Wireless network configuration
Configuring wireless is a two-part process; the first part is to identify and ensure the correct driver for your wireless device is installed (they are available on the installation media, but often have to be installed explicitly), and to configure the interface. The second is choosing a method of managing wireless connections. This article covers both parts, and provides additional links to wireless management tools.
- 1 Device driver
- 2 Wireless management
- 3 WPA2 Enterprise
- 4 Troubleshooting
- 4.1 Temporary internet access
- 4.2 Rfkill caveat
- 4.3 Respecting the regulatory domain
- 4.4 Observing Logs
- 4.5 Power saving
- 4.6 Failed to get IP address
- 4.7 Valid IP address but cannot resolve host
- 4.8 Setting RTS and fragmentation thresholds
- 4.9 Random disconnections
- 5 Troubleshooting drivers and firmware
- 5.1 Ralink
- 5.2 Realtek
- 5.3 Atheros
- 5.4 Intel
- 5.5 Broadcom
- 5.6 Other drivers/devices
- 5.7 ndiswrapper
- 5.8 backports-patched
- 6 See also
The default Arch Linux kernel is modular, meaning many of the drivers for machine hardware reside on the hard drive and are available as modules. At boot, udev takes an inventory of your hardware and loads appropriate modules (drivers) for your corresponding hardware, which will in turn allow creation of a network interface.
Some wireless chipsets also require firmware, in addition to a corresponding driver. Many firmware images are provided by the #Installing driver/firmware.package which is installed by default, however, proprietary firmware images are not included and have to be installed separately. This is described in
Check the driver status
To check if the driver for your card has been loaded, check the output of the
lspci -k or
lsusb -v command, depending on if the card is connected by PCI(e) or USB. You should see that some kernel driver is in use, for example:
$ lspci -k
06:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation WiFi Link 5100 Subsystem: Intel Corporation WiFi Link 5100 AGN Kernel driver in use: iwlwifi Kernel modules: iwlwifi
Also check the output of
ip link command to see if a wireless interface (usually it starts with the letter "w", e.g.
wlp2s1) was created. Then bring the interface up with
ip link set interface up. For example, assuming the interface is
# ip link set wlan0 up
If you get this error message:
SIOCSIFFLAGS: No such file or directory, it most certainly means that your wireless chipset requires a firmware to function.
Check kernel messages for firmware being loaded:
$ dmesg | grep firmware
[ 7.148259] iwlwifi 0000:02:00.0: loaded firmware version 126.96.36.199 build 35138 op_mode iwldvm
If there is no relevant output, check the messages for the full output for the module you identified earlier (
iwlwifi in this example) to identify the relevant message or further issues:
$ dmesg | grep iwlwifi
[ 12.342694] iwlwifi 0000:02:00.0: irq 44 for MSI/MSI-X [ 12.353466] iwlwifi 0000:02:00.0: loaded firmware version 188.8.131.52 build 35138 op_mode iwldvm [ 12.430317] iwlwifi 0000:02:00.0: CONFIG_IWLWIFI_DEBUG disabled ... [ 12.430341] iwlwifi 0000:02:00.0: Detected Intel(R) Corporation WiFi Link 5100 AGN, REV=0x6B
If the kernel module is successfully loaded and the interface is up, you can skip the next section.
Check the following lists to discover if your card is supported:
- See the table of existing Linux wireless drivers and follow to the specific driver's page, which contains a list of supported devices. There is also a List of Wi-Fi Device IDs in Linux.
- The Ubuntu Wiki has a good list of wireless cards and whether or not they are supported either in the Linux kernel or by a user-space driver (includes driver name).
- Linux Wireless Support and The Linux Questions' Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) also have a good database of kernel-friendly hardware.
Note that some vendors ship products that may contain different chip sets, even if the product identifier is the same. Only the usb-id (for USB devices) or pci-id (for PCI devices) is authoritative.
