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So, I want to install Linux on my laptop. I started with Arch... but 4 hours later, I'll take anything... so now I'm trying Ubuntu.

It appears that the keyboard function button that corresponds to my wireless does not work, and perhaps is windows dependent?

Every time I try to interact with wlan0, I get the error "Operation not possible due to RF-kill". And as I've looked around online, it has been suggested in other forums that the only way to resolve this is to reinstall windows and dual boot, so the FN key will work.

I think this is ridiculous. There must be a way to persuade the RF-kill to be turned off again, shouldn't there?

I don't have a recover disk for this laptop and I don't want to go through the trouble of requested one from acer. I reformatted the whole disk while attempted to install arch... so if there was a restore partition, I'm sure it's gone now.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are two ways to block wireless operation: Hardware and software. To find out, open a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T, type rfkill list and hit Enter. That should output something like:

1: tpacpi_bluetooth_sw: Bluetooth
        Soft blocked: yes
        Hard blocked: no
23: phy21: Wireless LAN
        Soft blocked: no
        Hard blocked: no

For now, ignore the Bluetooth entry and concentrate on Wireless LAN. If Soft blocked is set, use the following command to unset it:

sudo rfkill unblock 23

Replace 23 with the number before your Wireless LAN entry. After you enter your password, type rfkill list again. It should say Soft blocked: no now.

The hardware switch cannot be toggled from software - it is there to prevent wireless communication, no matter what software runs. As far as I understand its manual, the Acer Aspire 5552 does not have a dedicated switch, but you should be able to toggle it with Fn+F3.

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it wasn't blocked when I checked it, but I switched it on then off again. After I restarted the laptop, the fn+f3 started working again. Weirdness. – Kayle Oct 1 '11 at 20:47

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