Linux Tactic

Mastering Wi-Fi Connectivity on Linux: Tips for Command Line Users

Connecting to Wi-Fi networks from the Linux terminal can sometimes be challenging for new users. However, with the right tools and knowledge, it can be quite easy.

In this article, we will discuss how to connect to Wi-Fi networks from the Linux terminal using the wpa_supplicant tool and explore some alternatives such as nmcli and

nmtui.

Using wpa_supplicant to Connect to Wi-Fi from the Linux Terminal

wpa_supplicant is a cross-platform tool that is widely used in Linux systems to connect to Wi-Fi networks. It acts as an IEEE 802.1X supplicant for authentication and is capable of handling various types of encryption.

Installing wpa_supplicant and Scanning for Available Networks

Before connecting to a Wi-Fi network using wpa_supplicant, we need to install it and make sure that our Linux system recognizes the Wi-Fi adapter. To install wpa_supplicant using a package manager, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant

Once installed, we can use the following command to scan for available networks:

sudo iwlist wlan0 scan

The output will provide a list of available Wi-Fi networks, including their SSIDs, signal strength, and encryption methods.

Adding Access Point SSID and Password to wpa_supplicant Settings

To connect to a Wi-Fi network using wpa_supplicant, we need to add the access point SSID and password to its configuration file. We can create a new configuration file or edit the existing one.

For example, to create a new file, we can use the following command:

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Then we can add the following lines to the file, replacing “SSID” and “password” with the actual values:

network={

ssid=”SSID”

psk=”password”

}

Connecting to Wi-Fi using wpa_supplicant

Once we have added the Wi-Fi network’s SSID and password to the wpa_supplicant configuration file, we can use the following command to connect to it:

sudo wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf -B

The -i flag specifies the Wi-Fi adapter, -c flag specifies the configuration file, and the -B flag runs wpa_supplicant in the background.

Connecting to Hidden Networks with wpa_supplicant

Connecting to a hidden Wi-Fi network using wpa_supplicant requires modifying the configuration file slightly. We need to add the network’s SSID and password, along with the scan_ssid option, as follows:

network={

ssid=”SSID”

scan_ssid=1

psk=”password”

}

Connecting to Unsecured Networks with wpa_supplicant

Connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi network using wpa_supplicant is quite simple. We only need to add the network’s SSID to the configuration file and omit the psk field as follows:

network={

ssid=”SSID”

key_mgmt=NONE

}

WEP Authentication Using wpa_supplicant

WEP is an outdated and insecure Wi-Fi encryption method, but some networks still use it. Connecting to a WEP encrypted network using wpa_supplicant requires adding some additional parameters to the configuration file as follows:

network={

ssid=”SSID”

key_mgmt=NONE

wep_key0=”password”

}

The wep_key0 field specifies the WEP password.

It is important to note that WEP should not be used on sensitive data transfer systems as it is prone to severe security breaches.

Alternatives to Connect to Wi-Fi from the Terminal

Besides wpa_supplicant, there are other alternatives to connect to Wi-Fi networks from the terminal, including nmcli and

nmtui.

Using nmcli to Connect to Wi-Fi from the Command Line

nmcli is a command-line tool used to control NetworkManager in Linux systems. To connect to a Wi-Fi network using nmcli, we can follow the following steps:

1.

Open the terminal and type the following command to show a list of available Wi-Fi networks:

nmcli device wifi list

2. Identify the Wi-Fi network we want to connect to and note its SSID.

3. Next, type the following command, replacing $SSID with the access point’s SSID and $PASSWORD with the access point’s password:

nmcli device wifi connect $SSID password $PASSWORD

Using

nmtui to Connect to Wi-Fi from the Command Line

nmtui is a text-based user interface for NetworkManager that allows us to manage network connections from the terminal. To connect to a Wi-Fi network using

nmtui, we can do the following:

1. Open the terminal and type the following command:

nmtui

2. Using the arrow keys, navigate to the “Activate a connection” option and press enter.

3. Scroll down and select the Wi-Fi network we want to connect to and enter its password.

4. Press enter to activate the connection.

Conclusion

In conclusion, connecting to Wi-Fi from the Linux terminal can be done in various ways, including using the widely used wpa_supplicant tool and alternative methods such as nmcli and

nmtui. With the right knowledge and tools, connecting to Wi-Fi networks from the terminal should be an easy task.

