How to disable the WiFi radio?

Is it possible to completely disable the WiFi and Bluetooth radios in the fin, permanently?

Hi @crbn60, the best way to permanently disable the WiFi and Bluetooth is to use the commands that you can find here in the balenaFin docs, but you will need to make sure that these settings are not removed after updating the device. Please let us know how you get on or if you need any more information.

So yeah, the next question is where is the wise place to put the rfkill commands @Lizzieepton ?


a way of doing this is adding a privileged container (privileged: true) with host networking (network_mode: host) that calls the rfkill commands.

Alternatively you may also want to have a look at disable-wifi and disable-bt DT overlays, these can be enabled in the “Device configuration” tab in balenaCloud under “Define DT overlays”.

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That seems like the correct solution,

I can’t seen to get it to work, however. What is the difference between the BALENA_HOST_CONFIG_dtoverlay that is defined at the bottom of the configuration variables and the “Define DT overlays” that needs to be activated? I added to the former and it produced the following in config.txt:


But the WiFi device is still present. What is the correct format for these?

Thank you,


Hi again,

since the overlays are applied in order, anything listed after disable-bt or disable-wifi can override the settings and re-enable the hardware. In your particular case this is the balena-fin overlay so listing balena-fin first and disable-wifi and disable-bt last should do the trick.