Raspberry Pi How To: Connect To WiFi network

Once you have the RaPi configured you may want to access your WiFi network. A word of warning: not all WiFi dongles work with the RaPi, before you attempt to configure your adapter look at this website to check compatibility.

The perquisite for this procedure is that you have access to the gui desktop of the RaPi, either by VNC through the wired ethernet port or by a HDMI monitor connected directly to the RaPi and mouse+keyboard connected to the RaPi via USB.

First you need to check and/or modify the network configuration file. Open LXTerminal and type the following command:


you should see text looking  something like this

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr b8:27:eb:37:12:2c

          inet addr:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx  Bcast:xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx  Mask:xxx.xxx.xxx.0 

          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1


lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  

          inet addr:  Mask:

          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1


wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:13:ef:c0:0d:4c  


The first (left hand) part of each section shows the interface names, in the example above we have "eth0" (the wired ethernet port), "lo" (the internal loopback interface) and "wlan0" the wireless dongle.
For the remainder of this guide you whenever wlan0 is used you substitute the name you've found for your wireless dongle.

sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

The find in the editor should look something like this:

auto lo


iface lo inet loopback

iface eth0 inet dhcp


allow-hotplug wlan0

iface wlan0 inet manual

wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf


iface default inet dhcp

Pay particular attention to the middle 3 lines shown above and make sure wlan0 is replaced with the name of your wireless interface. The "wpa-roam ..." line is particularly important.
Note: when wpa-roam is used the interface must use "inet manual", DHCP is still working via the "iface default inet dhcp" line. 

^O and ^X to save the file and exit.

Now reboot your RaPi.

For configuration without GUI (command line) see below.

When the reboot has finished, click on the Wifi Config Icon 

Once the application opens click the "Scan" button and you will see the following screen:

If your WiFi network is not already listed in the window click the Scan button and wait for a llittle while until your network appears. Once you see your network in the list double click on the SSID field in your network and you will see the following screen:


You need to put your WiFi network password in the "PSK" field and a descriptive type name in the "IDString" field. Click the "Add" button and you should come se the following window:

Note: It may take some time before the IP address appears.

To complete the WiFi configuration go to File -> Save Configuration:

Exit the WiFi configuration application and reboot the RaPi

The RaPi should now connect to the WiFi network on startup.


Configuration without GUI:

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

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




ssid="Wifi Network Name"

psk="Wifi Network Password"



pairwise=CCMP TKIP



To connect to multiple networks you can have multiple "network" sections in wpa_supplicant.conf.