If your wireless card is listed above, follow the #Troubleshooting drivers and firmware subsection of this page, which contains information about installing drivers and firmware of some specific wireless cards. Then check the driver status again.
If your wireless card is not listed above, it is likely supported only under Windows (some Broadcom, 3com, etc). For these, you can try to use #ndiswrapper.
Assuming that your drivers are installed and working properly, you will need to choose a method of managing your wireless connections. The following subsections will help you decide.
Procedure and tools required will depend on several factors:
- The desired nature of configuration management; from a completely manual command line procedure to an automated solution with graphical front-ends.
- The encryption type (or lack thereof) which protects the wireless network.
- The need for network profiles, if the computer will frequently change networks (such as a laptop).
The following table shows the different methods that can be used to activate and manage a wireless connection, depending on the encryption and management types, and the various tools that are required. Although there may be other possibilities, these are the most frequently used:
|Management method||Interface activation|| Wireless connection management
| Assigning IP address |
| Manually managed,
with no or WEP encryption
|ip||iwconfig/||ip / dhcpcd / / networkd|
| Manually managed,
with WPA or WPA2 PSK encryption
|ip||iwconfig + wpa_supplicant/||ip / dhcpcd / / networkd|
| Automatically managed,
with network profiles support
| netctl, Wicd, NetworkManager, etc.|
These tools pull in the required dependencies from the list of packages in the manual method.
Just like other network interfaces, the wireless ones are controlled with ip from thepackage.
You will need to install a basic set of tools for managing the wireless connection. Either:
- - only supports the nl80211 (netlink) standard. It does not support the older WEXT (Wireless EXTentions) standard. If iw does not see your card, this may be the reason.
- - currently deprecated, but still widely supported. Use this for modules using the WEXT standard.
For WPA/WPA2 encryption, you will also need:
- - works with both WEXT and nl80211.
The table below gives an overview of comparable commands for iw and wireless_tools (see iw replaces iwconfig for more examples). These user-space tools work extremely well and allow complete manual control of wireless connection.
|iw command||wireless_tools command||Description|
|iw dev wlan0 link||iwconfig wlan0||Getting link status.|
|iw dev wlan0 scan||iwlist wlan0 scan||Scanning for available access points.|
|iw dev wlan0 set type ibss||iwconfig wlan0 mode ad-hoc||Setting the operation mode to ad-hoc.|
|iw dev wlan0 connect your_essid||iwconfig wlan0 essid your_essid||Connecting to open network.|
|iw dev wlan0 connect your_essid 2432||iwconfig wlan0 essid your_essid freq 2432M||Connecting to open network specifying channel.|
|iw dev wlan0 connect your_essid key 0:your_key||iwconfig wlan0 essid your_essid key your_key||Connecting to WEP encrypted network using hexadecimal key.|
|iwconfig wlan0 essid your_essid key s:your_key||Connecting to WEP encrypted network using ASCII key.|
|iw dev wlan0 set power_save on||iwconfig wlan0 power on||Enabling power save.|
Getting some useful information
- First you need to find the name of wireless interface. You can do it with following command:
$ iw dev
phy#0 Interface wlan0 ifindex 3 wdev 0x1 addr 12:34:56:78:9a:bc type managed channel 1 (2412 MHz), width: 40 MHz, center1: 2422 MHz
- To check link status, use following command. Example output when not connected to an AP:
$ iw dev wlan0 link
When connected to an AP, you will see something like:
$ iw dev wlan0 link
Connected to 12:34:56:78:9a:bc (on wlan0) SSID: MyESSID freq: 2412 RX: 33016518 bytes (152703 packets) TX: 2024638 bytes (11477 packets) signal: -53 dBm tx bitrate: 150.0 MBit/s MCS 7 40MHz short GI bss flags: short-preamble short-slot-time dtim period: 1 beacon int: 100
- You can get statistic information, such as the amount of tx/rx bytes, signal strength etc., with following command:
$ iw dev wlan0 station dump
Station 12:34:56:78:9a:bc (on wlan0) inactive time: 1450 ms rx bytes: 24668671 rx packets: 114373 tx bytes: 1606991 tx packets: 8557 tx retries: 623 tx failed: 1425 signal: -52 dBm signal avg: -53 dBm tx bitrate: 150.0 MBit/s MCS 7 40MHz short GI authorized: yes authenticated: yes preamble: long WMM/WME: yes MFP: no TDLS peer: no
Some cards require that the kernel interface be activated before you can use iw or wireless_tools:
# ip link set wlan0 up
To verify that the interface is up, inspect the output of the following command:
# ip link show wlan0
3: wlan0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state DOWN mode DORMANT group default qlen 1000 link/ether 12:34:56:78:9a:bc brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
<BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> is what indicates the interface is up, not the later
Access point discovery
See what access points are available:
# iw dev wlan0 scan | less
The important points to check:
- SSID: the name of the network.
