After using Linux for quite some time now I want to try out FreeBSD. I created a bootable USB stick and want to play around a bit in the live CD mode. The first problem I encounter is that I don't know how to get the wifi to work.

Running sysctl net.wlan.devices yields an empty net.wlan.devices:.

I guess this means that the module for my wifi-adapter is not loaded? Most of the stuff I find to enable wifi requires changing some configs and rebooting but I guess that's not that easy on a live USB.

Now my question is: How do I enable wifi? How do I know which module I need to load?

I am using a Thinkpad L480 (which is not listed on the laptops page). Is free BSD even compatible with it?

  • Does dmesg -a give some hints ?
    – fugitive
    Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 10:54

2 Answers 2


According to ThinkPad L480 Tech Specs, it features Intel® Dual Band 8265 Wireless AC (2 x 2) wifi adapter, which should be supported by iwm driver.

You should be able to load driver and firmware at runtime without rebooting:

kldload if_iwm
kldload iwm8265fw

Check if they loaded successfully with kldstat. If modules aren't listed I guess you are out of luck until someone adds support for your card. If they are, read on.

The rest is nicely explained in Wireless Networking chapter of FreeBSD Handbook, here are exact lines you need:

ifconfig wlan0 create wlandev iwm0
ifconfig wlan0 up scan

You should be able to see list of wifi networks:

ifconfig wlan0 list scan

You will need to create /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf (assuming your wifi network is RSN/WPA2):


Append the following to the /etc/rc.conf:

ifconfig_wlan0="WPA DHCP"

Bring up the interface:

service netif restart

...and you should be good to go.


Try: kldload if_iwm

This loads the Intel 8000 series wifi driver

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