debian from ethernet to wifi

Willem van der Walt wvdwalt at
Mon Sep 14 05:49:27 UTC 2015

If you run iwconfig and it see your wlan0 or whatever, it is not a driver 
I have a script that sets up /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf.
It works for me and I have solved a number of wifi configs with that.
In short, you need wpa_supplicant and two extra lines in your 
/etc/network/interfaces to do the job.

Here is an example.
The wifi is known as ra0 and iwconfig shows it as such, so replace ra0 
with whatever yours is called.
The interfaces entry:
iface ra0 inet dhcp
pre-up wpa_supplicant -ira0 -B -c/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
post-down killall -q wpa_supplicant
auto ra0

An example entry in /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

The PSK is the password.
The ssid is the name of the network.
Most people will use WPA2, so this entry should work unless you have a 
fancy setup.
HTH, Willem

On Sat, 12 Sep 2015, Cheryl Homiak wrote:

> Okay but you need more information. There are several Broadcom drivers so you need the model like b4306, 4312 or whatever, the revision (for instance the 4306 has three if I recall) and the identifier is a good idea too. When I have a minute I'll send you the lspci formula for that unless somebody else does. Nowadays a lot of them can have their firmware installed with one of a couple of firmware installers available on debian if you have the contrib category in your /etc/apt/sources.list but one size definitely doesn't fit all. Not all wifi cards are that complicated and many have modules that load automatically though you still have to configure for your network, but the Broadcoms, at least some of them, have a lot of variations. The reason i know so much about this is that the card on my powerpc Mac is a b43, a b4306 revision 3. I still don't have it working but I don't think it's because it's a b43 as I'm having the same problem with my Intel which is what should be a !
> ce straightforward Atheros. But alas, they both scan and report all the wireless networks out there just as pretty as you please, but the finnicky things won't connect. I'm inclined to either blame myself or wpasupplicant which is a package you also may end up using unless you can use orca and get the network manager to solve it for you.
>> On Sep 11, 2015, at 11:32 PM, Jude DaShiell <jdashiel at> wrote:
>> I've been doing some work over here and discovered a few things. dmesg|grep -in wlan returned wlan0 as a broadcom device so I installed broadcom-sta-common with recommended packages I'm not sure if connecting the wifi adapter helped or not but will find out shortly. The tower without the adapter has no wlan mentions in dmesg whe searched.  I'll check it with the antenna later and see if that helps.On Fri, 11 Sep 2015, Joel Roth wrote:
>>> Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2015 22:27:11
>>> From: Joel Roth <joelz at>
>>> To: blinux-list at
>>> Subject: Re: debian from ethernet to wifi
>>> Jude DaShiell wrote:
>>>> I have a command line installation of debian on a laptop that's supposed to
>>>> have the hardware to do wifi.  Right now, I don't yet know what additional
>>>> software to install so this computer can talk to the wifi network and log
>>>> on.  archlinux has madwifi and a large section on wifi installation on its
>>>> installguide file but that's not in the debian repository so for now I have
>>>> no clue.  I do have a wifi adapter antenna I will have to use with a tower
>>>> system but don't know if this wil also be needed to run the laptop.
>>> Here are a few  you could try: (from dpkg -l | grep firmware)
>>> firmware-iwlwifi                       0.43                                   all          Binary firmware for Intel Wireless cards
>>> firmware-linux-free                    3.3                                    all          Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel
>>> firmware-linux-nonfree                 0.43                                   all          Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel
>>> firmware-realtek                       0.43                                   all          Binary firmware for Realtek wired and wireless network adapters
>> --
>> _______________________________________________
>> Blinux-list mailing list
>> Blinux-list at
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at
> -- 
> This message is subject to the CSIR's copyright terms and conditions, e-mail legal notice, and implemented Open Document Format (ODF) standard.
> The full disclaimer details can be found at
> This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by MailScanner,
> and is believed to be clean.
> Please consider the environment before printing this email.

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list