- Signal: is reported in a wireless power ratio in dbm (e.g. from -100 to 0). The closer the negative value gets to zero, the better the signal. Observing the reported power on a good quality link and a bad one should give an idea about the individual range.
- Security: it is not reported directly, check the line starting with
capability. If there is
Privacy, for example
capability: ESS Privacy ShortSlotTime (0x0411), then the network is protected somehow.
- If you see an
RSNinformation block, then the network is protected by Robust Security Network protocol, also known as WPA2.
- If you see an
WPAinformation block, then the network is protected by Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol.
- In the
WPAblocks you may find the following information:
- Group cipher: value in TKIP, CCMP, both, others.
- Pairwise ciphers: value in TKIP, CCMP, both, others. Not necessarily the same value than Group cipher.
- Authentication suites: value in PSK, 802.1x, others. For home router, you will usually find PSK (i.e. passphrase). In universities, you are more likely to find 802.1x suite which requires login and password. Then you will need to know which key management is in use (e.g. EAP), and what encapsulation it uses (e.g. PEAP). See WPA2 Enterprise and Wikipedia:Authentication protocol for details.
- If you see neither
WPAblocks but there is
Privacy, then WEP is used.
- If you see an
You might need to set the proper operating mode of the wireless card. More specifically, if you are going to connect an ad-hoc network, you need to set the operating mode to
# iw dev wlan0 set type ibss
Depending on the encryption, you need to associate your wireless device with the access point to use and pass the encryption key:
- No encryption
# iw dev wlan0 connect "your_essid"
- using a hexadecimal or ASCII key (the format is distinguished automatically, because a WEP key has a fixed length):
# iw dev wlan0 connect "your_essid" key 0:your_key
- using a hexadecimal or ASCII key, specifying the third set up key as default (keys are counted from zero, four are possible):
# iw dev wlan0 connect "your_essid" key d:2:your_key
- using a hexadecimal or ASCII key (the format is distinguished automatically, because a WEP key has a fixed length):
- WPA/WPA2 According to what you got from #Access point discovery, issue this command:
# wpa_supplicant -D nl80211,wext -i wlan0 -c <(wpa_passphrase "your_SSID" "your_key")
If this does not work, you may need to adjust the options.
If connected successfully, continue in a new terminal (or quit
Ctrl+c and add the
-B switch to the above command to run it in the background). WPA supplicant contains more information on options and on how to create a permanent configuration file for the wireless access point.
Regardless of the method used, you can check if you have associated successfully:
# iw dev wlan0 link
Getting an IP address
Finally, provide an IP address to the network interface. Simple examples are:
# dhcpcd wlan0
for DHCP, or
# ip addr add 192.168.0.2/24 dev wlan0 # ip route add default via 192.168.0.1
for static IP addressing.
Here is a complete example of setting up a wireless network with WPA supplicant and DHCP.
