Connecting to a wireless access point

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Revision as of 23:01, 9 November 2011 by Jbilyk (talk | contribs) (update based on question from http://wiki.alpinelinux.org/w/index.php?title=FAQ&curid=1507&diff=5818&oldid=5642)
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This document describes how to set up a wireless network connection with WPA encryption.

First make sure your wireless drivers are loded properly. (if you are using a Broadcom chipset, see note at the end of this post.)

Install wireless-tools and wpa_supplicant.

apk add wireless-tools wpa_supplicant

Bring the link up so we can look for wireless networks. (an error here means you probably need extra drivers/firmware)

ip link set wlan0 up

Find a network to connect to. Look for the ESSID. In this example we will use the ESSID "MyNet"

iwlist wlan0 scanning

Lets set the ESSID.

iwconfig wlan0 essid MyNet

We need to create a shared key for wpa_supplicant.

wpa_passphrase MyNet > wpa.conf

It will wait for the password from stdin. Enter the password and enter. Now you will have a wpa.conf file with the preshared key.

start wpa_supplicant with the generated config

wpa_supplicant -Dwext -iwlan0 -c ./wpa.conf

From another console, start dhcpcd

udhcpc -i wlan0

You should get an IP address.

You then want to make the connection process automatic on boot-up. Open /etc/network/interfaces and add the following stanza:

auto wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp

You will also need to set wpa_supplicant to start automatically on boot.

rc-update add wpa_supplicant default

Next, create /etc/wpa_supplicant (permissions of 755 w/ root:root are fine), and move wpa.conf into that folder. Then rename wpa.conf to wpa_supplicant.conf.

Reboot and check that you are associated with the access point:

iwconfig wlan0

and check that you got a DHCP lease:

ifconfig wlan0 | grep addr

NOTE FOR BROADCOM WIFI CHIPSET USERS:
You will need to compile the firmware manually for your chipset. First, apk add alpine-sdk, then git clone aports from git.alpinelinux.org, switch to the aports/non-free/b43-firmware folder, then run abuild -r. Install the generated apk file. Run fwcutter, and you should be good to go.