I am trying to setup a bridged network between my Ethernet, Wifi, and (future) virtual machines. I am currently trying with NetworkManager because it's already managing the networking on my Debian system. I would like to be able to choose a Wifi network through the GNOME GUI and have the bridge use that.

However, it seems that NetworkManager bridges connect to connections - i.e. individual WiFi networks, rather than interfaces.

Either way, I haven't managed to get anything working. Other people seem to have this problem and suggest using a "vlan" - but I've had no luck with that either.

Am I missing something? What's the best way to go about what I'm trying to do?

  • 1
    no can do. Home router's wifi AP uses 3 MACs mode, but bridging as STA (client) requires 4 MACs mode. You can do this only if you are the AP (or reconfigure the router, the client and all other clients). networkengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/25100/…
    – A.B
    Jul 27, 2020 at 22:17
  • I'm not sure I understood all the network jargon. can you be a bit clearer? Jul 27, 2020 at 22:19
  • Read the link: that's the clarification.
    – A.B
    Jul 27, 2020 at 22:19
  • I understand that to mean... ordinary consumer WiFi can't cope with multiple clients on the same wireless connection. Jul 27, 2020 at 22:22
  • Not that. Even if you have router's firmware coping with that, you must switch to an alternate configuration (4 addresses mode) that's not compatible, you must also change this for everything using it. Including your smartphone, your wireless TV etc. Of course they probably won't be able to do this. If you have such a router (usually running OpenWRT and alike) and want to experiment, read there: wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/users/documentation/… (there's also WDS above, yet an other incompatible way)
    – A.B
    Jul 27, 2020 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


As far as NetworkManager is concerned, bridging a Wi-Fi is nothing special. Configuring the Wi-Fi profile to be a slave-type=bridge and activate it.

Indeed, in NetworkManager the basic means for configuration are connection profiles, so you cannot say to enslave a device, without having a profile. Also, Wi-Fi profiles in NetworkManager are always for one SSID.

Anyway, more important is whether kernel and the driver handle bridging Wi-Fi correctly. As others said, there are difficulties, but I had the impression that it can work. I don't know the details, sorry.

  • Thank you for the clarification. Indeed, I will rephrase the question to clarify, Is there any way, preferably using or compatible with NetworkManager, to connect a bridge to an interface rather than a connection, in a way that the WiFi can still be managed through the GUI? I suspect the answer might have something to do with VLANs. Jul 28, 2020 at 12:03

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