# ip link set dev wlan0 up # wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf # dhcpcd wlan0
And then to close the connection, you can simply disable the interface:
# ip link set dev wlan0 down
For a static IP, you would replace the dhcpcd command with
# ip addr add 192.168.0.10/24 broadcast 192.168.0.255 dev wlan0 # ip route add default via 192.168.0.1
And before disabling the interface you would first flush the IP address and gateway:
# ip addr flush dev wlan0 # ip route flush dev wlan0
There are many solutions to choose from, but remember that all of them are mutually exclusive; you should not run two daemons simultaneously. The following table compares the different connection managers, additional notes are in subsections below.
|Connection manager|| Network
(auto connect dropped
or changed location)
| PPP support
(e.g. 3G modem)
|Wifi Radar||Yes||?||?||Yes|| |
ConnMan is an alternative to NetworkManager and Wicd, designed to be light on resources making it ideal for netbooks, and other mobile devices. It is modular in design takes advandage of the dbus API and provides proper abstraction on top of wpa_supplicant.
netctl is a replacement for netcfg designed to work with systemd. It uses a profile based setup and is capable of detection and connection to a wide range of network types. This is no harder than using graphical tools.
Wicd is a network manager that can handle both wireless and wired connections. It is written in Python and Gtk with fewer dependencies than NetworkManager.
NetworkManager is an advanced network management tool that is enabled by default in most popular GNU/Linux distributions. In addition to managing wired connections, NetworkManager provides worry-free wireless roaming with an easy-to-use GUI program for selecting your desired network.
WiFi Radar is a Python/PyGTK2 utility for managing wireless (and only wireless) profiles. It enables you to scan for available networks and create profiles for your preferred networks.
See Wifi Radar.
WPA2 Enterprise is a mode of Wi-Fi Protected Access. It provides better security and key management than WPA2 Personal, and supports other enterprise-type functionality, such as VLANs and NAP. However, it requires an external authentication server, called RADIUS server to handle the authentication of users. This is in contrast to Personal mode which does not require anything beyond the wireless router or access points (APs), and uses a single passphrase or password for all users.
The Enterprise mode enables users to log onto the Wi-Fi network with a username and password and/or a digital certificate. Since each user has a dynamic and unique encryption key, it also helps to prevent user-to-user snooping on the wireless network, and improves encryption strength.
This section describes the configuration of network clients to connect to a wireless access point with WPA2 Enterprise mode. See Software access point#RADIUS for information on setting up an access point itself.
For a comparison of protocols see the following table.
eduroam (education roaming) is an international roaming service for users in research, higher education and further education, based on WPA2 Enterprise.
WPA supplicant can be configured directly and used in combination with a dhcp client or with systemd. See the examples in
/etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf for configuring the connection details.
WPA2-Enterprise wireless networks demanding MSCHAPv2 type-2 authentication with PEAP sometimes require netctl seems to work out of the box without ppp-mppe, however. In either case, usage of MSCHAPv2 is discouraged as it is highly vulnerable, although using another method is usually not an option. See also  and .in addition to the stock package.
This section contains general troubleshooting tips, not strictly related to problems with drivers or firmware. For such topics, see next section #Troubleshooting drivers and firmware.
Temporary internet access
If you have problematic hardware and need internet access to, for example, download some software or get help in forums, you can make use of Android's built-in feature for internet sharing via USB cable. See Android tethering#USB tethering for more information.
Many laptops have a hardware button (or switch) to turn off wireless card, however, the card can also be blocked by kernel. This can be handled by. Use rfkill to show the current status:
# rfkill list
0: phy0: Wireless LAN Soft blocked: yes Hard blocked: yes
If the card is hard-blocked, use the hardware button (switch) to unblock it. If the card is not hard-blocked but soft-blocked, use the following command:
# rfkill unblock wifi
Hardware buttons to toggle wireless cards are handled by a vendor specific kernel module, frequently these are WMI modules. Particularly for very new hardware models, it happens that the model is not fully supported in the latest stable kernel yet. In this case it often helps to search the kernel bug tracker for information and report the model to the maintainer of the respective vendor kernel module, if it has not happened already.
