Wireless networking using spartan system managers such as Debian’s /etc/network or Arch’s netctl is one of those typical Linux things where if you haven’t done it in a while you can spend hours either just getting set up or, arguably worse, reconstructing how the whole thing has fallen apart when you don’t recall making any substantial changes that stopped your networking from, well, working. It’s worth investing a bit of time learning how these systems work, however, because the user-friendly GUI alternatives rely in part on the same backends, so roughing it will help you understand the system.

With wireless networking, you’ll typically want your system to autoselect the strongest registered network in range, which is done using wpa_supplicant. Your network manager will be communicating with this utility. In Debian, this means your wireless profiles are configured in /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf and given ID strings there (using the field id_str) that are then recalled in /etc/network/interfaces. Instructions on the Debian Wiki are helpful, only rather than reproducing the id_str field in /etc/network/interfaces it says to reproduce the SSID and PSK fields generated into /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf. In Arch, wpa_supplicant is used behind the scenes only, by netctl-auto; all configuration takes place in files in /etc/netctl/.

When running into issues with Arch’s netctl, of course the first step is to consult I find that some things are more prominently there listed than others, so here’s a few pointers to keep in mind:

posted by paul on 3 jan mmxx at 08:44 EST
blog comments powered by Disqus