Enable WPA Wireless access point in Ubuntu Linux

I have a Thoshiba laptop at home, I was running “Dapper Drake” (Ubuntu Linux 6.06) But one of the important things about it was its inability to connect to WPA-encrypted Wifi access points.In my home i have a WPA Enabled Wireless router so i need to connect to my wireless network using WPA.I am giving the procedure that worked for me to enable wpa in my toshiba laptop.

Procedure to enable WPA Wireless in Ubuntu

To update the source list run the following command

sudo apt-get

sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant

sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome network-manager

sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces

Comment out everything other than “lo” entries in that file and save the file

Create a file called /etc/default/wpasupplicant, add entry ENABLED=0 and save the file

sudo touch /etc/default/wpasupplicant

Reboot your system or use the following command

sudo /etc/init.d/dbus restart

Once you login back in to your machine you need to left-click the network manager icon in Gnome and select your wireless network It should prompts for password, type, etc and It will ask you to choose a password for your new “keyring”.

After enterring all the details my wireless network was connected and working fine you can see in the follwoing screen

My wireless network also detected available wireless access point around my home you can see this in the following screen

If you want to connect an existing wireless point you can see the following popup box asking for details of wireless network

If you want to create a new wireless network you can see the following screen with the available options and after entering all the details you need to click on connect

Possible Error and Solution

If you see the following error

The NetworkManager applet could not find some required resources. It cannot continue.


sudo gtk-update-icon-cache -f /usr/share/icons/hicolor/

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248 thoughts on “Enable WPA Wireless access point in Ubuntu Linux

  1. Yes! Finally got my Latitude D600 Ubuntucized with wireless that works. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Do you need to comment (#) all the lines except the first two that have lo entries? I have done this and when i reboot i can only get a wired connection working with the network manager, no wireless. Any ideas?


  3. I connected fine but firefox wasn’t working until undertaking the following suggestion :
    Firefox specific
    In the address bar type about:config.
    Find this line network.dns.disableIPv6 and double click on it to change the value to true.

  4. As a former W$ user Ive waited for months for someone to finally get Ubuntu to use WPA. I now have Ubuntu 6.10 loaded and got it running WPA thanks to the above tutorial but after shutting down the system, the next time I log on, Network Mgr would have its icon on the top right but No wireless as if WPA disappeared.Since Im a linux newbie can anyone shed some light on this situation? BTW inputing the above sequence would result in the same condition.Thanks

  5. My old Dell INSPIRON 7500 is out of mothballs and running with WPA enabled thanks to this site. I spent 2 days trying to get it running with no luck. If I run into any related problems I will be sure to visit this site BEFORE I spend a week searching for answers on google.

    Thanks Admin!

  6. Thanks, this is just what I was looking for and works perfect! Now is only Beryl will start working! 🙂

  7. Hi,
    Belkin 54g router with WPA-PSK,
    Siemens/Fujitsu Lifebook C1110 with 2200BG,
    Ubuntu 6.06, fresh with updates,
    Followed the instructions to the letter, I get the passphrase dialog, then animation starts, and times out, asking once more. After that, fallback to wired.
    It’s not clear to me, should I try the firmware thing or not?

  8. I fought for 3 days on this and your instructions worked like a charm. Thank you very much for this how-to. 🙂 I did not use it for WPA but i saw it had all the encryptions available so i used it for WEP and I worked beautifully for me. Thanks E.

  9. why the hell does this not work out of the box? i thought it’s linux for human beings….
    you can’t require a normal joe to go through all this….

  10. This worked on Ubuntu Edgy, on Compaq 5000, Netgear WPN311 PCI Adapter, attached via WPA-PSK to Netgear WPN824v2 Router. Thanks for the timesavings! You win a prize!

  11. wow, i’ve been using linux for a while now and have never been able to get ubuntu to connect to my wireless router until now. i had basically given up and just connected it to the ethernet cord but thats all changed today. i did exaclty what you said and it worked like a charm. you are truely my hero.

  12. NOTE: If you get stuck on step three where you cannot install the network-manager-gnome, try running this command first.

    “sudo apt-get update”

    Then run “sudo apt-get install network-mang….blah blah blah”

  13. had a prob for a bit but got it working in the end. It didnt seem to work if the network name was hidden, but when it was revealed on the router settings it worked!

  14. I’m stuck on step three. I’ve got this message: Couldn’t find package network-manager-gnome
    And I’ve already tried what Gabriel says at comment 116.

    Please help me!

  15. wow!!!!! I’ve tried about 100 other guides, involving editing all the config files and such. I commented out everything other than “lo” entries in that file, like you said to do, and rebooted the system. Everything is working magically now. (i forgot to make the /etc/default/wpasupplicant file cause i rebooted too quickly, but it still works). Incredible! i wish everything was this easy

  16. Thank you so much! I’ve tried to get this working for a week. This did the trick, no problem what so ever!

  17. Does not work with the wireless Sitecom router WL-143
    No wireless networks will be detected.
    The only device which works with this router is my HP iPAQ.

  18. Could someone explain what is meant by: “Comment out everything other than “lo” entries in that file and save the file”

    Does it mean “erase” or “delete”. I’m stuck waching a nice text editing programme with the following lines:

    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback

    iface eth0 inet dhcp

    iface eth1 inet dhcp
    wireless-essid bunburry
    wireless-key s://dwaszlafrokiCezaregoiMariusza=+pranie

    auto eth2
    iface eth2 inet dhcp

    auto ath0
    iface ath0 inet dhcp

    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet dhcp

    auto eth0

    …….and have absolutely no idea what next.
    Could anyone help?

  19. My goal is to connect to a WPA secured network. I am running Ubuntu 6.10 on an IBM Thinkpad T40p. Built-in wireless is disabled in BIOS, I use a D-Link DWL-G650M PCMCIA card instead. The card works fine using the XP drivers under Linuxant. I have no problems connecting to an open network after manually configuring the ESSID and IP info. To get WPA support, I installed NM by : “sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome”. The command completed successfully. Then I edited the “interfaces” commenting out everything except the “Io” statements. However, even after several reboots, still no sign of NM.

    Synaptic tells me that network-manager and network-manager-gnome are installed, v The nm-applet is listed in the Start-up Programs list.

    When “killall NetworkManager && NetworkManager –no-daemon” (as suggested in another thread)

    root_at_Frodo:/home/rer# killall NetworkManager && NetworkManager –no-daemon
    NetworkManager: starting…
    NetworkManager: nm_dbus_init (): nm_dbus_init (): could not acquire hte NetworkManager service as it is already taken (ret-3). Is the daemon already running?
    NetworkManager: [1172619287.397157] main (): nm_dbus_init () failed, exiting. Either dbus is not running, or NetworkManager dbus security policy was not loaded.
    NetworkManager: traceback:
    NetworkManager: NetworkManager(main+0x47f) [0x80681af]
    NetworkManager: /lib/tls/1686/cmov/libc.so.6(__libc_start_main+0xdc) [0xb7c2f8cc]:
    NetworkManager: [117261947.586695] nm_print_open_socks (): Open Socket List Done.
    NetworkManager: NetworkManager [0x80530a1]
    Trace/breakpoint trap (core dumped)

    Any idea what could prevent NM from running, what am I missing?

  20. After plowing through all entries on ubuntuforums.org I thought I’d never get my ipw3945 wireless running. But this worked like a charm, tnx!

  21. Excellent. I had given up on ever getting WPA working with ipw3945 on a Dell laptop using Ubuntu 6.10. And now it’s working perfectly

  22. Thanks a lot, for this easy to use instructions. I wonder why all this guys searching and writing tons of code didn’t know that.

    I was searching 1 month now and nothing work for me and WPA Encryption Protocol.

    But now with your instructions everything just fine. Just one thing, that maybe concerns someone is that you have to change your AP channel to a discoverable channel from your wireless card. I also have Vista and had the channel 13 (i live in Greece) and didn’t show anything in my AP Lists in ubuntu network manager. When i change in channel 11 everything went perfect.

    I am very very new in Linux, and i try everything by searching in forums. Your are in my Best list now….

    Thanks a lot.

  23. This worked a treat, thanks heaps mate!

    Compaq Presario 2200 with 2200BG Intel Wireless adapter
    Running Ubuntu 6.06

    Much appreciated.

  24. This was seamless!!!My windows dual boot partition has inched closer to the trash bin…!!!


  25. @Admin,

    Thank you very much for posting your How To.

    Network Manager, Network Manager Gnome and wpa-supplicant were already installed on my notebook PC (must have been by default, as I didn’t do it) and the Network Manager icon was already showing on the toolbar alongside the Network Monitor icon. So I just followed your instructions from “sudo gedit /etc/network/interfaces” onwards.

    I have a Linksys WPC54G (EU) v7.1 notebook adapter and it worked first time using your procedure. I am now surfing the Net wirelessly using Dapper Drake 6.06 LTS ubuntu and WPA-Personal with PSK and TKIP. Previously I was accessing the Net by using a Belkin wired Ethernet card in the notebook. I just had to unplug the Ethernet cable for wireless network access to start-up.

    Thanks again!

  26. So close!! I’m running Kubuntu 6.10 on a HP nx6325. I use WPA. I ran this guide and now my network is showing up in knetworkmanager, but when connecting it fails at 28%. Does anybody have any idea how to solve this problem?