Respecting the regulatory domain
The regulatory domain, or "regdomain", is used to reconfigure wireless drivers to make sure that wireless hardware usage complies with local laws set by the FCC, ETSI and other organizations. Regdomains use ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes. For example, the regdomain of the United States would be "US", China would be "CN", etc.
Regdomains affect the availability of wireless channels. In the 2.4GHz band, the allowed channels are 1-11 for the US, 1-14 for Japan, and 1-13 for most of the rest of the world. In the 5GHz band, the rules for allowed channels are much more complex. In either case, consult this list of WLAN channels for more detailed information.
Regdomains also affect the limit on the effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) from wireless devices. This is derived from transmit power/"tx power", and is measured in dBm/mBm (1dBm=100mBm) or mW (log scale). In the 2.4GHz band, the maximum is 30dBm in the US and Canada, 20dBm in most of Europe, and 20dB-30dBm for the rest of the world. In the 5GHz band, maximums are usually lower. Consult the wireless-regdb for more detailed information (EIRP dBm values are in the second set of brackets for each line).
Misconfiguring the regdomain can be useful - for example, by allowing use of an unused channel when other channels are crowded, or by allowing an increase in tx power to widen transmitter range. However, this is not recommended as it could break local laws and cause interference with other radio devices.
To configure the regdomain, install
cfg80211 module and all related drivers). Check the boot log to make sure that CRDA is being called by
$ dmesg | grep cfg80211
The current regdomain can be set to the United States with:
# iw reg set US
And queried with:
$ iw reg get
However, setting the regdomain may not alter your settings. Some devices have a regdomain set in firmware/EEPROM, which dictates the limits of the device, meaning that setting regdomain in software can only increase restrictions, not decrease them. For example, a CN device could be set in software to the US regdomain, but because CN has an EIRP maximum of 20dBm, the device will not be able to transmit at the US maximum of 30dBm.
For example, to see if the regdomain is being set in firmware for an Atheros device:
$ dmesg | grep ath:
For other chipsets, it may help to search for "EEPROM", "regdomain", or simply the name of the device driver.
To see if your regdomain change has been successful, and to query the number of available channels and their allowed transmit power:
$ iw list | grep -A 15 Frequencies:
A more permanent configuration of the regdomain can be achieved through editing
/etc/conf.d/wireless-regdom and uncommenting the appropriate domain.
wpa_supplicant can also use a regdomain in the
country= line of
It is also possible to configure the cfg80211 kernel module to use a specific regdomain by adding, for example,
options cfg80211 ieee80211_regdom=EU as module options. However, this is part of the old regulatory implementation.
For further information, read the wireless.kernel.org regulatory documentation.
A good first measure to troubleshoot is to analyze the system's logfiles first. In order not to manually parse through them all, it can help to open a second terminal/console window and watch the kernels messages with
$ dmesg -w
while performing the action, e.g. the wireless association attempt.
When using a tool for network management, the same can be done for systemd with
# journalctl -f
Frequently a wireless error is accompanied by a deauthentication with a particular reason code, for example:
wlan0: deauthenticating from XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX by local choice (reason=3)
The individual tools used in this article further provide options for more detailed debugging output, which can be used in a second step of the analysis, if required.
Failed to get IP address
- If getting an IP address repeatedly fails using the default connection manager! client, try installing and using instead. Do not forget to select dhclient as the primary DHCP client in your
- If you can get an IP address for a wired interface and not for a wireless interface, try disabling the wireless card's power saving features (specify
- If you get a timeout error due to a waiting for carrier problem, then you might have to set the channel mode to
autofor the specific device:
# iwconfig wlan0 channel auto
Before changing the channel to auto, make sure your wireless interface is down. After it has successfully changed it, you can bring the interface up again and continue from there.
Valid IP address but cannot resolve host
If you are on a public wireless network that may have a captive portal, make sure to query an HTTP page (not an HTTPS page) from your web browser, as some captive portals only redirect HTTP. If this is not the issue, it may be necessary to remove any custom DNS servers from resolv.conf.
Setting RTS and fragmentation thresholds
Wireless hardware disables RTS and fragmentation by default. These are two different methods of increasing throughput at the expense of bandwidth (i.e. reliability at the expense of speed). These are useful in environments with wireless noise or many adjacent access points, which may create interference leading to timeouts or failing connections.
Packet fragmentation improves throughput by splitting up packets with size exceeding the fragmentation threshold. The maximum value (2346) effectively disables fragmentation since no packet can exceed it. The minimum value (256) maximizes throughput, but may carry a significant bandwidth cost.
# iw phy0 set frag 512
RTS improves throughput by performing a handshake with the access point before transmitting packets with size exceeding the RTS threshold. The maximum threshold (2347) effectively disables RTS since no packet can exceed it. The minimum threshold (0) enables RTS for all packets, which is probably excessive for most situations.
# iw phy0 set rts 500
If dmesg says
wlan0: deauthenticating from MAC by local choice (reason=3) and you lose your Wi-Fi connection, it is likely that you have a bit too aggressive power-saving on your Wi-Fi card. Try disabling the wireless card's power saving features (specify
off instead of
If your card does not support enabling/disabling power save mode, check the BIOS for power management options. Disabling PCI-Express power management in the BIOS of a Lenovo W520 resolved this issue.
If you are experiencing frequent disconnections and dmesg shows messages such as
ieee80211 phy0: wlan0: No probe response from AP xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx after 500ms, disconnecting
try changing the channel bandwidth to
20MHz through your router's settings page.
On some laptop models with hardware rfkill switches (e.g., Thinkpad X200 series), due to wear or bad design, the switch (or its connection to the mainboard) might become loose over time resulting in seemingly random hardblocks/disconnects when you accidentally touch the switch or move the laptop. There is no software solution to this, unless your switch is electrical and the BIOS offers the option to disable the switch. If your switch is mechanical (most are), there are lots of possible solutions, most of which aim to disable the switch: Soldering the contact point on the mainboard/wifi-card, glueing or blocking the switch, using a screw nut to tighten the switch or removing it altogether.
Another cause for frequent disconnects or a complete failure to connect may also be a sub-standard router, incomplete settings of the router, or interference by other wireless devices.
To troubleshoot, first best try to connect to the router with no authentication.
If that works, enable WPA/WPA2 again but choose fixed and/or limited router settings. For example:
- If the router is considerably older than the wireless device you use for the client, test if it works with setting the router to one wireless mode
- Disable mixed-mode authentication (e.g. only WPA2 with AES, or TKIP if the router is old)
- Try a fixed/free channel rather than "auto" channel (maybe the router next door is old and interfering)
40Mhzchannel bandwidth (lower throughput but less likely collisions)
- If the router has quality of service settings, check completeness of settings (e.g. Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) is part of optional QoS flow control. An erroneous router firmware may advertise its existence although the setting is not enabled)
Troubleshooting drivers and firmware
This section covers methods and procedures for installing kernel modules and firmware for specific chipsets, that differ from generic method.
See Kernel modules for general informations on operations with modules.
Unified driver for Ralink chipsets (it replaces
rt73, etc). This driver has been in the Linux kernel since 2.6.24, you only need to load the right module for the chip:
rt73usb which will autoload the respective
rt2x00 modules too.
- Additional notes
- Since kernel 3.0, rt2x00 includes also these drivers:
- Since kernel 3.0, the staging drivers
rt2870staare replaced by the mainline drivers
- Some devices have a wide range of options that can be configured with
iwpriv. These are documented in the source tarballs available from Ralink.
For devices which are using the rt3090 chipset it should be possible to use
rt2800pci driver, however, is not working with this chipset very well (e.g. sometimes it is not possible to use higher rate than 2Mb/s).
The rt3290 chipset is recognised by the kernel
rt2800pci module. However, some users experience problems and reverting to a patched Ralink driver seems to be beneficial in these cases.
New chipset as of 2012. It may require proprietary drivers from Ralink. Different manufacturers use it, see the Belkin N750 DB wireless usb adapter forums thread.
New chipset as of 2012 with support for 5 Ghz bands. It may require proprietary drivers from Ralink and some effort to compile them. At the time of writing a how-to on compilation is available for a DLINK DWA-160 rev. B2 here.
The driver is now in the kernel, but many users have reported being unable to make a connection although scanning for networks does work.
AUR includes many patches, try this if it does not work fine with the driver in kernel.
The driver is part of the current kernel package. The module initialization may fail at boot giving this error message:
rtl819xE:ERR in CPUcheck_firmware_ready() rtl819xE:ERR in init_firmware() step 2 rtl819xE:ERR!!! _rtl8192_up(): initialization is failed! r8169 0000:03:00.0: eth0: link down
A workaround is to simply unload the module:
# modprobe -r r8192e_pci
and reload the module (after a pause):
# modprobe r8192e_pci
Some dongles, like the TP-Link TL-WN725N v2 (not sure, but it seems that uses the rtl8179 chipset), use chipsets compatible with this driver. In Linux 3.12 the driver has been moved to kernel staging source tree. For older kernels use out-of-tree driver sources built with DKMS - install AUR. At the times of 3.15 kernel rtl8188eu driver is buggy and has many stability issues.
rtl8723be modules are included in the mainline Linux kernel.
Some users may encounter errors with powersave on this card. This is shown with occasional disconnects that are not recognized by high level network managers (netctl, NetworkManager). This error can be confirmed by running
dmesg -w or
journalctl -f and looking for output related to powersave and the
rtl8723be module. If you are having this issue, use the
fwlps=0 kernel option, which should prevent the WiFi card from automatically sleeping and halting connection.
options rtl8723ae fwlps=0
options rtl8723be fwlps=0
If you have very poor signal maybe your device has only one antenna connected and auto mode does not work. You can force the antenna with
ant_sel=2 kernel option.
Newer 802.11 a/b/g/n usb adapters, such as the Glam Hobby AC600 (Ourlink) may require rtl8812 or rtl8821 drivers before working.
The 8812 driver can be found asAUR.
# modprobe 8812au
If that does not work (like for the AC600 dongles), try the 8812/8821 moduleAUR.
# modprobe rtl8812au_rtl8821au
These require DKMS so make sure you have your proper kernel headers installed.
The MadWifi team currently maintains three different drivers for devices with Atheros chipset:
madwifiis an old, obsolete driver. Not present in Arch kernel since 184.108.40.206.
ath5kis newer driver, which replaces the
madwifidriver. Currently a better choice for some chipsets, but not all chipsets are supported (see below)
ath9kis the newest of these three drivers, it is intended for newer Atheros chipsets. All of the chips with 802.11n capabilities are supported.
There are some other drivers for some Atheros devices. See Linux Wireless documentation for details.
If you find web pages randomly loading very slow, or if the device is unable to lease an IP address, try to switch from hardware to software encryption by loading the
ath5k module with
nohwcrypt=1 option. See Kernel modules#Setting module options for details.
Some laptops may have problems with their wireless LED indicator flickering red and blue. To solve this problem, do:
# echo none > /sys/class/leds/ath5k-phy0::tx/trigger # echo none > /sys/class/leds/ath5k-phy0::rx/trigger
For alternatives, see this bug report.
