How can I persistently prevent a wireless interface using wpa_supplicant in roaming mode from connecting to a particular open network foo?

This doesn't work:

$ sudo wpa_cli
> blacklist 00:11:22:33:44:55

Nor does the following:


allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet manual
  wpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf



3 Answers 3


You can set the option disabled=1 in the corresponding network entry in wpa_supplicant.conf. This will prevent wpa_supplicant from automatically connecting to the network (it'll still try to connect to it if you specifically ask it to do so).

  • where is this file on debian Jessie?
    – DrBeco
    Jul 5, 2015 at 21:45
  • 1
    Usually it's /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
    – lgeorget
    Jul 6, 2015 at 17:45
  • Thanks Igeorget. The directory exists and there are some scripts there, but no wpa_supplicant.conf. Maybe there is no configuration file at all in the default installation for Debian Jessie?
    – DrBeco
    Jul 6, 2015 at 17:52
  • Hmm I guess not. You probably have to create it. You could look for an example in /usr/share/doc/wpa_supplicant... But the easiest is probably to use a graphical tool to configure your network such as NetworkManager or wpa_cli.
    – lgeorget
    Jul 6, 2015 at 17:57
  • Here, it does not work in the presence of a catch-all entry; see this question about it. Aug 14, 2015 at 18:46

It appears that you can't. While you can set "disabled=1" for any given rule, that disables the rule for that connection, but doesn't block other rules that might match. So if you have it configured to auto-connect to open WiFi, that catch-all rule will still match even if you have a separate one for the specific SSID that is disabled.

Obviously, this is only an issue for open networks (which typically then require some sort of login to get real access). If there were a password, then the "disabled=1" option, or just removing the entry altogether would obviously solve the problem.


Try this:

sudo ifconfig wlan0 down

Then change the wpa_supplicant.conf to blank out the WiFi SSID and PSK Then run this:

 ifconfig wlan0 up; wpa_supplicant -iwlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

This way it doesn't connect. Hope it helps.

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