Home > Uncategorized > Setup wpa_gui and roaming on Debian

Setup wpa_gui and roaming on Debian

Until recently I was editing my /etc/network/interfaces file each time I wanted to change my wifi connexion parameters:

iface wlan0 inet dhcp
    wpa-ssid somewhere
    wpa-key-mgmt WPA-PSK
    wpa-psk "secret"
    wpa-proto WPA
    wpa-pairwise TKIP
    wpa-group TKIP

I’m now using wpa_gui which is part from wpasupplicant. To install wpa_gui just do:

apt-get install wpagui

My /etc/network/interfaces file now only contains this 3 blocks:

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet manual
    wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
iface default inet dhcp

The auto statment is required to automatically start the wpa_supplicant daemon at startup. The /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf file should at least contains the 2 following lines:

update_config=1
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev

The update_config parameter let users add AP parameters from the GUI. GROUP=netdev let netdev group member control wpa_supplicant from wpa_cli or wpa_gui. Here is how to add a member to the netdev group:

adduser johndoe netdev

wpa_supplicant.conf will contains sensible data, like AP keys, so its access should be limited:

chmod 600 /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Finally I added wpa_gui in the session startup of XFCE. It’s in the Session and startup configuration GUI. KDE users would type ln -s /usr/sbin/wpa_gui in the .kde/Autostart directory.

References: /usr/share/doc/wpasupplicant/README.Debian.gz

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  1. wu-e
    January 7, 2010 at 21:24

    Thanks, this has worked for me in Debian Squeeze. This seems to be a decent replacement for wifi-radar, which has tons of bugs.

  2. Dan
    January 24, 2010 at 01:22

    Thanks so much for this! This works perfectly on Backtrack 4. I’ve been looking for step by step instructions on how to get this working seamlessly, and your post got it working exactly as I wanted it.

  3. wheezyuser
    September 27, 2013 at 18:05

    works great in wheezy. thanks a lot

  4. November 12, 2013 at 08:12

    Thanks, needed to know how to install the wifi gui on Moebius!

  5. September 13, 2014 at 12:57

    Works on Jessie minimal desktop (IceWM on Xorg).

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