How to Change Airplane Mode Disable Behavior in Ubuntu 21.10

For those running Ubuntu on laptop or notebook, there’s an ‘Airplane Mode’ option available in Wi-Fi settings page. When it enabled, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile broadband are turned off to disable wireless signal transmissions.

It’s usually good when to turn on the airplane mode. But, when disable this mode, Bluetooth gets turned on while user may only need Wi-Fi. So, a Gnome Extension ‘Sane Airplane Mode’ is created and allows to choose which devices to re-enable when disable the airplane mode.

Configure Airplane disable behavior

Note this extension changes the behavior only when you disable the Airplane mode. It does not support broadband so far. And, it has an issue that no way to automatically enable Bluetooth when turning off the airplane mode. User needs one more click in Bluetooth setting to enable the devices if want.

Install Sane Airplane Mode extension

The extension so far supports for GNOME 40 and 41. Which means, you need systems, e.g., Ubuntu 21.10, Fedora 34+, or Arch Linux.

1. Ubuntu user needs to first press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, and run command to install the ‘chrome-gnome-shell’ package:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell gnome-shell-extension-prefs

And ‘gnome-shell-extension-prefs’ package is also required to install the app to manage Gnome Extensions.

2. In your web browser, go to the extension web page and turn on the toggle icon to install it:

Sane Airplane Mode

NOTE: Ubuntu 21.10 has Firefox as Snap package by default, which does not support installing Gnome Extensions so far. Use another browser or install Firefox as native DEB.

Don’t see the toggle icon? Use the ‘Click here to install browser extension‘ link to install browser extension and refresh the page.

Once installed, search for and open ‘Gnome Extensions’ app from activities overview:

Manage Gnome Extensions

Click on the gear button in the right of the extension to open settings and change the options status as you want.

That’s all. Enjoy!