Tagged: wifi

Unix: Connect to a hidden WIFI network with Debian from the command line

For some reason, putting a hidden WIFI network in /etc/network/interfaces doesn’t work – at least not if you do it the same way you do visible networks, perhaps.

However, you can do it without if-up and /etc/network/interfaces and get it working.

For example, with a WPA2 network, you can initially connect to a network via:

iwconfig wlan0 essid YOUR_HIDDEN_NETWORK key s:YOUR_PASSWORD

I encountered the below error, although it seems you can just ignore it.

Error for wireless request "Set Encode" (8B2A) :
    SET failed on device wlan0 ; Invalid argument.

From this point, iwconfig should show you’re connected to the ESSID, at least. Then run this to setup DHCP:

dhclient wlan0

And again, an error appears,RTNETLINK answers: File exists, which I found I can ignore, as it seems to be saying you’re overwriting your previous DHCP settings.

If you run, iwconfig you should see an ESSID and Access-Point etc and ifconfig should show you your IP.

And you should–hopefully–now be connected to the internet.

unix wifi

List names of wifi networks on the command line

This small script – to be run as the superuser or someone with permissions to run iwlist – will give you a list of the networks available.

iwlist wlan0 scan | grep 'ESSID' | sed 's/.*ESSID:"\(.*\)".*/\1/g'

Put it in a executable file in a bin directory.

Sometimes, you’ll get the message

wlan0     Interface doesn't support scanning : Device or resource busy

And this normally goes away eventually, retrying the command.

unix wifi

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