Issues with updating to kernels 6.1.5, 6.1.6, 6.1.7

Another way to disable the wifi card that would be at a lower level than masking the service (but not quite as low as physically removing the card) would be to add something like modprobe.blacklist=rtl8821ae to the kernel command line. The rtl8821ae is just an example. You would need to substitute that with the right driver name for your specific wifi card. You could find the name in the output of the lsmod command while running one of your working kernels (I think all the Realtek WiFi card drivers should start with “rtl”). You can use modinfo -F description <driver-name> to view the description of any kernel module.

Masking wpa_service did enable me to boot into kernel 6.1.7. Once I unmasked the service I was able to check for updates. When I was rebooting the system got stuck at “Installing updates; this could take a while…”.

I forced a restart to grub and selected a fully-functioning kernel, then masked wpa_service again, before booting again into kernel 6.1.7, unmasking, updating via the command line and remasking. I have been able to update to 6.1.8 - but need to mask the wpa_service before logging off to retain access to that kernel. From running lsmod, there are a number of entries starting with rtw.

This type error is why I always disable (and mask) the automatic offline update.
systemctl disable packagekit-offline-update.service
systemctl mask packagekit-offline-update.service
This prevents the offline update during reboot and I am able to always control the updates personally rather than having the system decide when an update should be done.

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If masking the service works, then there is no need to use the lower-level method.

Also, you might be able to set a timeout on the wpa_supplicant.service instead of repeatedly masking and unmasking it. It would still be a workaround, but perhaps a less frustrating one. That service should not be blocking the startup of the system. If nothing else, I think you could file a bug report on that.

OKay looks like you figured out how to mask and unmask wpa_supplicant.service
This is what I suspected
This is a bug I think in the kennel or wpa_supplicant.service with the realtek wifi
Personally I am going to replace the wifi card with a Intel wifi card