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Thread: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

  1. #1

    Default Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 15 - 5578.

    I have been battling this problem for a long time, but I just don't know what to do. It's gotten so bad I can hardly use openSUSE TW anymore.

    The problem: I boot up my laptop into openSUSE TW, log in and connect to WiFi. I'm able to pass traffic for a minute or two, then no traffic will go across my WiFi connection. The only way to pass traffic again is to disconnect from my WiFi and reconnect. but that only enables me to pass traffic for another 2-3 minutes, then traffic stops. Repeat over and over and over.

    I have ensured the problem is not with my WiFi router because while my openSUSE TW laptop is unable to communicate I am simultaneously able to use another laptop (Windows 10) and an Android phone (Galaxy S5) using the same WiFi. The WiFi router and my laptop do not drop the connection, the connection just stops passing traffic. Other devices continue to work fine. Also, when I dual-boot into Windows 10 on my laptop, I have zero issues with WiFi. Due to the problem only appearing in openSUSE and not Windows 10, I am thinking it's a driver problem. But I really don't know.

    Last night I decided to run a continuous ping to google.com from Konsole to see what happens when I am unable to pass traffic. I am going to paste some curated results:

    Code:
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=18 ttl=55 time=82.8 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=20 ttl=55 time=32.3 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=21 ttl=55 time=32.5 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=49 ttl=55 time=33.1 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=50 ttl=55 time=32.9 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=51 ttl=55 time=34.0 ms
    Notice how the sequence number goes from 21 to 49. That loss of ability to pass data traffic wasn't too long.

    Code:
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=110 ttl=55 time=32.7 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=111 ttl=55 time=33.1 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=148 ttl=55 time=32.1 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=149 ttl=55 time=32.3 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=150 ttl=55 time=33.4 ms
    Again, the above snippet of ping results shows a big gap between sequence 111 and 148.

    Code:
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=241 ttl=55 time=75.4 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=242 ttl=55 time=128 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=364 ttl=55 time=32.4 ms
    64 bytes from nrt13s37-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.220.238): icmp_seq=365 ttl=55 time=32.4 ms
    Now that outage above was very long. Several minutes.

    Code:
    linux-q5o0:~ # uname -a
    Linux linux-q5o0 4.13.5-1-default #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Oct 5 18:28:26 UTC 2017 (3fd9659) x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
    Is anyone else having this problem with their Dell Inspiron 15?

    I'm happy to provide any information you request while troubleshooting this maddening problem.
    Tumbleweed on a Dell Inspiron 15 - 5578

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    Do you have TLP installed? If not consider installing it as it can help with power management.

    https://software.opensuse.org/package/tlp

    http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/tlp-...tml#networking


    Networking

    Wifi Power Management

    WIFI_PWR_ON_AC=off
    WIFI_PWR_ON_BAT=on
    Sets wifi power saving mode. Adapter support depends on kernel and driver. Possible values:

    • off – disabled
    • on – enabled

    Note: deprecated config values 1=off/5=on are supported for backwards compatibility.
    Hint: power save can cause an unstable wifi link.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    ....and to clarify further, I suggest inhibiting wifi power management for both AC and battery operation...
    Code:
    WIFI_PWR_ON_AC=off
    Code:
    WIFI_PWR_ON_BAT=off

  4. #4

    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    Quote Originally Posted by deano_ferrari View Post
    Do you have TLP installed? If not consider installing it as it can help with power management.

    https://software.opensuse.org/package/tlp

    http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/tlp-...tml#networking
    Thank you for the reply. It does appear I have it installed, as I do have the /etc/default/tlp configuration file.

    Here is my config file: http://paste.opensuse.org/58467906

    I should add my laptop is rarely on battery, it's almost always on AC power. In each instance of a communication problem over my WiFi connection my laptop has been on AC power--not battery.
    Tumbleweed on a Dell Inspiron 15 - 5578

  5. #5

    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    Quote Originally Posted by deano_ferrari View Post
    ....and to clarify further, I suggest inhibiting wifi power management for both AC and battery operation...
    Code:
    WIFI_PWR_ON_AC=off
    Code:
    WIFI_PWR_ON_BAT=off
    Thanks, I will do that now.
    Tumbleweed on a Dell Inspiron 15 - 5578

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    I should add my laptop is rarely on battery, it's almost always on AC power. In each instance of a communication problem over my WiFi connection my laptop has been on AC power--not battery.
    Ok, then this won't help as it's disabled already when on AC....
    Code:
    1. # WiFi power saving mode: on=enable, off=disable; not supported by all adapters.
    2. WIFI_PWR_ON_AC=off
    3. WIFI_PWR_ON_BAT=on
    Not all wifi hardware devices have power management support anyway.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    Post your wireless hardware details...
    Code:
    /sbin/lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 net

  8. #8

    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    Quote Originally Posted by deano_ferrari View Post
    Ok, then this won't help as it's disabled already when on AC....
    Code:
    1. # WiFi power saving mode: on=enable, off=disable; not supported by all adapters.
    2. WIFI_PWR_ON_AC=off
    3. WIFI_PWR_ON_BAT=on
    Not all wifi hardware devices have power management support anyway.
    You're right, it won't help me in this case, but it's always good to check. I edited the config file and started the service for the new parameters to take effect.

    Oddly enough, tonight I haven't had any trouble whatsoever. It's just so frustrating.
    Tumbleweed on a Dell Inspiron 15 - 5578

  9. #9

    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    Quote Originally Posted by deano_ferrari View Post
    Post your wireless hardware details...
    Code:
    /sbin/lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 net
    Done:

    Code:
    linux-q5o0:~ # /sbin/lspci -nnk | grep -iA3 net
    01:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Intel Corporation Wireless 3165 [8086:3165] (rev 79)
            Subsystem: Intel Corporation Device [8086:4410]
            Kernel driver in use: iwlwifi
            Kernel modules: iwlwifi
    linux-q5o0:~ #
    Tumbleweed on a Dell Inspiron 15 - 5578

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Regular, intermittent loss of communication over WiFi

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverclipper View Post
    Last night I decided to run a continuous ping to google.com from Konsole to see what happens when I am unable to pass traffic. I am going to paste some curated results:
    Rather than pinging an internet address, a better test would be to ping your router/internet gateway address. That eliminates any external routing/latency influences.

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