Configure Wi-Fi on your Raspberry Pi via the command line

Find available Wi-Fi networks

To scan for Wi-Fi networks, use the command

sudo iwlist wlan0 scan

This will list all available Wi-Fi networks along with other useful information. Look out for:


This is the name of the Wi-Fi network.

IE: IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 Version 1

This is the authentication used; in this case it is WPA2, the newer and more secure wireless standard which replaces WPA1.

These instructions should work for WPA or WPA2.

You will also need the password for the WiFi network. For most home routers this is located on a sticker on the back of the router. The ESSID (ssid) for the network in this case is testing and the password is testPassword

Add the network details

Open the wpa-supplicant configuration file in nano:

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Go to the bottom of the file and add the following:


In the case of the example network, we would enter:


Now save the file by pressing ctrl+x then y, then enter.

At this point, wpa-supplicant will normally notice a change has occurred within a few seconds, and it will try and connect to the network. If it does not, either manually restart the interface with:

sudo ifdown wlan0
sudo ifup wlan0

or reboot your Raspberry Pi with

sudo reboot

You can check if it’s worked using

ifconfig wlan0

If the inet addr field has an address beside it, the Pi has connected to the network. If not, check your password and ESSID are correct.

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