Terrible WiFi performance with Librem13, Librem15

s3ns0r: Other than iwconfig, what other information would you like to see to move this along?

I can any report you think will be helpful

The AP settings - such as channel, rate, power, etc:

And from the client side, maybe some logs from:
journalctl -fu NetworkManager

Usually it will tell you if there were timeouts or any other connectivity issues.

Also, check if there are some power saving issues that might cause it, seems relevant in your case.

See if you have something like
wifi.powersave = 3
if yes, change it to
wifi.powersave = 2

and reboot.

I did not find the file you reference “default-wifi-powersave-on-conf”.

As far as the journal files, I did not see anything that would cause issues.

Run grep -ri powersave . in the /etc/NetworkManager directory. There is a =dot= in the end of the command.
Or find a corresponding setting in it’s GUI, but I don’t know where it’s hidden there :slight_smile:

If Network Manager didn’t report anything in journalctl it means that it doesn’t detect any phy issues with the connection, so unless it’s power management, you should look on other parameters. Can you connect to a different AP? Like, create one on your smartphone and see how it performs?

I ran the powersave command. It produced a very long report. Is there a piece of it I should review?

Also, just connected to my hotspot. I will see see what it does for me in the way of performance.

Using my hotsport is not going to provide a good measure of performance. It is slow. That, I think, is just do the limited speed of the connection.

That being said, my wifes Mac continues to outshine my Librem.

I was just down to 14 Mbs and restarted my Librem I am back to 68mbs after a restart.

@s3ns0r, you misunderstood. When removing as much as possible of the proprietary firmware, it happened that a bit too much was removed, which led to not-properly initialized hardware. I’m not talking about IME controlling a non-Intel WiFi, especially, as IME is disabled now.

Good evening to all.
Still having issues with my wifi. Something that dawned on me is that when I have issues with my wifi, I can see other wifi access points in m community so I know the card is on. I can connect to either my 2.4ghz or 5.0ghz access point, but cannot actually go to a webpage.

Would this not indicate something wrong with per say…my browser…or my laptop gaining an ip address? I have run the latest iwconfig and it showed the below listed numbers.

Mode:Managed Frequency:5.765 GHz Access Point: XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX
Bit Rate=216 Mb/s Tx-Power=17 dBm
Retry short limit:7 RTS thr:off Fragment thr:off
Power Management:off
Link Quality=67/70 Signal level=-43 dBm
Rx invalid nwid:0 Rx invalid crypt:0 Rx invalid frag:0
Tx excessive retries:4 Invalid misc:216 Missed beacon:0

I can connect to the access point currently. The point is, even when I am having wifi issues, I can still run iwconfig and show numbers for the access point connected, but cannot open any webpages.

I am also seeing flaky wifi performance. This seems to be related to 5GHz. I split 2.4GHz and 5GHz into two different networks, and things are stable on the 2.4GHz band, less so on the 5GHz.

1 Like

The reason it’s bad is because it uses an old Atheros 802.11n card. I used to have the same card
on my Lenovo x200 from 2009.

That’s a $5-7 (if not less) card on eBay, yes with free firmware, but the performance of a decade ago.
For those who don’t know, you have to half the 300Mbit by 2 (half input, half output) on each side of
the sender receiver, so effectively you end up with 75Mbit/s.

Invest around $10 and search for the “Intel 9260 Wireless-AC 9260NGW” card on eBay, swap that old
funny thing and enjoy acceptable - 500Mbit speeds. Or you can enjoy freedom but in 2009 standards.
I will maybe write a tutorial how to do that with Qubes and Librem 15, while keeping the firmware in sys-usb
so essentially you don’t care about if it’s free or even full of backdoors, since it only provides physical layer
and all the and other operations are done on other VMs.


do you know whether the killswitch still works with the Intel 9260 Wireless-AC 9260NGW ?

Just imagine the killswitch “cutting the wire in half”. It doesn’t care what card you have, or what OS you have (even if Windows) - it’s a physical switch that disconnects the data wires that are crucial for the card to work.

that’s what I thought, but then I read this post by Nicole Faerber: Ability to swap out components like wifi cards?

But depending on the card type you may also loose the WiFi kill switch feature - seems that not all NGFF cards support a kill-switch signal.

If it is a card. If it’s just a chip on the board or part of a chip that does other things, it may be more difficult to cut the wire in half, metaphorically speaking.

I put an Intel 8260 in my Librem 15 v3 within the first month and I can confirm that the killswitch no longer works after that upgrade. Still worth it as the crappy wifi the laptop shipped with was unbearable.

I just installed an Intel 9260 ($20 on Amazon Prime) in my Librem 15 v4 and, voila! Excellent wifi.

The kill switch works.

Get the proprietary firmware from Intel and copy to /lib/firmware

Also, be careful when removing and reattaching the very small connectors on the antenna cables. They take very little pressure but they need to be aligned just so. In case you forget, the gray wire goes closer to the hinge.


That’s the sucky bit. Fast compromised communication or slow private communication. We shouldn’t have to make that choice.


So it seems like the fix to this moderately/majorly annoying issue is to replace the wifi chip?

Will someone at Purism please suggest a list of possible replacement chips they recommend (Librem 13 and 15) that do not compromise their free/open mission? I imagine there will have been some sort of short list when initially selecting the hardware.

In general, when replacing/upgrading hardware, I’m sure the community would appreciate if Purism were to host or curate such lists.


If there were alternative modules with better performance and free drivers, they would use them.

The problem is not the module, it’s the free driver needing optimization. You can also use the proprietary driver, but Purism can’t (and doesn’t want to) ship it.

1 Like