings in order to speed up and make the WiFi connection more stable.
- Open terminal
lsmod | grep iwlwifi
iwlwifiin the output(in red letters) - if so continue
- type in terminal
echo "options iwlwifi bt_coex_active=0 swcrypto=1 11n_disable=8" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi-3options.conf
- press Enter and reboot
Measure the changes before and after.
What are doing the changes
swcrypto=1- change from hardware to software encryption
bt_coex_active=0- disable the Bluetooth of the WiFi chipset
11n_disable=8- enable antenna aggregation
Step 4: Disable IPv6 for WiFi
In some cases IPv6 might be the reason for the slow speed or the unstable connection.
To test WiFi without IPv6 you can follow next steps:
- Main menu
- Network Connections or Network (Cinnamon-settings)
- Edit the WiFi connection
- Tab IPv6 Settings
- Change Method to ignore
- Save and reboot
Step 5: Test WiFi speed
I'll recommend to measure the WiFi speed before any changes and take a record.
Then apply the changes and restart - again record the values.
A good tool for measuring the WiFi and internet speed in general is: Ookla speedtest.
Another useful comparison is WiFi vs cable. This might show more problems.
The tests should be done only on WiFi or only on cable in order to avoid interference or other issues.
To find more ways on how to fix the WiFi connection you can check
- How to solve internet connection problems - Easy Linux Tips Project
- Realtek wireless chipset: install the right driver
Or post question with your relevant information in the Linux Mint forum: