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  1. Wireless network how-to
  1. Gather information
  • Network Name/ESSID
    • Check if the network is 'hidden', does it come up in an iwlist scan?
  • If and what security in use
    • Supported security mechanisms: none, wpa, and wep.
  • If using security, the key
  • Wireless Network interface
    • This can be checked with iwconfig,
  • IP settings, dhcp/static
    • Most wireless networks use dhcp.
  1. Create profile

In /etc/network.d/ and create a new network profile. A profile, is a single file in /etc/network.d. The file name will become the name of the profile, and can be anything you wish, it is not a setting involved in the connection.

The easiest way to create a new profile, is to copy an existing one such as by copying one of the example profiles from /etc/network.d/examples that use a similar security setup.

Edit the profile, to contain the information you gathered earlier. For now, leave the scan option set to 'on'

Here is a table of the essential options, required for most connections: |Data|Variable|Values| |Network Name|essid|user provided| |Interface/Network Device|interface|user provided| |Encryption Key/Passkey|key|user provided| |Security Level|security|wpa, wep, none or wpa-config| |IP|ip|dhcp or static|

For detailed static configuration, and further options, see the wireless(8) and ethernet(8) manual pages.

  1. Connect

Now, you can just run, netcfg profile-name to connect your network if it is available.

To have the network be connected on boot, add the profile-name to the NET_PROFILES=() line in rc.conf, eg: NET_PROFILES=(home). Ensure that 'net-profiles' is in your rc.conf DAEMONS=() line.

If you cannot connect to the network, see if your problem is listed below. If you have further difficulties, enable debug mode (shown below) and seek help on the arch forums, irc or mailing lists.

  1. Troubleshooting.
  • What do I do if this doesnt work?

Check through all the FAQs below. If they do not contain a solution, the next best place to go is the forums, or the mailing list.

When you post, make sure that you provide the following output:

    • ifconfig -a
    • netcfg debug log as instructed below
    • iwconfig before attempting to connect
    • the /etc/network.d/ profile file with the wireless key replaced by <censored>
    • lsmod

Rather than scripting a long post/email, the best place to put all this is the Arch pastebin,

  • ESSID not available, but my network is definitely accessible!

This happens when you enable scan, for a hidden network. Hidden networks cannot be scanned for. Set scan to off, and set timeout to something like 10 seconds. The timeout is how long it will try to connect to the network before giving up, and may need to be set higher if you have low reception.

  • How do I get a debug log from netcfg?

Run netcfg -l <profile name>. This will generate a debug log in /tmp.

If you are going to use this output to seek help, replace your wireless key with <censored>, and then place the output on the Arch pastebin at