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. thanks from me too. without this i was off on a wild goose chase! worked flawlessly with ubuntu 6.10 and looks very similar to what they have in their beta 7.04; so looks like it will be in the next release by default which is good news!

  2. Thanks for the post, it worked fine, but i have a problem……

    i accidentally removed the network manager icon from the Panel and i don’t know how to get it back
    can anyone tell me how to get it back????????????????

  3. Too bad getting WiFi to work with Ubuntu is such a flipping hassle. That’s the deal-breaker right there. My days of hassling commands and “special” case stuff are long-over. (In fact I think they went out the door just about the time the 486DX 33 was no longer the hottest thing going. Wake me up when Linux works with WiFi.

  4. Great stuff! Ubuntu newbie since 2 days, tried a lot of other How-to’s but only this one does the trick without any problem.

  5. AMAZING. Been struggling this for months and was just about to rebuild the system. You should get a medal!!

  6. This worked like a charm for me using Feisty Herd5 on a Inspiron 1501 laptop. I already had a working connecting with WEP encryption, but I struggled with network applet and WPA. Thanks for the pointers.

  7. I have a problem getting my WG511T v3 installed on my laptop (dell inspiron 2500) with ubuntu 6.10. I do not have Network Manager and when i try to install from Add/Remove.. it asks me to download files from the internet.. i dont have an internet connection so how am i supposed to go around this? Any help would be greatly appritiated,


  8. Adam,

    I am typing this reply on an HP laptop with a busted motherboard where both wired and wireless networking is gone. I plugged my cable modem to the laptop by USB. Yeah, look at your cable modem, if you are lucky it has a USB printer style port. As a matter of fact, I am running the 7.04 live cd, and installing 7.04 ubuntu right now. I’m hoping that will help me get my zd1211 based card to work. grrrrr.

  9. I did the whole thing it still doesnt work. It keeps coming back to “Wired network”. No wireless icon to be seen so far.

    I have an hp laptop nx7010 with dapper drake.

    No comment.

  10. Yes!!
    I fully expected failure here, after many other attempts, and when I didn’t see the blue Icon signal strength
    bars, it did not look good. Having sped read, as we do, instead of “left-click the network manager icon in Gnome”
    as I should have, I went through the System> Administration > Networking menu which WILL NOT HELP YOU.
    It will show the same old WEP/ASCII optoions only.
    As soon as I did the correct sequence, as is working properly.
    Dell inspiron 6000 with a PRO/Wireless 2915ABG MiniPCI Adapter (Intel)

    Kudos to admin


  11. Same problem as Kamal “Wired network” but no more, It can’t find any wireless acces point.

    nm-tool, just tell me that I’ve got a eth0 Device not active, It must tell me something about my wlan0, isn’t it?
    Any help?

    Using Ubuntu Dapper.

  12. Still having a problem after doing this. The card is now trying to find wireless networks, but still not showing in network utilities. I am just trying to connect at an internet cafe, with no password needed.
    I can’t figure out how to start gnome, I am running ubuntu 6.1

  13. Great tutorial!
    Running edgy Eft, everything is OK except I cannot see the WPA option.
    Looks like my DWL-G510 drivers are not supporting this feature.
    Has anybody any suggestion?

  14. Problem running console command -> “sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome network-manager”
    No package here by that name and not in http://packages.ubuntulinux.org/dapper/gnome/ too, how do i download that package, and how do I install it…

    …please help me on getting this package, I installed 6.06 dapper (desktop) and there are no package by that name on the CD.

    PLEASE, the missing of the package is a problem that many people have posted, whith only one typed anwser
    (116, but it didn’t solved for me, thanks anyway)

  15. UBUNTU 7.4
    Wireless Card: Belkin F5D7010
    Sees the Wireless SSID, But when entering the passphrase there is no WPA in the Wireless Security option, Only WEP etc.
    If I select connect to other wireless network it gives option for WPA, But does not connect.
    For a major release of a OS this is not great….

  16. Suggestion….

    Can the commands above to enable WPA be put into a little nice script file, that will automatically run the above commands? Comments can be added line by line to assist new people to Ubuntu. Thank you.

