WiFi connects but no internet, after shutdown with VPN

Hello all,

I have been travelling this last 2 weeks, and accidentally shutdown my laptop while still connected through the VPN.

Now, back at home, Zorin tells me I am connected to the WiFi, but nothing happens. Ditto connecting directly to ethernet - Zorin tells me I am connected, but nothing happens.

I've done the obvious things like:
Reboot laptop
Reboot router (both a few times).

I have found similar threads eg

There are differences as my VPN is Mullvad (they have a Linux app) rather than proton. I do believe this is the cause of the issue - shutting down the system whilst connected through the VPN leaves a block in the system.

If I try to connect the VPN now, it looks as though it is half-way there and tells me where it is connecting to, then hangs,

Following suggestions from other threads:
ping -c 7 google.com
ping: google.com: Name or service not known

nmcli dev status
DEVICE TYPE STATE CONNECTION
wlp2s0 wifi connected TALKTALK770C1E
virbr0 bridge connected (externally) virbr0
p2p-dev-wlp2s0 wifi-p2p disconnected --
lo loopback unmanaged --

TALKTALK770C1E is the home router
I don't know what the other entries are, if they are part of the system or left there by the VPN.

I have had no previous connectivity issues in the last 2 years on Zorin 16 or 17 on this laptop.

sudo lshw -C network
*-network
description: Wireless interface
product: Wireless 3160
vendor: Intel Corporation
physical id: 0
bus info: pci@0000:02:00.0
logical name: wlp2s0
version: 93
serial: f4:06:69:85:2f:64
width: 64 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list ethernet physical wireless
configuration: broadcast=yes driver=iwlwifi driverversion=6.5.0-35-generic firmware=17.3216344376.0 3160-17.ucode ip=192.168.0.106 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11
resources: irq:48 memory:d1000000-d1001fff

Many thanks for any advice

This is a common issue that happens with VPN's. The way they work is by taking control of the network stack (so that they can do their thing) but if something goes wrong during the cleanup phase, then your device is left in a bad state. More often than not, re-installing the application should help but make sure to follow the instructions listed on their official website.

What I've seen as the main source of misconfiguration as a result of this is the DNS setup ( #itsneverDNS). A quick test that you can run to confirm this is the case is to restore the DNS database with a simple command on a terminal:

sudo resolvconf -u

If this works then you have identify the issue, but you will have to restart to confirm that it persists and that the VPN is not trying to take over this again. In which case, re-installing will likely be the only option.

gives : command not found

I shall re-install the VPN and try that.
Thank you

I've uninstalled using: sudo apt purge mullvad-vpn
(from their official docs)
This gives a bunch of errors : network is unreachable (os error 101).

I've reinstalled my last-downloaded version with
sudo apt install mullvad-vpn
and rebooted for good measure.

Mullvad can't login as it reports the internet connection is blocked. So, no change, in fact worse than before.

The system has become unresponsive, taking a minute to eg open a directory, which has not happened before.

Can the DNS or nmcli above be manually edited?

Many thanks

Even with sudo? That's surprising...

They (mullvad) must've scripted something to reach out onto the network when uninstalling, probably for reporting reasons. If this causes the whole removal of the package to fail it's something that should be reported to them to fix.

You can modify the DNS resolver to point to something else of your choice, just keep in mind that this is a temporary measure. Edit the file /etc/resolv.conf (you will need administrator permissions) and add a new line with the following:

nameserver 9.9.9.9

This uses Quad9's public DNS servers. Try to access a website to check it's working and then try to uninstall again. If it doesn't work then I would recommend reaching out directly to Mullvad to provide support on the issue.

Thank you ZenZen.
Unfortunately that hasn't worked.
I think I am leaning towards Zorin re-install - I think it'll be quicker than the time I've spent going in circles on this today.

Its all a good learning experience!

In that case I agree, probably easier to solve. I would still ask Mullvad about this, if nothing else just to let them know that this happened.

Out of curiosity, was the /etc/resolv.conf file empty?

Mullvad replied within 20 minutes, which I was impressed with. They gave a few things to look at (which didn't help) but also explained that they only support Ubuntu.

The /etc/resolv.conf has a fair few things in it. I can post it here tomorrow (I have to shutdown for the day now), or maybe just experiment with removing everything bar the nameserver line?

I don't think it contains sensitive information but just in case I would not post the contents of /etc/resolv.conf on a public forum. I was just curious.

As you were already willing to re-install, I would encourage you do that. It's probably easier than chasing ghosts, especially without support from Mullvad. But, it could help to make a copy of this file (and if Mullvad support has mentioned other files that may be of interest, those as well) and keep them around for comparison once you re-install the VPN. Just in case, it could be useful if this happens again.

Thank you for the advice. I shall reinstall at the weekend. I have been using this (older) laptop as my test-everything-linux machine, so its all good learning. I do also use it for writing, and have found it far more pleasurable (thus more productive) to use than my equivalent windows tools. All data is safely backed up.