WPA supplicant

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Read This First

This article assumes that you have read and are familiar with the Arch Build System (ABS). If you are not then you might want to read this artice first ABS_-_The_Arch_Build_System.

As of this writing wpa_supplicant supports the following drivers:

  • Host AP driver for Prism2/2.5/3(WPA and WPA2)
  • Linuxant DriverLoader with Windows NDIS driver supporting WPA (WPA, but not WPA2)
  • Agere Systems Inc. Linux Driver (Hermes-I/Hermes-II chipset) (WPA, but not WPA2)
  • madwifi (Atheros ar521x)
  • Linux ndiswrapper
  • Broadcom wl.o driver
  • Intel ipw2100
  • Intel ipw2200
  • Wired Ethernet drivers
  • BSD net80211 layer (e.g., Atheros driver) (FreeBSD 6-CURRENT and NetBSD current)
  • Windows NDIS drivers (Windows; at least XP and 2000, others not tested)

More informating can be found on the wpa_supplicant home page


The wpa_supplicant package is available in the community repo. This package is build with support for the following drivers.

  • HostAP
  • Prism54
  • IPW (both 2100 and 2200 drivers)
  • WEXT (Generic Linux wireless extensions)

For those running one of the above supported card you just need to enable the comunity repo in your pacman.conf and pacman -Sy wpa_supplicant.

Those who are not so lucky will need to either download the package from the AUR or sync your abs with the community repository.

Once you have the PKGBUILD and config file you will need to edit the config file to enable your driver. For some drivers like ndiswrapper its just a matter of uncommenting a single line. For others such as madwifi you need to supply more information. You can find more information in the README.

Then just build and install the package with makepkg just as you would any other abs package.


There are two steps to configuring wpa_supplicant. First you need to enable it in your netowrk profile. Second you need to define your networks in /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf.

Network Profile

If you are using initscripts 0.7.1 or higher then you can start wpa_supplicant directly from your network profile. To do so you need to add the following line at the bottom of your network profile in your /etc/network-profiles directory.

WPAOPTS="-D driver"

driver is the name of the driver interface for your network card. For intel 2200 cards using the latest driver (1.0.8 at the time of this writing) and kernel 2.6.13 or higer you would use "-D wext" (not -D ipw as you would with older versions).

Please contribute more working driver lines here


I'm out of time, I will complete this at a later date. Please feel free to contribute the missing information.

Trouble Shooting