Connecting to Wi-Fi networks from the command line is increasingly becoming popular with Linux users due to its convenience and flexibility. With the ability to troubleshoot and configure network settings using the terminal, connecting to Wi-Fi has never been easier.

We have covered how to connect to Wi-Fi networks using wpa_supplicant, and we have also explored two alternatives: nmcli and

nmtui. In this addition, we will dive further into each alternative and unpack the differences between them.

Using nmcli to Connect to Wi-Fi from the Command Line

NetworkManager command-line interface (nmcli) is a command-line tool that allows users to manage network connections from the command line. As an extension of NetworkManager, it provides a user-friendly way to manage Wi-Fi connections from the terminal.

Let’s look at how to connect to Wi-Fi using nmcli. Step One: List Available Wi-Fi Networks

Before connecting to Wi-Fi, it’s essential to check for available networks in your area.

To do this, type the following command in the terminal:

“`

nmcli dev wifi list

“`

Output:

“`

SSID MODE CHAN RATE SIGNAL BARS SECURITY

mywifi Infra 1 54 Mbit/s 17 _ WPA1 WPA2

mywifi2 Infra 5 54 Mbit/s 67 WPA2

mywifi_3 Infra 11 54 Mbit/s 37 _ WPA1 WPA2

“`

Step Two: Connect to a Wi-Fi Network

To connect to a Wi-Fi network, run the following command:

“`

nmcli dev wifi connect password

“`

Replace `` with the SSID of the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to and `` with its password. For example, if we want to connect to mywifi that uses the password “mypassword,” we run the command:

“`

nmcli dev wifi connect mywifi password mypassword

“`

Success Output:

“`

Connection successfully activated

“`

If the connection is successful, you will see a “

Connection successfully activated” message.

Using

nmtui to Connect to Wi-Fi from the Command Line

NetworkManager text user interface (

nmtui) is a graphical interface designed for network management in text-mode. It provides a simple and easy-to-use interface to connect to Wi-Fi networks.

Here’s how to connect to Wi-Fi using

nmtui. Step One: Open

nmtui

To open

nmtui, run the command:

“`

nmtui

“`

Step Two: Connect to a Wi-Fi Network

Use the arrow keys to navigate through the menu to the “Activate a connection” option and press Enter. Next, navigate to the SSID of the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to and press Enter.

If the network is secured,

nmtui will prompt you to enter the password. Once you are done, press Enter.

If the connection is successful, you will see a confirmation message. Step Three: Exit

nmtui

To exit

nmtui, use the arrow keys to navigate to the “Quit” option and press Enter.

Alternatives for Connecting to Wi-Fi from the Command Line

There are other alternatives for connecting to Wi-Fi from the command line. Some of these tools include:

i.

ConnManctl: Connection Manager command-line tool (connmanctl) is a simple and easy-to-use command-line tool for managing network connections. It provides a user-friendly interface to configure network settings.

ii. Wicd-curses: The Wireless Interface Connection Daemon (Wicd) is a network management tool that allows users to manage wired and wireless networks.

Wicd-curses is a textual user interface to Wicd that allows users to manage connections from the terminal. iii.

Ceni: Ceni is a network manager for Debian-based systems that supports both wired and wireless networks. It provides a simple and easy-to-use interface for managing network connections.

Conclusion

In summary, connecting to Wi-Fi from the command line can be done in several ways. We have explored the two alternatives for connecting to Wi-Fi from the terminal, nmcli and

nmtui, and provided a detailed guide on how to use them. We have also touched on some of the other options available to users.

By understanding how to connect to Wi-Fi from the command line, Linux users can gain control over their network connections and troubleshoot issues as they arise. In conclusion, connecting to Wi-Fi from the command line is increasingly popular with Linux users for its convenience and flexibility.

In this article, we have discussed the various methods to connect to Wi-Fi from the command line, including using wpa_supplicant, nmcli, and

nmtui. We have highlighted the differences between these tools, and the reader can choose one that best fits their needs.

By mastering the art of connecting to Wi-Fi networks from the command line, Linux users can take control of their network connections and troubleshoot issues as they arise. Overall, it is essential to have practical knowledge of different methods of connecting to Wi-Fi networks from the command line to enhance network administration expertise.

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