As of Linux 3.15.1, some users have been experiencing a decrease in bandwidth. In some cases this can fixed by editing
/etc/modprobe.d/ath9k.conf and adding the line:
options ath9k nohwcrypt=1
In the unlikely event that you have stability issues that trouble you, you could try using the ath9k mailing list exists for support and development related discussions.AUR package. An
Although Linux Wireless says that dynamic power saving is enabled for Atheros ath9k single-chips newer than AR9280, for some devices (e.g. AR9285) might still report that power saving is disabled. In this case enable it manually.
On some devices (e.g. AR9285), enabling the power saving might result in the following error:
# iw dev wlan0 set power_save on
command failed: Operation not supported (-95)
The solution is to set the
ps_enable=1 option for the
options ath9k ps_enable=1
ipw2100 and ipw2200
iwlegacy is the wireless driver for Intel's 3945 and 4965 wireless chips. The firmware is included in the package.
If you have problems connecting to networks in general or your link quality is very poor, try to disable 802.11n:
options iwl4965 11n_disable=1
If you have problems connecting to networks in general or your link quality is very poor, try to disable 802.11n, and perhaps also enable software encryption:
options iwlwifi 11n_disable=1 options iwlwifi swcrypto=1
If you have a problem with slow uplink speed in 802.11n mode, for example 20Mbps, try to enable antenna aggregation:
options iwlwifi 11n_disable=8
In case this does not work for you, you may try disabling power saving for your wireless adapter.
Some have never gotten this to work. Others found salvation by disabling N in their router settings after trying everything. This is known to have be the only solution on more than one occasion. The second link there mentions a 5ghz option that might be worth exploring.
If you have difficulty connecting a bluetooth headset and maintaining good downlink speed, try disabling bluetooth coexistence :
options iwlwifi bt_coex_active=0
The default settings on the module are to have the LED blink on activity. Some people find this extremely annoying. To have the LED on solid when Wi-Fi is active, you can use the systemd-tmpfiles:
w /sys/class/leds/phy0-led/trigger - - - - phy0radio
systemd-tmpfiles --create phy0-led.conf for the change to take effect, or reboot.
To see all the possible trigger values for this LED:
# cat /sys/class/leds/phy0-led/trigger
See Broadcom wireless.
Treat this Tenda card as an
rt2870sta device. See #rt2x00.
This should be a part of the kernel package and be installed already.
Some Orinoco chipsets are Hermes II. You can use the
wlags49_h2_cs driver instead of
orinoco_cs and gain WPA support. To use the driver, blacklist
p54 is included in kernel, but you have to download the appropriate firmware for your card from this site and install it into the
tiacx-firmware (deleted from official repositories and AUR)
See official wiki for details.
zd1211rw is a driver for the ZyDAS ZD1211 802.11b/g USB WLAN chipset, and it is included in recent versions of the Linux kernel. See  for a list of supported devices. You only need to install the firmware for the device, provided by the package.
Host AP is a Linux driver for wireless LAN cards based on Intersil's Prism2/2.5/3 chipset. The driver is included in Linux kernel.
Ndiswrapper is a wrapper script that allows you to use some Windows drivers in Linux. You will need the
.sys files from your Windows driver.
Follow these steps to configure ndiswrapper.
2. Install the driver to
# ndiswrapper -i filename.inf
3. List all installed drivers for ndiswrapper
$ ndiswrapper -l
4. Let ndiswrapper write its configuration in
# ndiswrapper -m # depmod -a
Now the ndiswrapper install is almost finished; follow the instructions on Kernel modules#Automatic module handling to automatically load the module at boot.
The important part is making sure that ndiswrapper exists on this line, so just add it alongside the other modules. It would be best to test that ndiswrapper will load now, so:
# modprobe ndiswrapper # iwconfig
AUR provide drivers released on newer kernels backported for usage on older kernels. The project started since 2007 and was originally known as compat-wireless, evolved to compat-drivers and was recently renamed simply to backports.
If you are using old kernel and have wireless issue, drivers in this package may help.