debian from ethernet to wifi

Jude DaShiell jdashiel at
Mon Sep 14 21:01:33 UTC 2015

I'm using a command line environment on what is probably a limited size 
laptop and the only wpa_supplicant on debian is a gui package.  There's 
no command line version of that package.

On Mon, 14 Sep 2015, Willem van der Walt wrote:

> Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 01:49:27
> From: Willem van der Walt <wvdwalt at>
> Reply-To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> Subject: Re: debian from ethernet to wifi
> Hi,
> If you run iwconfig and it see your wlan0 or whatever, it is not a driver 
> issue.
> 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
> network={
> ssid="mikrofoon"
> priority=0
> proto=WPA2
> key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
> psk="mikrofoon"
> }
> 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 !
> ni!
>> 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
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