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Connecting to the RIT eduroam network under Linux - wpa_supplicant

wpa_supplicant Tutorial

This is the complete instruction list for configuring wpa_supplicant. This was tested on a clean Arch install ISO. File location may differ across distributions. If directories don't exist, check your distribution's documentation for the correct location of the files.


The following is required to use this configuration:


All commands starting with $ can be used as your standard user. All commands using # require to be run as root, generally by preceding the command with sudo.

  1. Generate a personal certificate according to this tutorial.

  2. Run the following command to determine what network devices are available. This tutorial assumes the use of the network interface wlan0.

# wpa_cli interface
  1. Move both the RIT CA Cert and the encrypted .p12 file into a common directory that you don't plan on interacting with much. For testing purposes, /opt/ was used. Locations within ~ or /home/$USER may not work properly, due to improper permissions, although this is untested as of writing.

  2. Open your text editor of choice, create a file in /etc/wpa_supplicant, and fill in the file according to the block below. You can name the file whatever you wish, but for automation purposes its recommended to name the file wpa_supplicant-[interface name].conf. This makes it easier for systemd and dhcpcd to interface with wpa_supplicant once it's set up.


  1. You're all set! Run the following commands in a terminal to start wpa_supplicant, then start dhcpcd. After this, your network should be set up properly.
# wpa_supplicant -B -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/[config file name]
# dhcpcd wlan0

The first command tells wpa_supplicant to open in the background and, using the wlan0 interface, use the configuration file created in the previous step to connect to eduroam. The second command tells the local DHCP client that there is an open network connection on the network interface wlan0, and to assign an IP address to the device.

Automation notes

Note that while this config file is persistent across reboots, as this guide stands, you will need to start wpa_supplicant and dhcpcd manually on each boot. For more information on starting wpa_supplicant at boot, and auto-starting dhcpcd, consult the ArchWiki, or your distribution's wiki for non-systemd systems.


For debugging purposes, the -B flag shown above can be omitted, allowing you to see the complete output of the command. Note that this omitting this flag will make the current terminal unusable, so a second session or terminal will be required to run the dhcpcd command. Also note that closing the terminal containing the wpa_supplicant command will also end the connection to the Wi-Fi, so act with care.

See Also