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How can I configure /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf to connect to a network that has an accent in its SSID? The name of the network is of form Réseau de XL1.

If I use sudo iwlist wlan0 scan|grep SSID I see the network appears as:

ESSID:"R\xC3\xA9seau de MP1"

At the moment I have the following the wpa_supplicant file (actual values modified):

network={
        ssid="Réseau de XL1"
        psk="!reseau_2014!"
        proto=RSN
        key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
        pairwise=CCMP
        auth_alg=OPEN
}

Checking the encoding of '\xC3\xA9' this suggests it is a UTF8 representation of 'é', but I am not sure if wpa_supplicant is interpreting it as UTF8?

  • 1
    You can code an ssid as a hex string. ssid=52C3A973656175206465204D5031 no quotes. – Dougie Sep 16 at 15:44
  • Interesting. How would I get the ssid as a hex string? – Andre M Sep 16 at 15:49
  • I converted that string from your iw list command with od and after echoing it into a file with hexedit. – Dougie Sep 16 at 15:52
  • google ascii to hex converter – jsotola Sep 16 at 18:22
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You should be able to code it in hex as

ssid=52C3A973656175206465204D5031

You can generate the hex value with echo "Réseau de XL1" | xxd -p | tr a-z A-Z

  • Should probably clarify how to generate the hex. For example: echo "Réseau de XL1" | xxd -p | tr a-z A-Z, paying attention to the resultant values, since in one instance I did get an issue due to UTF-8 combining characters. – Andre M Sep 16 at 16:06
  • This iwlist wlan0 scan | awk -F"\"" '/ESSID:/ {print $2}' | xxd -p | tr a-z A-Z is the most automatic way to generate the hex ssid. – Dougie Sep 16 at 21:14
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Just replying to myself following some testing.

  • Escaping the network name appears to work: R\xC3\xA9seau de MP1
  • In my local setup using hexdump -C I see the encoding is UTF8 (probably a side effect of using a UTF8 based terminal)
  • Also looking at the docs, for the network block, I see:
# ssid: SSID (mandatory); network name in one of the optional formats:
#   - an ASCII string with double quotation
#   - a hex string (two characters per octet of SSID)
#   - a printf-escaped ASCII string P"<escaped string>"

So I ended up with:

network={
        # ssid: Réseau de XL1
        ssid="R\xC3\xA9seau de XL1"
        psk="!reseau_2014!"
        proto=RSN
        key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
        pairwise=CCMP
        auth_alg=OPEN
}

Based on the docs I'll stick with the escaping, since that is probably safer in terms of various possible terminal encodings, even if UTF8 is likely predominate.

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