Raspberry Pi Lab

Tag: RealTek

Setting Up WiFi From the Command Line

by on Dec.29, 2013, under Installation

RTL8188CUS-with-Rpi-transparentI have my RPi up and running.  It is patched into the network via the built-in RJ-45 ethernet port.  However, I have a motto in my lab… “One less wire is a good thing.”

My RPi package I received fro Christmas includes a USB WiFi adapter, so I’m proceeding to set it up and have “one less wire.”

Here are my steps to set up the USB WiFi adapter on my RPi running Occitdentalis.  Given that Occidentalis is a Debian variant, I am fairly confident is saying this should work with Debian, Raspbian, and Occidentalis.  It would, probably also work with x86 Debian and x86 Debian varients such as Ubuntu.  However, take care on systems running Gnome, KDE, etc…  Those systems may (probably are) running network managers within X that would conflict with the command line configurations I am about to describe.

My Wifi adapter is a Realtek RTL8188CUS purchased from AdaFruit.  This particular WiFi adapter is supported by Occidentalis so we won’t have to worry about drivers.

  • Run ‘iwconfig‘ to make sure your adapter is attached and functional.
  • Run ‘iwlist scan | grep ESSID‘ to get a list of WiFi SSIDs in range.
  • Make a backup of your interfaces file by running ‘sudo cp /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.original
  • Now edit /etc/network/interfaces to include your SSID and password
  • Make sure wpa_supplicant is installed and updated by running the command ‘sudo apt-get install wpasupplicant
  • Now delete a file. Run ‘sudo rm /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
  • Reboot.  Run ‘sudo reboot

The WiFi should, now, automatically connect to the network and receive an address via DHCP.


Here is my /etc/network/interfaces

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
iface eth0 inet dhcp
auto wlan0
allow-hotplug wlan0
iface wlan0 inet dhcp
wpa-ssid “my-network-ssid”
wpa-psk “my-wifi-password”


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