Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm running gentoo on my laptop, and I'm currently using wpa_supplicant to handle wifi.

My configuration works and I can connect, but it is required to type in the plain text password into the configuration file. This doesn't work if I want to connect to a friend's wifi and they want to type in the password instead of telling me what it is. There's no security with plain text passwords.

How can I make this more secure so that some sort of encrypted password is stored instead of plaintext?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

wpa_passphrase [ ssid ] [ passphrase ] generates a WPA PSK from an ASCII passphrase for a SSID. Then store it as

        ssid="your ssid"
share|improve this answer
oh great, thanks. Do you know of any option to have it take the passphrase as a linux password where it doesn't show the characters? – mouche Aug 11 '10 at 6:36
Do history -c instead. – JohnnyFromBF May 6 '12 at 6:54
Or do xargs -n 2 wpa_passphrase followed by ssid and passphrase each on its own line, followed by C-d. – Pedro Silva May 6 '12 at 19:31
I'm just answering the question. In any case, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(cryptography). – Pedro Silva Apr 2 '14 at 21:11
This works for the case of the SSID with a single pass phrase (psk=...). Is there a way to do the same for the SSID / identity / password case (password=...)? – AstroFloyd Jul 30 '15 at 9:13

Alternately leave the password entry blank. If you're running wpa_gui, it will prompt you for the password. (I do this with eduroam accounts, as my password is the same as my *nix login)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.