  17. I have a few problems, but I could fix them. Take care about this comments:

    1) Network manager only works with DHCP. I tried with some static IP tutorial, but it didn’t work.

    2) Just write this 2 lines in /etc/network/interfaces:
    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback

    Delete the other ones.

    3) Restart your computer if you don’t see available wifi networks.
    May it’s not enough with sudo /etc/init.d/dbus restart


    I’m using Ubuntu Edgy and Linksys WRT54G

  18. Thumbs up for this guide!
    Took me a minute or two, though, to reckon that I weren’t to press the standard Ubuntu wireless connection icon (the one with the green bar).

  19. I am running Kubuntu on laptop Acer Aspire. My wirless network manager can see all wireless networks around. However it can not connect to any of them (open and WEP). Are there any suggestions?
    Thank you

  20. I think I’m with the guy who said “wake me up when Linux works with WiFi”. There’s too many drivers that don’t work with WPA. I’m not using WEP.

  21. Thank you for explaining how to do this so clearly. Help from people like you is what makes using linux so great (and easy) for those of us who are just learning.

  22. Really Great!!

    I’m finally writing this over wlan after hours and hours of hopeless attempts.

    Thanks a lot

  23. Thank you so much! Every other solution on the web was bogus. Question, what does ENABLED=0 exactly do? Thanks again!

  24. Meddling around with WICD, System>Admin>Networking, ndiswrapper, etc etc for 2 weeks; no joy. Could get WEP working but what good is that? Uninstalled Wicd; followed this guide exactly; working! This is the only procedure that got that pesky Broadcom chipset under control!

    1. sudo /etc/init.d/dbus restart did not work for me; restarting the system did.

    2. Follow the steps EXACTLY; you MUST left-click the Network Manager icon to begin setup of your wireless network.

    3. Check with your router on what type of encryption you’re using – match WPA, WPA2 and then TKIP or AES, otherwise you won’t be connecting. At first, check SHOW PASSWORD to confirm you haven’t made a typo; you can hide it later once your connection is confirmed.

    Toshiba Satellite A-207 has a built-in wireless-b card listed as ETH1, which only does WEP/B. I had to disable this interface in System>Administration>Networking to let Network Manager use the Linksys WPC54G pcmcia card.

    Guide rating: 4 Flippers!

  25. As with the others, this got me going. Very straightforward. However, I can now get on unsecured networks, but my WPA2-PSK AES net continues to say “Waiting for password” after it is entered and eventually fails.

    This seems pretty strange since all the “hard” parts seem to be in good order. Heard of this one before?

    Kind regards, and thanks,

  26. hi when i try to connect to any wirless wouter it ask for wpa security code tht i dont no i no only my house wpa security but not othr ppl so can i not use a internt without putting a WPA security code thnkzzzz

  27. If I click on the network-manager icon I cannot see the wireless netowork only wired. What am I doing wrong?

  28. @ bandess
    the main point is to uncomment all adapters in /etc/network/interfaces. on the other hand this post helped me! thanks

  29. This looks like it could workd, just one question … HTF do I come up with nm-applet gui if I don’t use gnome?

  30. I am trying to install WiFi in my Laptop (Acer Aspire 5585WXMi) and it uses Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 Network as the WLan device. When I switch on my Wlan it detects it but in my Network Admin for the WLan in the password type only 2 options are shown – WEP Key (hexadecimal) and WEP key (ascii). I do not find any WPA Personal or any other option mentioned above in the image. I followed all the steps mentioned above but still dont get them.
    Any idea why?

    I am using Ubuntu Fiesta

    Thanks in advance,


  31. Hi,

    Thanks for this – it’s great. Before I read this, I couldn’t get wireless networking to work using Ubuntu atall. Now it’s temporamental: refuses to connect several times running but then successfully connects. Successful connections sometimes disconnect spontaneously. Do you have any ideas?

    I’m using: Ubuntu 7.04; Dell Inspiron 2200 with Dell/Broadcom Wireless 1370 Mini-PCI Card Rev4.2; Netgear D834G router with WPA-PSK encryption; the name of the network is broadcast.

    Many thanks!


