Solved: Regular WiFi Disconnections

After upgrading to Ubuntu 21.10 I noticed that my WiFi was disconnecting semi-regularly and trying to reconnect multiple times without success until after roughly 1 minute it was connected again. I’ve never had this kind of issues even after switching to iwd several years back.

Trying to find out what was happening I looked into my WiFi daemons logs with journalctl -eu iwd. Around the time a disconnect happened there were roughly 30 lines each 1-2 seconds apart all saying:

Received Deauthentication event, reason: 4, from_ap: false

There was no other information warning or error. The timings between these blocks are not always consistent. Mostly it’s 2 hours or 2 hours 15 minutes.

NetworkManager’s logs only had this to say (also repeated multiple times):

device (wlan0): new IWD device state is disconnected
device (wlan0): state change: activated -> failed (reason 'supplicant-disconnect', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
manager: NetworkManager state is now DISCONNECTED
device (wlan0): Activation: failed for connection '<SSID>'
device (wlan0): state change: failed -> disconnected (reason 'none', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
dhcp4 (wlan0): canceled DHCP transaction
dhcp4 (wlan0): state changed bound -> terminated
dhcp6 (wlan0): canceled DHCP transaction
dhcp6 (wlan0): state changed bound -> terminated
device (wlan0): new IWD device state is connecting
device (wlan0): Activation: starting connection '<SSID>' (<UUID>)
device (wlan0): state change: disconnected -> prepare (reason 'none', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
manager: NetworkManager state is now CONNECTING
device (wlan0): state change: prepare -> config (reason 'none', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
device (wlan0): new IWD device state is connected
device (wlan0): state change: config -> ip-config (reason 'none', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
dhcp4 (wlan0): activation: beginning transaction (timeout in 45 seconds)
dhcp4 (wlan0): state changed unknown -> bound, address=<IP ADDRESS>
device (wlan0): state change: ip-config -> ip-check (reason 'none', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
device (wlan0): state change: ip-check -> secondaries (reason 'none', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
device (wlan0): state change: secondaries -> activated (reason 'none', sys-iface-state: 'managed')
manager: NetworkManager state is now CONNECTED_LOCAL
manager: NetworkManager state is now CONNECTED_SITE
policy: set '<SSID>' (wlan0) as default for IPv4 routing and DNS
device (wlan0): Activation: successful, device activated.
manager: NetworkManager state is now CONNECTED_GLOBAL

I tried to search the internet for the error message from iwd, but nothing useful came up. Just forum posts with random suggestions like “turn off IPv6” and old kernel bug reports about the Intel wireless drivers exhibiting similar disconnections. 😞

I tried to look up what a modern setup + configuration should look like and tried to combine the guides from Ubuntu and Arch … no change.

The Gentoo Wiki and the iwd Wiki also suggest (wifi.iwd.autoconnect=yes) for NetworkManager. After applying this setting the issue seems to have gone away. 😀

Update 2021-10-31

The last “fix” only lasted for about 9 hours. 😕

I’m now suspecting something with power management 🤔 … I’m still investigating.

Update 2021-11-26

I have a configuration that seems to work for a few weeks now. My final system state was adding


to NetworkManager’s configuration, masking wpa_supplicant.service, commenting out the contents of /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/default-wifi-powersave-on.conf, installing all recommended packages for TLP (i.e. also tlp-rdw) and finally masking Gnome 40’s new power-profiles-daemon.service which seems to interfere with TLP.

I’m not sure if this is the minimal set of changes necessary, but it works for me. 😀 It first started showing the dis-/reconnection notification, but e.g. SSH connections didn’t seem to drop and after a while even the notifications stopped. Logs are also clean. I’m happy. 😀

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