I'm trying to set up my Arch Linux so that, through non-graphical means, I can connect to a wireless network through profiles on my system.

I have tried net-auto-wireless, and it does everything I have specified, but I want it to be able to connect once it has the ability. For instance, if the first attempt was unsuccessful or if a network becomes within range after the daemon has been started.

Is there a way to do this easily? Is there something with netcfg, net-profiles or similar that I missed?


I read here [ https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=110253 ] that netcfg operates in this non-reconnecting way by design (it is said in post #3 that it is in the ArchLinux wiki page for netcfg, but I could not find anything saying this).

If this is the case, is there any way I can seamlessly reconnect? Perhaps through CLI means other than netcfg?

Also, I would rather not use NetworkManager, because the manual for nm-cli (NM's CLI counterpart) stated that polkit-gnome is required to query for non-existing connection credentials, and I just would like a universally-applicable solution (One that will work on an ArchLinux setup that may not have a graphical setup, or headless Linux distributions in general)

  • Network management GUIs such as network-manager and wicd make this very easy. Why are you opposed to using a GUI? – jordanm Oct 3 '12 at 3:40
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    I like to switch around DM's, but mostly I am looking for a non-GUI solution because I aim to run as minimal of a system as possible. One benefit I seek in particular is the ability to connect to internet without yet starting an X server or before I do so. It's just a workflow thing for me, and I feel its good to learn the non-GUI way of things, especially on Linux! – bitflips Oct 3 '12 at 4:54
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    wicd has a curses and a cli mode that works in the TTY. It is a lightweight and flexible tool... – jasonwryan Oct 3 '12 at 5:11
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    network-manager appears to also have a CLI utility. Learning non-GUI way of things is good when it makes sense, but not when it gets the way of real work. If you find yourself spending more time configuring your system than actually using it, something is wrong. – jordanm Oct 3 '12 at 5:21
  • "Wireless" and "headless" should not be used to talk about the same system. – jordanm Oct 3 '12 at 5:22

There is a helpful comparison of wireless management methods on the Arch Wiki.

If you are looking for a combination of automation, ie., you do not want to manually issue commands every time you connect to a network, and are looking for a lightweight solution that can be run both in X and in a TTY, then wicd-curses fulfills the criteria.

It has few dependencies and is also able to manage your wired connection.

For an even simpler approach, there is also a Bash Wifi Connector script that will provide the base functionality with no additional dependencies.1

1. Read the thread on the Arch boards.

  • I just tried wicd-curses, and was unable to establish a connection. However, the links you supplied are very helpful. I figure I will stick with net-auto-wireless until I can get wicd working. – bitflips Oct 3 '12 at 6:48

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