    PS does this site replace

  32. Thanks for this – this was the answer to getting my broadcom wireless card enabled on our wpa wireless network using Ubuntu feisty. The one small issue that I’m having has been raised above in other replies to this post: is there a way to set the network manager so that we don’t have to enter the keyring password every time we login?



  33. Tell me, how does Linux expect to compete with Windows if you have to go through all this stuff when installing a program. Why should new users to Linux have to code commands, get with it and compete. I’ve tried five different Linux programs in the last six years and I end up feeling like I’ve been taken for a ride. Maaybe I will go to the Mac.


  34. This worked perfectly…Thanks for putting together such a fine tutorial!!! Simply put…you have saved 100’s or possibly 1000’s many, many hours….

  35. …”Tell me, how does Linux expect to compete with Windows if you have to go through all this stuff when installing a program. Why should new users to Linux have to code commands, get with it and compete. I’ve tried five different Linux programs in the last six years and I end up feeling like I’ve been taken for a ride. Maaybe I will go to the Mac.”…

    Well, I never really expect Linux to compete with Windows, but people and companies that are willing to learn will benefit in the long run. Sure, it is a pain in the rump at times, but this is only during the initial install. Once you figure out one or 2 problems, you should be golden…I am running a laptop and PC and they both run so much smoother than with Windows. Since Ubuntu is going to stick around for quite some time, I will put my effort into learning as much as possible. Ironically enough, I am a software project manager, and yes, windows does some things better but there are alternatives in Ubuntu…I will say our applications created on a Linux platform really do run 15-20% faster and with less crashes and issues…Sorry, for going on and on, but people really torque me when they talk about Linux competing with Windows…In a nutshell, you can make Linux work for you, but it depends on how many licks you are willing to give in order to get to the center of a tootsie pop…


  36. Thanks! Easy to follow howto. My IBM T41 running Ubuntu 7.04 can now connect to my WPA/WPA2-Wifi-Network. Works under GNOME and KDE 🙂

  37. YOU HAVE SAVED MY LIFE! Thank you for sharing this information. I have tried many methods and apps to no avail. I have wasted many hours and days trying to get my wpa wireless to work for me. I have been up and down several threads and forums and have tried everything. Until I came across this thread, and it work flawlessly. YOur knowledge is greatly appreciated and you saved me from hours more of fustration. You got a friend in New Jersey.

  38. Dear Admin,
    Thanks a lot for your wonderful write-up and it is good to see the great feedback that you have received.
    I am a total stranger to Linux, and I am running Ubuntu 7.10 on Paralles VM. Everything is working smoothly except for not being able to connect wirelessly. I have followed the instructions here carefully, but I seem to get stuck at where I have to “comment” out everything other than “lo”.Can you please explain this in a lay man’s language, and if possible capture the “commented” text file and post it here?. Also how do I create the file ?etc/default/wpasupplicant, and then add the entry ENABLED=0 ?
    Thanks a great deal.

  39. Hi,
    Many thanks for this very informative article. You’ve made my life much simple. Thanks again.

    Worked perfectly on Fiesty.


  40. There is some confusion about the phrase ‘comment out’ – I did not know what it meant, but joshrobinson in Ubuntu Forums kindly informed me that one should “‘put a # in front of every line that needs to be ‘commented out'”
    Y’all have a nice day out there!

  41. wow……worked flawlessy in ubuntu 7.10, after many attempt to get wpa to work manually with my intel pro wireless nic….
    Thanks….this should be sticky in the ubuntu forums….I hope you don’t mind if I will post a link there!

  42. Thanks! This worked great on my Mythbuntu box 🙂
    Using a Buffalo WLI2-PCI-G54S PCI card, which required ndiswrapper and Broadcom drivers.

  43. I have just Installed Ubuntu Desktop 8.04 on Compaq Presario 2500, the Laptop has Broadcom Corporation Wireless 1390 WLAN Mini-PCI Card. I tried with the steps in this article, but my wireless does not seem to work at all. I have a WEP Key which is Hexadecimal on a Wireless router which is not detectable to the scan as it is not in broadcasting mode. I have configured the BSSID and the WEP Key but it still does not seem to bring up or activate the wiress.

    Please Help.

  44. thanks, saved me so much time. Can finally connect to my wireless router now!

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