    Hey GUI is great and I use it everyday – but does anyone have a “how to’ that shows you how to use WPA via the command line (i.e. wpa_cli) Using a GUI is great but using the command line is makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! =)

  28. Finally, finally – after days of trying everything on Ubuntu sites I have done it with your help – you are a absolute total star !!!

    Thank you so much !

  29. As per the WPA setting on Kubuntu, select Personal WPA [unless your’re on Enterprise WPA] and carefully type-in the paraphrase. Had mine successfully set-up and connected! Thanks a bunch!

  30. Hey, very awesome, thank you very much. I’ve tried this before on my Toshiba M40x, and I ran into problems, but after trying it again it seems to work just as you described. I must have done something wrong by accident the first time around.

  31. Excellent HOWTO! Easy to follow. I got my old Toshiba Satellite 2405 working right away with a Netgear WG511T and WPA on Edgy.

  32. Hello all,

    I am a kubundu user. (edgy)
    I a new at the area and I cannot see how I can configure my Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG.

    lspci shows that the card is found, but iwconfig shows

    lo no wireless extensions.
    eth0 no wireless extensions.
    sit0 no wireless extensions.

    wlassistant is failing with error “No usable wireless devices found”.
    The steps you have proposed did not work.
    Any ideas?

  33. I spent hours and hours chasing my tail getting WPA to work. I had installed the network manager also. Just thanks, massive thanks. All seems well now.

  34. Worked perfectly. Got me up and running WPA in minutes. I have 1 small problem. It seems about every 3-5 minutes the wireless disconnects for a few seconds. Its like the connection timeouts and has to reconnect. Any suggestions???

  35. This is great, but i have a problem recibing an ip direction with dhcp

    I’ve a network OPEN-WEP

  36. Iv got a problem in that i can connect sucessfuly to the next flats network but i can get a connection to my own, network manager isnt showing and connections just a grey’d out “Wired Network”. Any ideas?

  37. In the past I remember that I was trying to connect on my WPA protected Wi-Fi netowrk with no success.
    Yesterday I upgraded to Ubuntu v6.06 LTS, today I found this great site with my first search in Google.

    I followed your guide (step-by-step) and I connected to my WPA network in 5 minutes!

    This tutorial is a lifesaver (it’s already a bookmark)!!!

    p.s. thanks for your effort.

  38. I previously had this going well using these excellent instructions. But recently my router died (Linksys WAG54G v2) and I had it replaced. After setting up the new router with the same SSID, but with a slightly different encryption key, I could not get it working, nor could I figure out how to change the key.
    Turns out that I forgot that my password was stored in my ‘Keyring’. The solution was to go into Keyring Manager (System/Administration/Key Ring Manager) and delete the existing passphrase for my old wireless network AP. Then, next time I tried to connect wirellessly, I was prompted for the new security configuration and soon everything worked again!
    FWIW, I am using Asus laptop with built in Intel Wireless Pro 2200BG.
    Linksys WAG54G v3 with WPA/PSK-TKIP enabled under Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft).

  39. Have installed as above and can see a choice of networks including my own.I click on mine and I’m asked for a passphrase.The cipher suite on my router says “TKIP+AES(WPA/WPA2) I know my router password but should i use WPA Personal or WPA Personal? TKIP or AES-CCMP? I think I’ve tried all combinations with no sucess.

  40. Thought I’d try to connect again so turned on laptop and network manager only reports my wired connection. Just like before i done the above typing .Redone the above rebooted but it is still not there.

  41. I have been trying to get my wireless working for days on end,
    this seems to work for most ppl so I`d like to give it a try but I dont really understand the instructions, I opened up
    a terminal and typed
    sudo apt-get
    then I got asked for a passwork, what pwd? Im so confused! Are thses commands supposed to be in a file? what do i comment out?
    Isn`t there any place I cant get help that is aimed a someone who
    has absoloutly no idea what the hell they are doing, ie. first time linux users?

  42. Hi. I have a fairly new install (3 weeks) of Ubuntu 6.10 with the latest updates. I was using a borrowed Broadcom based card
    using ndiswrapper. Last week I installed a Netgear WG511T using the MadWiFi drivers from the restricted modules 2.6.17-11-generic.
    I have no problem connecting with WEP, but cannot get it to work with WPA. I found this page and followed the instructions, but
    unfortunately I still can’t get a WPA connection. It recognizes that the router is running WPA personal. I enter the correct
    passphrase, see the Network Manager trying to connect, then I’m prompted for the passphrase again. I noticed that I do not have
    a wpa_supplicant.conf in /etc. Could this be the problem? I’m a n00b at Linux, but have no fear of the command line or configuration
    files so if anyone can point me in the right direction I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

  43. Thanks, great info. Tried multiple other ways of configuring my connection and your walk through was not only the easiest but the most successful. Thanks again!

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