tl;dr After reading the Arch wiki articles on installation, wireless setup and WPA supplicant, trying the suggestions below and a host of forum threads, I'm unable to get either of the following cards to connect to my wireless network when booting the Arch Linux 2013-09-01 ISO:

Approach 1 (default):

The default way of doing this is supposed to be just systemctl stop dhcpcd.service followed by wifi-menu. It finds the network:

[SSID] + wpa 10

After a timeout it reports that the connection failed. If I run wifi-menu a second time it doesn't ask for a password, but when finished it finally gives some debug hints:

Job for netctl@wlp0s29f7u5\x2dBTHub4\x2dGRK6.service failed. See 'systemctl status netctl@wlp0s29f7u5\x2dBTHub4\x2dGRK6.service' and 'journalctl -xn' for details.

The former reports that the service is "loaded" but not "active" (literally inactive (dead)). The latter says:

WPA association/authentication failed for interface 'wlp0s29f7u5'

Does this mean the key in /etc/netctl/wlp0s29f7u5-BTHub4-GRK6 is wrong? I can't tell when programs want the actual Wi-Fi password and when they want something like the psk value from wpa_passphrase (man 5 netctl.profile doesn't say, for example).

Approach 2 (wpa_supplicant and wpa_passphrase as per deeraf and warl0ck's suggestions and the wiki page):

# echo 'ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant' > wifi.conf
# wpa_passphrase essid passphrase >> wifi.conf
# wpa_supplicant -B -i interface -c wifi.conf
Successfully initialized wpa_supplicant
# dhcpcd -A interface
timed out

I tried connecting with iw directly, but got some strange output:

# iw dev wlp0s26f7u5 connect [SSID]
command failed: Operation not supported (-95)
  • Have you tried to test the stick with a different distro, for example an Ubuntu live system, just to establish that it works in Linux? Is there something interesting in your dmesg output, maybe something that's pointing to a firmware issue? – Martin von Wittich Sep 27 '13 at 20:25
  • Interestingly, on Ubuntu 13.04 it shows up on the networking menu, but is displayed as "Disconnected". – l0b0 Sep 27 '13 at 20:56
  • So you can't connect on Ubuntu either? Have you considered just using another WiFi USB stick? That may be an easier solution to your problem. – Martin von Wittich Sep 27 '13 at 20:58
  • I guess. The latest driver only supports kernels up to 2.6.33. Too bad it's almost impossible to find trustworthy sources of Linux compatible hardware. – l0b0 Sep 27 '13 at 21:20
  • 1
    I usually use dhcpcd -d -n interface - it gives you more information. Also it is a good idea to check the state of the interface with iwconfig first. Ideally 1) run wpa_supplicant in a separate terminal without the -B option, but with -d to get more debugging info, i.e.: wpa_supplicant -d -i interface -c wifi.conf -Dwext ; 2) in another terminal, check iwconfig; 3) in another terminal run. Alternatively, before all this you might want to give wicd a try. – peterph Oct 8 '13 at 7:04

Did you setup your passphrase with wpa_passphrase? e.g

%> wpa_passphrase SSID passphrase

Otherwise wpa_supplicant -B -i [wireless device] -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/cli.conf won't work at all

  • Interesting. Do you have to hash the password, or put it in as quoted/unquoted plaintext? – l0b0 Sep 30 '13 at 14:37
  • @l0b0 it was all generated by wpa_passphrase, no, only hashed version is required – daisy Sep 30 '13 at 15:37
  • So I need to copy that string manually to wpa_cli? Isn't there an easier way to do this? It seems I'm connected afterwards (at least there are no error messages), so I'll award this answer. – l0b0 Oct 4 '13 at 18:11
  • @l0b0 I've never thought about wpa_cli before. Normally I'd run wpa_supplicant directly (remember specify the wireless interface and the driver) with the generated config file. Then I check the output of dmesg to see if it's associated – daisy Oct 5 '13 at 6:36
  • According to the wpa_supplicant.conf the psk option seems to be the unhashed key. And you should have a key management specification, like: key_mgmt=WPA-PSK as well. – peterph Oct 8 '13 at 7:07

It seems like the main problem is the BT Home Hub version 4 which came with the Internet subscription. After disabling 5 GHz wireless, WPS, 802.11 n, automatic channel selection and setting security to WPA2 only, I'm now able to get a connection within seconds in both Ubuntu and Windows, and a very sketchy connection (as in, ~30 seconds connectivity every few minutes with wpa_supplicant) with an up-to-date Arch Linux.

Update: After using NetworkManager (nmcli dev wifi connect SSID password PASSWORD) I am getting what seems like a little more stability - it still drops out every few minutes or so.

Windows also does not always get a connection for several minutes, after which it seems stable.

(I also tried connecting an old ADSL router, not realising that it cannot understand a VDSL signal.)


wifi-menu should set up your passphrase for you. There shouldn't be a need to set it up manually. Check the configuration for wlp0s29f7u5 in /etc/conf.d/network-wireless@. Also check /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf to see if the information is correct.

Another thing, unless you are trying to set up a static address you shouldn't need to stop the dhcpcd service. If it is static then make sure you declare that in /etc/conf.d/network-wireless@

Finally provide and ip. 'dhcpcd wlp0s26f7u5' for dhcp

or for static do the following.

ip addr add "your ip"/24 dev wlp0s26f7u5 ip route add default via


The file I was trying to refer to is in netctl. Here is mine:

[verdict@sparky ~]$ cat /etc/netctl/wlo1-ZombieNet 
Description='Automatically generated profile by wifi-menu'
Key=<my password>
  • And btw I don't use the /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf file at all. You don't have to with wifi-menu. – Jeight Oct 10 '13 at 2:07
  • I have verified the password in wifi-menu, the generated file and the wpa_passphrase output file multiple times to no avail. The same password works on another (Ubuntu) machine, so that is not the issue. – l0b0 Oct 11 '13 at 11:26

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