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I have a Ubuntu 11.04 running with two wireless interfaces -- one onboard (seen as wlan0) and one external card via USB, seen as wlan1.

I would like to only use the USB card, completely ignoring the onboard one. Currently when I enable wireless both interfaces come up. How do I make Ubuntu ignore wlan0?

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You should check in /etc/network/interfaces.

Make sure that there is no entry in that file that allows that interface to start up. It's entirely likely that the interface is set to 'hotplug'.

In fact, if you're at all comfortable with the command-line, there's quite a bit of information available in the man page for the interfaces at: man interfaces

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/etc/network/interfaces only contains "auto eth0", no mention of wlan0 or wlan1 – vmalloc Apr 8 '12 at 19:38
Thanks for the heads up. They must've changed that since 10.04LTS. – Magellan Apr 8 '12 at 20:49

Place the following into /etc/rc.local:

sudo ifdown wlan0 

It's also worth noting that it may be possible to disable your internal wireless adapter in your BIOS.

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This appears to work only temporarily - the interface automatically comes back up after a few minutes... – vmalloc Apr 8 '12 at 9:33

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