I have arch installed on my hd, but I can't establish a WPA2-encrypted network connection because wpa_supplicant is not installed. On my arch live-usb there is wpa_supplicant and there I can establish the network connection.

Is there any way to tell pacman of my live arch to install the wpa_supllicant package to my installed arch on /mnt ?

2 Answers 2


Reading the pacman man page, it looks to me like you could do this:

pacman --root /mnt -S wpa_supplicant

while you have the "live Arch" CD booted, and the "/" partitioned mounted on /mnt. That might be a little more complicated if you have a separate /usr partition.

You'll probably have to fix up the /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf file after you've rebooted from the HD, or fix it up in /mnt/ before the reboot.

UPDATE 2017-04-02

Either Arch or systemd has changed. Here's what you do now:

  1. Find wireless device name, use ip a or ifconfig -a Mine is wlp12s0, USB wireless adaptors look like wlp26f7u3
  2. Start wpa_supplicant: systemctl enable wpa_supplicant; systemctl start wpa_supplicant. This is the master process, or maybe I'm just superstitious.
  3. Make a wpa_supplicant.conf@wirelessdevicename file in /etc/wpa_supplicant. For my laptop, this is wpa_supplicant-wlp12s0.conf and I believe I just did cp wpa_supplicant.conf wpa_supplicant-wlp12s0.conf There will exist a separate config file for each interface you start this way, and they can be configured differently.
  4. Start wpa_supplicant for that inteface. For me, this looked like: systemctl enable wpa_supplicant@wlp12s0; systemctl start wpa_supplicant@wlp12s0 You device name will vary.

It might help debug if you have journalctl -f running in a separate terminal.

  • "Start wpa_supplicant" How do you start it when it's not installed? Sep 30, 2019 at 18:10
  • @jeremyjjbrown - I gave the command at the top of my answer: pacman --root /mnt -S wpa_supplicant
    – user732
    Oct 1, 2019 at 4:38
  • 1
    Thanks @Bruce . Turns out I was having a network issue and pacman is not good at dealing with flaky networks. Oct 8, 2019 at 19:05

You can use pacstrap to install packages from your live usb to your Arch installation.

From your live usb:

First mount the partition your Arch is install to. (# is the number of the Arch partition)

mount /dev/sda# /mnt

Then use pacstrap to install the package to your mounted partition

pacstrap /mnt wpa_supplicant

Alternatively, you can also use the netctl package and the following command to establish a wireless connection without having to set up a wireless interface via ip link / wpa_supplicant. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/netctl

sudo wifi-menu -o

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