Configure Wi-Fi

We recommend using NetworkManager to manage wireless network connections. If you choose to connect to Wi-Fi while using the live installer image, your Wi-Fi settings will be added to your system during the installation process.

NetworkManager provides three simple methods for configuring Wi-Fi: Desktop, CLI, and TUI. NetworkManager uses wpa_supplicant, which can also be used on its own for a more lightweight installation.

Using Network Manager

Desktop GUI (Graphical User Interface)

  1. Click anywhere on the icons at the right side of the top of the screen to bring up a menu and click on Wi-Fi Not Connected then choose Select Network.

  2. Scroll through the list and select the network you’d like to connect to and click Connect.

  3. Enter the password and click Connect.

  4. The Wi-Fi icon should now show the signal strength of the connection.

  5. If you are installing using the live image, resume the installation process now. Your Wi-Fi configuration will automatically be included in the install.


CLI (Command Line Interface)

  1. List the available Wi-Fi networks

    nmcli device wifi list
    IN-USE  SSID                           MODE   CHAN  RATE        SIGNAL  BARS  SECURITY
            1st Network                    Infra  1     54 Mbit/s   65      ▂▄▆_  --
            2nd Network                    Infra  1     130 Mbit/s  52      ▂▄__  --
            3rd Network                    Infra  10    195 Mbit/s  29      ▂___  WPA2
  2. Join the network.

    nmcli device wifi connect $SSID password $password
    Device 'wlp1s0' successfully activated with 'f2501e67-27a3-4cf2-a8d9-cce3d029b788'.


To avoid having the Wi-Fi password stored in bash history, consider using the TUI.

TUI (Text-based User Interface)

  1. Launch the NetworkManager Text User Interface

  2. Select Activate a connection and hit return.

  3. Use the arrow keys to select your network and then select Activate and hit return.

  4. Enter your password and hit return to select OK.

  5. Select Back and hit return.

  6. Select Quit and hit return to exit.


Using wpa_supplicant

wpa_suppliant can be used directly, without NetworkManager, to associate a wireless adapter with an access point. After association is established, an IP address needs to be assigned or obtained.

Associate with a wireless access point

  1. Make sure NetworkManager is stopped and disabled by masking the service.

    sudo systemctl stop NetworkManager.service
    sudo systemctl mask NetworkManager.service
  2. Stop the wpa_supplicant.service, which may have been started by NetworkManager.

    sudo systemctl stop wpa_supplicant.service
  3. Create a wpa_supplicant configuration directory.

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/wpa_supplicant
  4. Determine your wireless interface name.

    iw dev

    Use the name following “Interface” on the first line (eg. wlp1s0)

     Interface wlp1s0
        ifindex 3
        wdev 0x1
        addr 00:xx:xx:38:34:7a
        type managed
        txpower 0.00 dBm

    Set the $INTERFACE_NAME environment variable to take advantage of copying and pasting commands.

    export INTERFACE_NAME=wlp1s0
  5. Create a minimal configuration file called /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant-$INTERFACE_NAME.conf and add the following:

    sudo tee /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant-$INTERFACE_NAME.conf > /dev/null <<'EOF'
  6. Start the wpa_supplicant service to complete the configuration process.

    sudo systemctl start wpa_supplicant@$INTERFACE_NAME.service
  7. Use wpa_cli (interactive mode) to scan for available networks. In this example, our network is named Network1.

    sudo wpa_cli
    > scan
    > scan_results
    bssid / frequency / signal level / flags / ssid
    00:xx:xx:73:7b:46 5180 -55 [WPA2-PSK-CCMP][ESS] Network1
    00:xx:xx:83:fa:70 5240 -76 [WPA2-EAP-CCMP][ESS] Network2
    00:xx:xx:4f:e9:2c 2412 -67 [WPA2-PSK-CCMP][ESS][P2P] Printer
    00:xx:xx:af:fe:3e 5765 -79 [WPA2-PSK-CCMP][ESS] Network3
    00:xx:xx:e9:eb:29 2412 -76 [WPA2-PSK-CCMP][ESS] Network4
    00:xx:xx:26:4a:b9 2412 -79 [WPA2-PSK-CCMP][ESS][P2P] Printer2
    00:xx:xx:b9:0d:d4 2462 -79 [WPA2-PSK-CCMP][ESS] Network5
  8. Set up your network connection replacing Network1 with your wireless SSID name and Network1Password with the password for your network.

    > add_network
    > set_network 0 ssid "Network1"
    > set_network 0 psk "Network1Password"
    > enable_network 0
    <3>SME: Trying to authenticate with 00:xx:xx:5d:d9:26 (SSID='Network1' freq=5180 MHz)
    <3>Trying to associate with 00:xx:xx:5d:d9:26 (SSID='Network1' freq=5180 MHz)
    <3>Associated with 00:xx:xx:5d:d9:26
    <3>WPA: Key negotiation completed with 00:xx:xx:5d:d9:26 [PTK=CCMP GTK=CCMP]
    <3>CTRL-EVENT-CONNECTED - Connection to 00:xx:xx:5d:d9:26 completed [id=0 id_str=]
  9. Save the configuration and quit out of wpa_cli.

    > save_config
    > quit


The network password is saved as plaintext in /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant-$INTERFACE_NAME.conf. Use wpa_passphrase for a more secure method.

Assign an IP address

After the wireless adapter has been associated with wireless access point, an IP address needs to be assigned for access to the network.

The example below uses systemd-networkd to request an IP address from the access point via DHCP. Another network manager can be used if preferred. If there is a static IP address you’d like to assign, see the Assign a static IP address documentation.

  1. Create the /etc/systemd/network directory

    sudo mkdir -p /etc/systemd/network
  2. Create a /etc/systemd/network/25-wireless-$ file with a Match and Network section.

    printf "[Match]\nName=$INTERFACE_NAME\n\n[Network]\nDHCP=ipv4" | sudo tee /etc/systemd/network/25-wireless-$
  3. Restart the systemd-networkd.service.

    sudo systemctl restart systemd-networkd.service
  4. Enable the systemd-networkd and wpa_supplicant services to start automatically on future boots.

    sudo systemctl enable --now systemd-networkd.service
    sudo systemctl enable --now wpa_supplicant@$INTERFACE_NAME.service

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